Tony Hunt Kart Challenge fundraiser notes

TONY HUNT KART CHALLENGE RAISES $15,000 FOR MAKE-A-WISH Sacramento, Calif. . . . The final tally is in. The 4th annual Tony Hunt Celebrity Kart Challenge presented by Wayside Lumber raised $15,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hunt, a...

TONY HUNT KART CHALLENGE RAISES $15,000 FOR MAKE-A-WISH

Sacramento, Calif. . . . The final tally is in. The 4th annual Tony Hunt Celebrity Kart Challenge presented by Wayside Lumber raised $15,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Hunt, a four-time United States Auto Club champion, organized the competition at RPM Indoor Karting complex March 5. Professional race drivers were teamed with amateurs willing to pony up $150 for the sake of charity, and a chance to race with pros.

Squads of four drivers were competing for trophies through a variety of team racing events. But the competition was secondary to the primary goal of raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. 100% of all proceeds were donated directly to the local chapter of Make-A-Wish.

I have seen first-hand, the impact that Make-A-Wish can have", said Hunt. "Our day of fun will ultimately sponsor three wishes for three unique children."

Hunt's first-hand knowledge comes from his relationship with former high-school mate Kevin Sharp. The country music star was once told he had six months to live after being diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. Sharp was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation which today he credits with helping save his own life. "They (Make-A-Wish) were strangers that became friends", said Sharp, in addressing the gathered racers prior to the green flag. Sharp, who performed the Star Spangled Banner Sunday, has been in remission from cancer since 1991.

Along with racing, a pit-stop challenge was held in the massive building that once housed minor league ice hockey. Raffles and a silent auction also helped secure funds from the curious spectators that made the trip to RPM on a rainy Sunday afternoon. RPM proprietor Brent Webb generously donated his winning silent auction bid on a Dale Earnhardt Jr. replica helmet to a Make-A-Wish grantee.

Championship-level pro racers were the stars of the indoor kart racing on two different tracks. Jason Meyers, Jimmy Sills, Jerry Nadeau, Jason Fensler, Gary Ormsby Jr., Jim Inglebright, Audra Sasselli, Brad Galedrige, just to name a few, were sporting smiles as they left the track. The winning team was captained by Robert Ballou, a sprint car driver from Rocklin, CA. The teams of Kyle Hirst, and Brad Sweet were second and third respectively.

Also participating were Mike Murgoitio, Jenna Frazier, Kyle Larson, Nicole Miller, Greg DeCaires, Mike Henry, Benny Moon, Joey Hand, Darrin Bolton, Peter Hernandez, Jerry Kobza, Jessica Helberg, and Byron Gonzales. Paid participants received a catered lunch, an event T-shirt, and either a helmet bag or backpack. They also had their team pictures taken with the Umbrella Girls.

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Series Charity , USAC
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jerry Nadeau , Joey Hand , Jim Inglebright , Jason Meyers , Gary Ormsby Jr. , Jimmy Sills , Mike Murgoitio , Brad Sweet , Tony Hunt , Kyle Larson , Kyle Hirst