DETROIT (Feb. 17, 2000) - The relationship between the Dayton Indy Lights Championship and Racing for Kids® (RFK), a motorsports-based fund-raising organization dedicated to the health care needs of children, will continue with the biggest program to date in 2000, officials of both organizations confirmed today.
For the first time, the popular Racing for Kids® Driver Performance Awards program will be conducted at each of the 12 Dayton Indy Lights Championship races on the 2000 schedule. Participating drivers will compete for a $500 bonus at each race while an additional $1,500 will be presented to a local children's hospital in the winning driver's name. The driver accumulating the most RFK Awards points throughout the season will earn $1,000 with $5,000 presented to a children's hospital in his honor.
This is the fifth straight season for the RFK Awards program which has been conducted at no more than half of the races in previous seasons. Previous RFK champions have included Gualter Salles (1996), Cristiano da Matta (1998) and Didier Andre, who captured the honor the last two seasons. "Racing for Kids is one of the most familiar and high-profile programs in which we are fortunate to be involved," said Indy Lights President Roger Bailey. "Through the current Racing for Kids Driver Performance Award program and the various hospital visits in which our teams and drivers have participated, Racing for Kids® has always been one of our valued partners. We look forward to working with them not only in 2000, but for many years to come."
The Indy Lights and Racing for Kids® program will also include driver visits to children's hospitals at each venue, a long-standing RFK tradition. Led by 1992 Indy Lights champion and RFK national spokesperson Robbie Buhl, Indy Lights drivers have visited children's hospitals on behalf of the organization for more than a decade.
Eligible drivers in the 2000 Driver Performance Awards program will carry the RFK logo on their race cars and will be called on to participate in a Children's Hospital visit at one of the venues.
Established in 1989, Racing for Kids® is a non-profit organization that brings public attention and funding to the health care needs of children around the country through the popularity of motorsports. Buhl leads a strong lineup of motorsports personalities that support the program. Other RFK team members include Chris Menninga, a current Indy Lights driver; Barry Waddell, a Skip Barber Racing School instructor and professional auto racer; Will Davis, a rider on the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Grand National dirt track series; and Terry Hundertmark, a former pro jet ski champion and qualifier for the new Women's Global GT auto racing series. Since its inception, Racing for Kids® has visited with over 9,000 youngsters in more than 130 children's hospitals in the United States, Canada and Australia. It has also raised nearly $1.2-million for the hospitals it has visited. It is a major beneficiary of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and is also supported by worldwide life science organization Aventis and Benson Ford, Jr., great grandson of Ford Motor founder Henry Ford and driver in the Skip Barber Masters Series.