Jeff Morton and Detroit Red Wings' Darren McCarty Team Up for Cancer Research and Barber Dodge Pro Series Race DETROIT (Aug. 4) - Barber Dodge Pro Series driver Jeff Morton of Detroit, will be racing for more than just points and prize money...
Jeff Morton and Detroit Red Wings' Darren McCarty Team Up for Cancer Research and Barber Dodge Pro Series Race
DETROIT (Aug. 4) - Barber Dodge Pro Series driver Jeff Morton of Detroit, will be racing for more than just points and prize money in his 1999 debut at the Tenneco Automotive Detroit Grand Prix. Morton will feature the logo of the Darren McCarty Cancer Foundation on his black Reynard Dodge. The foundation, named for the two-time Stanley Cup-winning Detroit Red Wings right wing, will bring a new message to the racing community.
"I'm involved with the McCarty Cancer Foundation. They'll be on my car for the race with the Red Wings logo. We're having fundraisers and taking pledges from corporations for each lap I complete in the race," Morton said. "We're planning on raising about $25,000 which will include signing posters and a silent auction. We've got T-shirts made up and have already had a lot of support from local businesses."
Morton, a 38-year-old native of Southfield, Mich., will drive in Sunday morning's 40-minute timed Barber Dodge Pro Series race Presented by the Detroit Free Press. Barber Dodge is internationally recognized as one of the top developmental series for open wheel racers. The drivers pilot sleek carbon-fiber Reynard chassis powered with a 3.2-liter Dodge Intrepid engine and equipped with Michelin Pilot SX racing slicks.
It will be the first outing for Morton, who raced with CART Champ Car star Patrick Carpentier during his amateur career, in the Reynard Dodge and first Barber Pro Series start since 1994. Morton says the association with McCarty is natural.
"It's coming from my heart. My mom died of cancer when I was 13, and Darren's dad has cancer," Morton explained. "When I was 13, I couldn't do anything about it. Now, I'm in a position where I can. Everybody can relate to it. We all know somebody who had cancer or are related to somebody who has died of cancer. Our theme is 'Racing Into the Millennium to Find a Cure for Cancer'."
McCarty is expected to visit the Barber Dodge Pro Series paddock during "Free Friday" at the Belle Isle circuit. Red Wings teammates Kris Draper and Chris Chelios, Dallas Stars defenseman Derian Hatcher and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kevin Hatcher might also check in over the course of the race weekend. A number of other NHL stars, including Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman and Dallas Stars goaltender Ed Belfour, donated items for the silent auction.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series race will be held at 8:15 a.m. Sunday. Morton hopes to continue the momentum and charitable program next year.
"A couple of the sponsors I picked up are talking about doing it next season in every city," Morton said. "We've put this together in two and a half weeks and the response has been phenomenal."
For further information about the project, or to make a pledge to Morton's fund-raising effort, stop by the Barber Dodge Pro Series paddock or call 810-309-3579.