Belle Isle, Mich., (June 17, 2000) --The first of two PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki races took place here today in conjunction with the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. The race between 24 of Detroit's community ...
Belle Isle, Mich., (June 17, 2000) --The first of two PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki races took place here today in conjunction with the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. The race between 24 of Detroit's community leaders and media personalities featured plenty of action, many passes and a few spins. Polesitter Bob Stander, vice president and general manager North America Interiors, Johnson Controls, Inc., defending champion from 1999, was able to perpetuate his winning streak, leading from flag-to-flag to make it three in a row on the Detroit street circuit. "The race today was really exciting for me," said Stander. "Doug (Peterson) was right there with me like last year. It was touch and go with Doug for couple of laps. We had a good battle. I want to thank Dodge, PPG and Yazaki for making this possible and especially the folks at PAL (Detroit Police Athletic League). We're glad to be involved with such a fine organization. It was very exciting to lead from the pole. Racing in identically prepared Neons really gives everyone an equal chance. It's a great car." The second-place finisher of race one of the Neon Charity Challenge was Doug Peterson, president of 3-Dimensional Services. "I wasn't laying back at all," said Peterson. "Bob was really smooth. I was hustling behind him waiting for him to make a mistake, but he didn't. I was happy with second. We have another race tomorrow and I wanted to have a car for that. I am predicting a win tomorrow. Coming up through the field tomorrow will make the racing very interesting. I got squirrelly a few times but it was a good race. The Neon cars are excellent and this is an excellent program." Rounding out the podium finishers was Jimmy Verrett, director, creative marketing, Royal Crown Co., Inc. in third position. "The great thing about racing from my point of view was that there was lots of passing going on and guys spinning," said Verrett. "There was plenty of good racing. My bumper got bumped a couple of times, but that's what bumpers are for. It was a lot of fun coming up from sixth to third position. Last year I lost two side mirrors and pancaked the side of the car, so this was a big accomplishment for me this year. I was more settled down this race than last year. Concentration was the big issue for me. I think the great thing about having equally prepared cars like the Neons is that someone without a lot of experience can concentrate on the driving, not watching your mirrors and what was taught at the (driving) school, and do well." The 30-minute race was safe, with green flag conditions throughout the event. A few local-course yellows were displayed when W. J. (Bill) Sharp, president, NA Tire, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., went out on lap two with mechanical problems, and Jeff Childress, president-Americas/Far East, Harman-Motive, Inc. was out on lap eight after kissing the Turn One wall and suffering sheet metal damage. Robert Kleinman, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, was moving through the field when he spun and rear-ended the Turn Three tire wall. The impact caused the orange netting to become hooked to the rear bumper -- which remained attached throughout the balance of the race, waving like a banner behind an airplane. Tony Domiano, Jr., president, Tony Domiano Auto Dealerships, and Johnny Edwards, Planet 96.3 FM sponsored by Nabisco, battled throughout the race for position and bragging rights in Detroit. Edwards gained the most positions in the field -- starting 12th and taking the checkered flag in the fifth slot. Victory celebrations included Detroit's Mayor Dennis Archer, who handed out trophies and presented a check for $380,000 to the Detroit Police Athletic League on behalf of the PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki fundraising efforts this weekend. The success of the PPG Neon Charity Challenge Presented by Yazaki series continues as nearly $1.4 million has now been donated to the PAL charity since 1997.
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Neon Charity Challenge - Detroit Race Two