NHRA Tour de Charity report

Race Fans, NHRA Drivers Raise $14,000 at Sold-Out Charity Karting Event in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. (March 8, 2008) -- Forty lucky race fans not only got to mingle with top stars from the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series on Saturday, but they also...

Race Fans, NHRA Drivers Raise $14,000 at Sold-Out Charity Karting Event in Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. (March 8, 2008) -- Forty lucky race fans not only got to mingle with top stars from the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series on Saturday, but they also supported a great cause at the sold-out 6th annual NHRA Tour de Charity at the Infineon Raceway Karting Center.

The event, which coupled race fans with top NHRA drivers for a day of karting on the raceway's challenging course, raised $14,000 for Speedway Children's Charities, bringing the six-year total for the event to more than $64,000. More than 200 people overall attended the event.

Speedway Children's Charities is the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway, with all proceeds raised during the year benefiting qualified youth organizations in Sonoma County. The charity has distributed more than $2.6 million since 2002.

Star NHRA drivers Rod Fuller (Caterpillar Top Fuel Dragster), Cory McClenathan (FRAM Top Fuel Dragster) and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Guidera (Mohegan Sun Buell Pro Stock Motorcycle) swapped paint with the fans over the challenging road course.

"It's been fantastic. I'm donating to the charity and at the same time I've having the time of my life. It doesn't better than that," said Santa Rosa resident Matt Maroevich, who participated in the event for the third time. "The speeds of the karts is the biggest surprise. This isn't like karting at an amusement park. This is serious racing."

Guidera, a resident of Loomis (outside Sacramento), took King of the Track honors among the NHRA drivers, turning the best lap over the 16-turn, three-quarter mile circuit at 55.407 seconds. Ron Capps has won King of the Track honors four times, with McClenathan winning the honor in 2004.

"I've gotten better since I came to this event last year," said Guidera. "This was a great time and I'm glad we raised this much money for the charity."

"We don't have many weekends off but when we do it's great to help such a great cause like Speedway Children's Charities," Fuller said. "It's also a great opportunity to hang out with a lot of the fans and meet them on a personal level. It's laid back and we're having fun. Plus, they're giving me tips on driving these karts. I haven't been in one in a long time."

The Jim Russell Racing Drivers School provided the karts, racesuits, classroom instruction and on-track pointers for all competitors. NHRA drivers were coupled with race fans during the day of racing, and they also signed autographs and donated memorabilia for a raffle.

"I've been to this event five of the six years and it gets better each time," McClenathan said. "Infineon Raceway does such a great job and I love helping out the charity. It's a great cause."

Race fans also had their own private 10-lap feature race at the end of the day, with Roseville's Ron Perkins taking top honors at 55.955.

-credit: infineon raceway

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Series Charity
Drivers Ron Capps , Rod Fuller