CITGO / MDA Racing Team Welcomes Special Guests at Mid-Ohio Lexington, OH (August 27, 2005) . The ...
CITGO / MDA Racing Team Welcomes Special Guests at Mid-Ohio
Lexington, OH (August 27, 2005) . The #2 CITGO / MDA Racing Team welcomed several special guests at the Mid-Ohio Road Racing Course this weekend for the running of the EMCO Gears Classic Rolex Sports Car Series race. Along with the local guests from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, two firemen from Columbia, South Carolina traveled with the team as honorary crewmembers for the event.
The EMCO Gears Classic was the third consecutive race that the CITGO Racing Team has displayed a special paint scheme on their Pontiac Crawford celebrating their association with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. CITGO has been associated with MDA for twenty years and has raised over $70 million for their programs and research. The CITGO / MDA Pontiac Crawford previously ran at Barber Motorsports Park and Watkins Glen International.
Bailey Dull from Ashland, Ohio attended the race with his family as guests of the CITGO / MDA Racing team. Bailey, four years old, has Duchenne MD and was making his first ever visit to the Mid-Ohio track and to a Rolex Series event. Bailey was greeted by the drivers and team members of the #2 CITGO Racing Team and given a pit and garage tour by Grand American Road Racing officials. Bailey and his family enjoyed the race from the CITGO hospitality area with other CITGO guests.
Although Bailey Dull really enjoyed attending his first Rolex Series event, probably the two most excited guests for this race were Alan Axson and Robert Joyner. Alan and Robert are firemen from Columbia, South Carolina who attended the EMCO Gears Classic as honorary crewmembers of the CITGO / MDA Racing Team. Howard-Boss Motorsports donated an "honorary pit crew member" opportunity for two at the Muscle Team '05 Charity Fundraiser in Charlotte, North Carolina in mid-May. The highest bidder received an expense paid trip to a Rolex Series race and the opportunity to serve as "honorary crewmembers" for the weekend. Alan and Robert placed the winning bid and selected the Mid-Ohio race to attend. The firemen flew with several members of the crew to Ohio, stayed and worked with the team throughout the weekend. In fact, Alan and Robert worked during the race with the Howard- Boss Motorsports #4 BOSS Pontiac Crawford Team that won the EMCO Gears Classic.
"We're one-for one", Alan commented after the event. "To have this opportunity was absolutely wonderful. I know one thing, we didn't pay near what this opportunity was worth. The drivers, crew, and everyone associated with Howard-Boss Motorsports made us feel welcome and truly a part of this team. And, to be a part of the winning team was really exciting. We'll be bidding for this opportunity again next year for sure."
"Alan and I are both race fans, but this has been a chance of a lifetime for us," Robert added. "We are very involved with MDA with our fellow firemen in Columbia, and attend the CITGO / MDA Muscle Team charity fundraiser at Charlotte each year. We've been friends with Jeff Burton (NASCAR driver and MDA supporter) for several years. When we saw this item at the auction, we made sure we were standing close by so that our bid would be the highest. The money goes for such a great cause. My thanks to the Howard-Boss Motorsports Team for their involvement with MDA and making this opportunity possible."
While Alan and Robert were working as crewmembers for Howard-Boss Motorsports in Ohio, their fellow firemen were conducting their annual "boot campaign" for MDA in the greater Columbia area. Alan mentioned that there are 29 fire stations and over 425 firemen participating in the three- day event where firemen stand at intersections collecting money for MDA. Alan stated that early reports indicated that over $130,000 would be raised during this fundraiser this weekend by the Columbia firemen.
Unfortunately, the #2 CITGO / MDA Pontiac Crawford was involved in an early- race accident that ended their race after only fourteen laps. However, the smiles on the face of Bailey Dull and his family, together with the excitement enjoyed by Alan Axson and Robert Joyner, made the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Road Racing Course a truly memorable weekend for Howard-Boss Motorsports and the CITGO / MDA Racing Team.