Forty lucky race fans not only got to mingle with top stars from the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series recently, but they also supported a great cause at the sold-out 5th 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 $13,000 for Speedway Children’s Charities, bringing the five-year total for the event to more than $50,000.
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.
Star NHRA drivers Ron Capps (Brut Dodge Funny Car), Cory McClenathan (Carrier Boyz FRAM Boost Top Fuel Dragster), Gary Scelzi (Mopar/Oakley Dodge Funny Car) and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Guidera (Rocklin Harley-Davidson Buell) swapped paint with the fans over the challenging road course.
Capps took bragging rights among the NHRA drivers, turning the best lap over the 16-turn, three-quarter mile circuit at 55.006 seconds. He was followed by Guidera (55.377), McClenathan (56.009) and Scelzi (56.125). Capps has been dubbed King of the Track four of the event’s five years, with McClenathan taking the honor in 2004.
“This is one of my favorite events of the year,” Capps said. “We get to hang out with the fans, race karts and it all benefits Speedway Children’s Charities. It’s a win-win for everyone. I’ll definitely be back.”
Race fan Nancee March, from El Dorado Hills, had a great time at the event.
“This is a great way to help out the charity, and we’re also having a lot of fun,” March said. “This is a beautiful course and I’ve had a great time out here racing today.”
Added race fan Sean Humphrey, from Rohnert Park: “This is my fourth year coming out here and I love it. It’s not something I get to do on an every-day basis.”
The Jim Russell Racing Schools and Infinity Karting 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’ll keep coming every year if they’ll have me,” McClenathan said. “I always look forward to this and it gets better and better each year.”
Race fans also had their own private 10-lap feature race at the end of the day, with Windsor’s Jaime Faulkner taking top honors at 54.788.