Ginger Herbert, the reigning Mrs. Virginia 2013 and wife of NHRA Top Fuel racer Doug Herbert, will be representing her home state of Virginia and her charity platform, B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe), when she travels to Las Vegas July 27-31 to compete in the Mrs. United States Pageant.
Her impressive résumé of personal and professional achievements includes a doctorate degree, which has resulted in her lifelong devotion to nutrition and health on both the corporate level and in the private sector. As founder and CEO of Dr. Ginger LLC, she has developed innovative and unique programs for reversing disease while teaching effective methods of acquiring and maintaining exceptional health.
As Herbert’s wife, she has become a tireless advocate and board member for B.R.A.K.E.S., the nonprofit 501(c) organization founded by her husband in 2008 following the tragic loss of his two sons, Jon and James, in a devastating traffic accident near the Herberts’ home. B.R.A.K.E.S. provides its nationally acclaimed Teen Pro-Active Driving School to young drivers — free of charge — which teaches more confident and conscientious driving skills to teenagers between 15 and 19.
“This is such an exciting opportunity for me,” she said. “To be representing the Commonwealth of Virginia and B.R.A.K.E.S. simultaneously on the national stage is such a satisfying and fulfilling experience. Obviously, I want to promote how special the people and places within Virginia are and why I’m so proud of my home state, but it’s also important to let people across the country know what B.R.A.K.E.S. is doing to help save the lives of so many young drivers who attend the Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools.”
For more information on the 2013 Mrs. United States Pageant, log on to www.mrsunitedstates.com/.
For more information on B.R.A.K.E.S. or to make a tax-deductible donation, log on to www.putonthebrakes.com/.
Transport drivers of the NHRA are set to resume their run in the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge in Bristol.
After a record-breaking turnout for their previous event in Charlotte, NHRA drivers will continue to make the most of their first year competing in the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge. The field will attempt to dethrone Keith Smith of Cagnazzi Racing, who won the first chicane in Charlotte by posting the day’s lone perfect score.
Following his victory, Smith was celebrated by the Cagnazzi Racing organization. “They got this plaque in a nice frame congratulating me,” said Smith. “The owners and everyone in the shop had set it up for me before I came in to work one day. It really humbled me that they would do that!”
Jubilation of this nature is precisely the sort of reaction that Pilot Flying J hoped for, expanding the Truck Driver Challenge to include the NHRA. The chicane in Bristol will be the second of three chicanes in 2013, holding big championship implications for the field. Competitors will vie for a top prize of $1,000 for the day and will keep their sights on the $30,000 grand prize that will go to this year’s NHRA champion of the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge.
NHRA chicane No. 2 will be held Thursday at the Bristol Mall from noon to 5 p.m.
For more information, log on to PFJTruckChallenge.com.
Walt Arfons, who with his younger brother, Art, revolutionized the sport in the late 1950s and early 1960s with their line of aircraft-engine Green Monster dragsters and later jet-powered machines, died June 4 of pneumonia at a hospital in Akron, Ohio. He was 96.
The Arfons brothers’ skills were not limited to the dragstrip; they often were front-runners in the battle for the land-speed record in the 1960s. Art, who died in 2007, held three land-speed records and at times overshadowed his brother. Sometimes, their relationship became strained by the competition, leading to years-long estrangements while each carried on in his own efforts.
The first Green Monster name was bestowed upon their first car, a three-wheel, Olds six-cylinder-powered machine, rather derisively by a track announcer. The car had been painted using leftover tractor paint, and track announcer Ed Piasczik laughingly said, "OK, folks, here it comes: the Green Monster," and it stuck to all Arfons' creations.
Green Monster #5 is perhaps their best-remembered drag car. Built early in 1955 at their shop on Pickle Road in Akron, the car appeared at the first NHRA Nationals in Great Bend, Kan., in 1955 powered by a Ranger aircraft engine mounted upside down and backward, which was replaced the next year by a 1,710-cid Allison aircraft engine that ran 157.89 mph in 1957 during the ITA event in Chester, S.C.
Arfons is survived by his wife of 75 years, Gertrude; children, Patricia Stiff and W. Terry Arfons; a sister; eight grandchildren; and 19 great-grandchildren.
The Coughlin family and JEGS Automotive — driven by patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr. and sons John, Troy, Mike, and Jeg Jr. — recently announced a $10 million gift to support The Ohio State University’s Project One campaign.
The gift to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) comes from the JEGS Foundation, the family foundation that the Coughlins started a decade ago to steer the family’s successes from business and race winnings toward one goal: to end cancer. Since then, it has donated $15 million to the cause, including funding the Jeg Coughlin Chair in Cancer Research at OSUCCC – James, currently held by Maura Gillison, M.D., Ph.D.
The pledge will forever name the new lobby space and research library of one of the most renowned cancer hospitals in the world.
The foundation’s unique logo — a ribbon bearing the black and white checkered motif of a race car flag, filled in with colors representing various cancer-awareness programs — adorns the team's race cars that are driven in the NHRA and Champion Racing Association competitions and boast nearly 100 major wins.
Fans are drawn to the family’s very public commitment to the cause, often sharing their own cancer stories. Says Jeg Jr., “You don’t have to look too far to find someone who has been affected personally or has been a caregiver.” In fact, the family is so well-known for supporting cancer research that rival race teams have occasionally matched the JEGS Foundation’s gifts to OSUCCC – James.