Antron Brown will take part in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pro/Celebrity race April 17 that is a prelude to the following day's IndyCar race on the 1.97-mile street course in downtown Long Beach, Calif.
Brown and 17 other participants will race in 210-horsepower Scion FR-S race-prepped cars, navigating high speeds and demanding turns to benefit Racing for Kids, a national fundraising program supporting children's hospitals throughout the United States.
The announced field of intensely competitive personalities includes actors Alfonso Ribeiro, Robert Patrick, and Mekhi Phifer; former NFL and Olympic athlete Willie Gault; Olympian Dara Torres; and musicians Mark McGrath and John Rzeznik.
Brown will be in the Pro division, which will start 30 seconds behind the others.
Kangaroo Express, the leading independently operated convenience store retailer in the southeastern United States, will be part of the Jim Dunn Racing/ALO Drink Funny Car team this weekend at the 2015 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.
“We want to welcome Kangaroo Express to the Jim Dunn Racing family and thank them for their support,” said team manager, Jon Dunn. “Throughout the years, we’ve come to count on Kangaroo Express Stores for their great customer service. It’s a great place to stop and shop when travelling on the road.”
Jim Dunn Racing primary sponsor, ALO Drink, can be found in more than 700 Kangaroo Express convenience stores in North Carolina alone. Fans will be able to pick up coupons to buy ALO Drink at their local Kangaroo Express when they stop by the Jim Dunn Racing pit this weekend.
In advance of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, three John Force Racing Funny Car drivers attended the Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Calif.
The trio -- John Force; Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Chevy; and Courtney Force, Traxxas Chevy Funny Car driver -- participated in a stage show for sponsor Automobile Club of Southern California and they also mingled with drivers and sponsors on the starting grid before the race began including Peak sponsored driver Clint Bowyer.
“We are headed back to NASCAR country this weekend and it was great to see some NASCAR drivers and spend time with their fans. One of the cool things I saw was the people with signs that that said ‘Thanks Jeff!’ which as a great show of respect for Jeff Gordon. I got to spend the most time with Clint Bowyer and our boss Bryan Emrich, the chief marketing officer Old World Industries,” added Force.
Nearly 40 race fans mingled with stars from the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on Saturday and helped support a great cause at the 13th annual NHRA Tour de Charity at the Sonoma Raceway Karting Center.
The charity event, which pitted race fans against NHRA racers for a day of karting on the raceway’s challenging course, raised $11,050 for Speedway Children’s Charities, bringing the 13-year total for the event to more than $141,000.
"This is my first time out here and I’m hoping to at least beat my husband or else it's going to be a long ride home," said Jenny Hamilton of Livermore. "I grew up going to the Boys and Girls Club in Sonoma and I wanted to support Speedway Children’s Charities because of their continued support of the Boys and Girls Club all these years."
Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, raises funds for distribution to qualified youth organizations in Sonoma County. The charity has distributed more than $4.8 million since 2001.
NHRA Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman (Infinite Hero Dodge Charger) and Ron Capps (NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger) as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Scotty Pollacheck (Petrolhead Buell) traded paint and rubbed elbows with fans.
"Often, when you're doing some productive it's not fun, and when you're doing something fun, it's not productive," said Beckman. "That's not the case here. This is a time, where we as drivers get to take time out to interact with fans and race these amazing go karts. The best thing is it all goes to charity."
For the second consecutive year, Capps took King of the Track honors among the NHRA racers, turning the best lap over the 16-turn, three-quarter mile circuit at 1 minute, 6.565 seconds. Capps holds the record for most King of the Track honors, taking the title eight times (2003, 2005-2007, 2010-2011, 2014-2015). Other winners have included Top Fuel drivers Cory McClenathan (2004), David Baca (2009), Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Guidera (2008), Beckman (2012) and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Adam Arana (2013).
Race fans also competed in a 12-lap race at the end of the day, with Elk Grove’s Milas Mills taking top honors for the third year in a row with a time of 1 minute, 3.205 seconds.
The Simraceway Performance Driving Center provided the karts, race suits, classroom instruction and on-track pointers for all competitors. The NHRA racers also signed autographs and donated memorabilia for gifts bags for each participant.