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Posted by: NHRA.com staff
Since 2009, Morgan and Katie Lucas have shared the same goal of honoring their dear friend Eric Medlen while helping children at Peyton Manning's Children Hospital at St. Vincent. The tradition continues this year with the sixth annual Eric Medlen Memorial Golf Tournament this Thursday, Aug. 28, at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Indianapolis. The online auction (here) has already began and will last until midnight on the day the Chevrolet Performance Mac Tools U.S. Nationals concludes on Monday, Sept. 2.

"There's some cool stuff on there," said Lucas. "We have autographed firesuits, a replica Wally from our Seattle win last year, the driver's-side door panel from Antron Brown's pink Susan G. Kolman Top Fuel dragster that he ran last year, Kenny Bernstein and Brad Keselowski memorabilia, and other cool, eclectic stuff that racing fans would enjoy but can't necessarily get anywhere."

Medlen, who passed away after a testing accident, was known for being a genuine person with a love for helping others, especially children.
 
"The world lost a great racer that day but more importantly it lost a truly great individual," said Lucas. "Eric had a love for kids that surpassed most. He had a passion for helping children in any way, whenever he could. Because of this, all the money we've raised with our golf tournament goes towards a place very close to our hearts."
 
With the tournament in its sixth successful year, many special projects have been completed for the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, including a special MRI room dedicated in Medlen's honor this past April by the Lucas family.

"Katie and I had a firsthand experience with Peyton Manning Children's Hospital last December when our newborn son Hunter was admitted," Lucas said. "The doctors, nurses, and staff members were incredible during such a frightening time for our family.

"We are very blessed to have such a great facility in our community. Hopefully with everyone's help we can help the hospital continue to grow."   
 
The Eric Medlen Memorial Golf tournament kicks off with registration, pictures, raffles, and silent auction at 8 a.m. Tournament play will start at 9:30 a.m. with cocktails and h'ordeuvres, awards, live auction, and putting contests finals at 3:30 p.m.
 
To register for the memorial golf tournament or for more information on how to donate, visit www.ericmedlenmemorial.com.

Posted by: NHRA.com staff

Fans attending the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend can participate in a live and silent auction of drag racing collectibles and unique items that will raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

The auction hosted by the Andrea Pedregon Charity Foundation "A Spark of Hope" (APCF) will be held in two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon's pit and hospitality area following the last pro qualifying session on Sunday, August 31. All fans are welcome to attend and bid on their favorite items including team apparel, helmets, car parts and more. Anticipated start time is approximately 5 p.m.

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Steve Johnson will bring his big personality as celebrity auctioneer for the live auction. 2012 "Hoosier Rock Idol" Matthew Hurt will perform for fans.

One hundred percent of the auction's proceeds will go to the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis for pediatric cancer research. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children after accidents. More than 10,000 kids under age 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year.

 APCF has been raising awareness and funds for cancer research, among other causes, since founded by Andrea Pedregon in 2010. With a donation of $50,000 in 2013 for colon and prostate cancer research efforts, Pedregon's non-profit organization has raised more than $140,000 to benefit melanoma, children's cancer, and colon and prostate cancer research at IU Simon Cancer Center.

The fundraiser at last year's U.S. Nationals netted $26,000. APCF will gratefully accept unique items and donations for the auction through August 30. Contact Andrea Pedregon or call 317-858-9300.

 

Posted by: NHRA.com staff

Antron Brown and Don Schumacher Racing's Matco Tools Top Fuel team will again race for a cause more important than NHRA Wally trophies this October, helping raise awareness and funds for Susan G. Komen during national breast cancer awareness month.

Building on the momentum of the Matco Tools "Tools for the Cause" program that has raised more than $425,000 for Komen, funding breast cancer research and lifesaving community programs, Matco will launch the "I Drive For" and #IDriveFor social media campaign through Sept. 15.

Brown's Matco Tools dragster will again feature a special pink paint scheme during NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events at Reading, Pa., and Las Vegas events in October but with a unique twist. Those that have fought or are fighting breast cancer can share their stories on Matco Tools' Facebook (facebook.com/MatcoTools) and Twitter (twitter.com/MatcoTools) pages and add the name of a loved one to ride along on Brown's 320-mph dragster.

Brown will drive for his mother-in-law, Linda Matranga, a breast cancer survivor, as "I Drive For... Linda" will adorn his firesuit and side of his race car. Matco will accept name submissions through Sept. 15.

"October is a very important month to our series because it's right in the middle of our Countdown (to the Championship) playoff, but October means even more to our Matco Tools team here at DSR," Brown said. "My wife's mother is a breast cancer survivor and this disease has affected our family as it has many others.

"I'm excited for the 'I Drive For' campaign to drive for Linda, and to drive for all those touched by this disease. I hope we receive thousands of names that will ride on our pink Matco Tools dragster and we can continue to drive awareness for such a great cause."

The Matco Tools for the Cause program is focused on raising money to aid in the fight against breast cancer. When Matco customers purchase limited edition pink tools, Matco donates 15 percent of the sale to Komen with a guaranteed minimum donation of $100,000.

"This is a partnership that everyone in our company is very proud of and has strongly supported from the very beginning," Matco Tools president Tim Gilmore said. "We have worked with Komen for nearly two years and being able to contribute to an organization that supports such a great cause means a lot to our distributors, employees and our customers."

Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel team first adorned the pink Komen colors during October 2012 when he set the NHRA elapsed time national record at 3.701-seconds at Maple Grove Raceway at Reading. The record lap helped vault Brown to the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world championship.

Last October, Brown put his Matco "Tools for the Cause" dragster in the winner's circle at the fall race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 

Pro Stock Racer Cunningham DiesTuesday, August 19, 2014
Posted by: NHRA.com staff

Jim Cunningham, who made his mark on drag racing as a racer, team owner, and track operator, died Aug. 19 following a battle with cancer. He was 76. 

Although his core business was a sand and gravel company, Cunningham had several successful drag racing ventures. He was the longtime owner of Capitol Raceway in Maryland and later made a name for himself in Pro Stock, both as a driver and a team owner.

A longtime Ford loyalist, Cunningham has been lauded for the key role he played in helping to facilitate the return of the Ford Mustang to Pro Stock competition after a lengthy absence. Cunningham not only drove his own Pro Stock cars sporadically between 1990 and 2010, but he also launched his own engine-building program based around the Ford engine. His dedication to the sport was admirable; he followed a long string of DNQs with his first qualifying performance at the 2010 Seattle race.

During his stint as a team owner, Cunningham helped launch and further the careers of Erica Enders-Stevens, Grace Howell, 10-time Pro Stock champion Bob Glidden, two-time champion Jim Yates, and most recently, past Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals finalist Lewis Worden.  

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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