Jackson Lombardo Racing is determined to make this year’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals a race to remember, and not just for driver John Lombardo Jr. and the NAPA Batteries/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car Team. This time around, they are sharing the experience with a very special group of young burn survivors from Hoosier Burn Camp of Indiana.
Hoosier Burn Camp is a nonprofit organization committed to providing life-changing experiences for young people who have suffered the physical and emotional trauma associated with a severe burn injury. Their annual summer camp and monthly events create experiences for burn survivors where they can be “just one of the kids”™ in a safe and supportive environment.
On Saturday, Sept. 5, Hoosier Burn Camp kids will kick off an action-packed day at the greatest NHRA drag race of all in the pit area of Lombardo Jr. The kids will experience the 260-plus-mph NAPA Batteries/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car up close as the team prepares for the day of competition.
Lombardo Jr., along with JEGS Pro Mod competitor Troy Coughlin Jr., Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car driver John Hale, and Ray Skillman Auto Sales Pro Stock racer Drew Skillman will be among the drivers on hand to spend time with the children answering questions and signing autographs. The Day at the Races for these young heroes doesn't end there – Nitro Fuel, the mascot of the Indy Fuel hockey team, will make a special appearance, and each child will receive a special gift bag put together through the generous contributions of NHRA, JEGS, Lucas Oil, Tony Stewart Racing, Comp Cams, Crower, Mahle, The Dent Specialist, and Seals Ambulance Service.
With additional support from Coca Cola, Ray Skillman Automotive Group, Texas Roadhouse, Park Tudor, Clines Hillcrest Storage, Arvada Excavating, J&E Tire Center, Subway, NAPA Auto Parts, A Westside Storage, and White Oak Construction, Jackson Lombardo Racing will also make a cash donation to Hoosier Burn Camp to be used for future events to empower these brave survivors.
"How do you make the U.S. Nationals – the largest and most prestigious NHRA drag race of the year – even more special? You share it with a group of kids that have overcome challenges most of us can't fathom," said Lombardo Jr., two-time Top Alcohol Funny Car division/region champion and 12-time combined event winner. "Saturday at the Big Go, we look forward to welcoming families from the Hoosier Burn Camp of Indiana and sharing our passion for drag racing with them. It means a lot to us that we will have the opportunity to spend the day with some great families, and we hope they enjoy it. We're thankful that they have chosen to join us and can't wait for this day."
For more information on Hoosier Burn Camp, please visit: hoosierburncamp.org. For more information about this event, contact Jackson Lombardo Racing representative LuAnn Bishop via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fans attending the Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals will be can home some special souvenirs of the 61st running of the event, in the form of drag racing artist Kenny Youngblood’s personalized drawings.
Guests get to choose a design depicting their favorite Toyota driver, including Shawn Langdon, Chad Head, Antron Brown, Alexis DeJoria, Richie Crampton, Del Worsham, and Tony and Cruz Pedregon, with Youngblood adding the finishing touches.
“The Blood” will be customizing and giving away his artwork all weekend long, at the Toyota Racing display on the Manufacturers Midway. Fans can also have their photo taken in the Kentucky Thunder Funny Car and check out the latest offering from Toyota.
Former Funny Car team owner Funny Car Nick Boninfante Sr. passed away Wednesday, August 19, from heart disease.
Boninfante, often referred to as “Nitro Nick,” was a major player in east coast Funny Car match racing in the 1970s with his famous U.S. Male entries. He went on to field the 1989 IHRA championship winning Funny Car driven by R.C. Sherman.
Boninfante was also active in the manufacturing community starting with Ray-Nic cylinder heads in 1976, the first solid aluminum Chevrolet heads on the market. He later founded Boninfante Friction in 1989, and grew the company into one of the leading suppliers of clutch products.
Surviving are his three children, daughter Jodi and sons Nicky, and Rob. Boninfante was widowed; his wife, Charlotte, passed away August 12, 2013.
Race weekend at the NHRA Sonoma kicked off Thursday night at the 9th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night dinner at the Bay Club Stone Tree in Novato. All proceeds from the evening, which raised more than $32,250, benefit Sonoma County youth groups through the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities in Medlen’s name.
A number of popular NHRA personalities highlighted the evening, including Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Richie Crampton, Larry Dixon, Brittany Force, Courtney Force, Ashley Force Hood, Scotty Pollacheck and J.R. Todd. More than 100 attendees turned out for the dinner, including Medlen’s mother, Mimi, and his father, John.
Highlights of the evening included a wine and hors d’ oeuvres reception sponsored by First Republic Bank, a Texas Hold’em-style charity poker tournament, presented by McDonald’s/Costa Organization. The evening closed out with a live auction for a custom, engraved wine bottle and a hand-painted picture of Eric Medlen, which generated a total of $10,000.