Johnny Gray, wife Terry, and sister Terry Chandler to donate power wheelchairs to kids and raise funds
BRISTOL, Tenn. - Johnny and Terry Gray, and Johnny’s sister, Terry Chandler, announced Friday at Bristol Dragway that the Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car they are sponsoring this season through the family’s Pitch Energy business will have a different look at four upcoming NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events.
Their Dodge Charger R/T, which has won a series-best three Funny Car titles and is ranked second in the points standings, will be devoted to raising awareness and funds for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s effort to find a cure for children’s cancer, and the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, which offers support for people with paralysis and works to prevent spinal cord injuries.
Johnny, 60, has said this will be his last season competing full-time in NHRA racing. His family is sponsoring his Funny Car team to honor their family patriarch, John R. Gray, a legendary New Mexico oilman who was 71 when he died on Oct. 28, 2001.
“You know, three years ago I was introduced to Alex’s Lemonade Stand by TBC Retail Group, and since that introduction, I have found great pleasure in being able to bring awareness through our race program to such a great organization,” said Gray.
“It’s a real honor to be associated with these folks. This year, to be able to bring together Alex’s Lemonade Stand with another group of people who are near to my heart – the Darrell Gwynn Foundation – it just makes me realize that I am extremely blessed. I’ve been affiliated with both of these groups separately for a few years now, and to bring them together makes a lot of sense in this last year that I’m racing full-time.
“Sometimes, things happen in life that put a whole new perspective on how you look at things. These two organizations and the work that they do and the lives they touch have done that for me. My hope is that our partnership with them for these four races will raise awareness and touch the lives of others like it has touched ours.”
The announcement and unveiling of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand/Darrell Gwynn Foundation Funny Car was made at Bristol Dragway in Tennessee on opening day of the Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals.
The Mello Yello events where Johnny will be driving the Alex’s Lemonade Stand/Darrell Gwynn Foundation Funny Car will be:
July 19-21, Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver
Aug. 30-Sept. 2, NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Sept. 20-22, NHRA FallNationals, Dallas
Oct. 4-6, NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa.
It will be the third straight year that Gray’s Funny Car has carried an Alex’s Lemonade Stand theme at Reading. The crew named the Funny Car “The Lemonator.”
As part of the program, a custom, power-wheelchair that will provide “the gift of mobility” will be presented to a youngster in each of the four markets through a donation from Pitch Energy in memory of John R. Gray.
Round 2 LLC, an innovative collectibles company located in South Bend, Ind., is donating 2,500 1/64th-scale replicas of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand/Darrell Gwynn Foundation Funny Car to children at hospitals involved in the Alex’s network. (round2models.com)
ABOUT ALEX’S LEMONADE STAND FOUNDATION
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. For information: AlexsLemonade.org
ABOUT THE DARRELL GWYNN FOUNDATION
Give the Gift of Mobility: https://darrellgwynnfoundation.org/the-gift-of-mobility.php
Founded in 2002 by Champion Racer Darrell Gwynn and his wife, Lisa, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide SUPPORT for people living with paralysis and PREVENT spinal cord injuries. The foundation’s primary support program is its national Wheelchair Donation Program. With this program the Darrell Gwynn Foundation has donated custom built wheelchairs to hundreds of individuals in need facing medical and financial hardships. The foundation also maintains a Patient Assistance Fund offering support services and tools at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado and Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. with aspirations to expand this model to several hospitals nationwide. The Patient Assistance Fund also supports two Speediatrics Units the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center, at Halifax Hospital in Daytona, Fla. and Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla. Additionally, the Patient Assistance Fund provides financial support through its Fast Track Laboratory with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis aimed at finding a cure for paralysis. The foundation operates an Education & Prevention Program directed to high school students to educate them on the dangers of risky behavior that can lead to spinal cord injuries. This rapidly growing program reaches over 10,000 students annually at over 50 high schools. In an effort to create more awareness about spinal cord injuries, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation successfully lobbied for and established a National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week in Florida. With tremendous fundraising partners such as Barrett-Jackson, the NHRA, NASCAR and many more generous sponsors, individual supporters and donors, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation continues to evolve as a leading foundation for those with spinal cord injuries and living with paralysis. For more information please visit www.darrellgwynnfoundation.org or www.facebook.com/darrellgwynnfoundation.
ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown, the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher and the Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher dragster driven by Spencer Massey; and in Funny Car, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Valvoline/MTS Mail for Wounded Warriors Dodge Charger R/T, 2011 world champion Matt Hagan in the Magneti Marelli Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Pitch Energy Dodge of Johnny Gray.
DSR has won 207 NHRA national event titles and 11 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.
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