NHRA Drivers, Fans Will Join Gwynn as They Return to the Site of the Memorable Benefit Softball Game 20 Years Later to Raise Money and Awareness for Spinal Cord Injuries
MOHNTON, Pa. - The Darrell Gwynn Foundation will benefit from a special “Track Walk for Those Who Can’t” at Maple Grove Raceway on Sunday, October 10 at 8 a.m. Fans will be able to get “up-close and personal” with Gwynn and other NHRA stars by walking the length of the track with them for a donation of $20 or more to the Foundation to assist in the foundation’s mission to provide awareness, prevention, support and ultimately a cure for paralysis.
Some of Darrell Gwynn’s fondest memories are of eastern Pennsylvania and Maple Grove Raceway. A two-time Top Fuel national event winner at Maple Grove (1988, 1989), he returned to the Raceway in 1990 as a team owner following the Easter Sunday accident that left him paralyzed. And it was at FirstEnergy Stadium in nearby Reading where 12,000 fans turned out that same week for a NASCAR vs. NHRA drivers benefit softball game that raised $150,000 to help with his medical expenses in 1990.
Twenty years later, Gwynn will be back at Maple Grove Raceway Oct. 7-10 for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals as president of The Darrell Gwynn Foundation and with the mission to Provide Awareness, Prevention, Support and Ultimately a Cure for Paralysis. As a special treat for walkers and NHRA fans, Gwynn will lead the Walk by driving down the track in the electric dragster built by Mike Gerry and friends for Darrell’s 40th birthday
Fans wishing to take part in the Track Walk can sign up at The Darrell Gwynn Foundation booth located behind the Auto Locator Grandstand at the Raceway, or at the Raceway souvenir stand behind the grandstands on the spectator side of the track. Note: walk participants must have a Maple Grove Raceway Sunday admission to participate. Money raised will support The Darrell Gwynn Foundation’s ongoing work to provide education about spinal cord injury prevention, offer support to those afflicted by spinal cord injuries and debilitating disease, and raise funds to help find a cure.
“We held a Track Walk during Gatornationals earlier this year and it was a tremendous success. I’m sure the wonderful fans at Maple Grove also will support this unique opportunity to meet some of the sport’s top drivers and walk the track,” Gwynn said. “I thank the National Hot Rod Association and Maple Grove Raceway for their support of this special event to benefit our work.”
The Track Walk will be just one of several 20th anniversary events being held to recognize Gwynn. Along with his father, Jerry, and five others, Gwynn will be inducted into the Maple Grove Raceway Walk of Fame during the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. A Walk of Fame reception will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Crowne Plaza Reading Hotel in Wyomissing ($20 admission – public invited). The Darrell Gwynn Foundation also will present a custom wheelchair to a deserving individual at the starting line prior to final qualifying runs on Sunday, Oct. 10, immediately following driver introductions (approx. 10:40 a.m.).
Named one of the NHRA’s 50 Greatest All-Time Drivers, Gwynn won 28 national events and set an elapsed time record of 4.909 seconds at Houston Raceway Park in Texas on March 2, 1990. Just one month later, his career was cut short by a tragic Easter Sunday crash at England’s Santa Pod Raceway that left Gwynn paralyzed from the waist down. But he wasn’t ready to stop competing. Through The Darrell Gwynn Foundation, he now is committed to raising awareness and money to help children and young adults who are living with spinal cord injuries and debilitating disease. His organization spearheads spinal cord injury education programs, supports long-term healthcare services for new spinal cord injury patients, and raises funds for a cure.
About The Darrell Gwynn Foundation
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation is a Davie, Fla.-based non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization established by former National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) champion Darrell Gwynn to support individuals with spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. The Foundation’s mission is to Provide Awareness, Prevention, Support, and Ultimately a Cure for Paralysis. To expedite specific cures, The Foundation assists in the funding of targeted research.
For Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals ticket information, call 610-856-9200or visit www.maplegroveraceway.com