The grandest stage on the fastest-accelerating motorsport on the planet means more than an opportunity for glory for racers such as Top Alcohol Funny Car driver John Lombardo Jr., who has experienced the thrill of winning the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals as a driver last year and as a crewmember during his father’s Funny Car win in the late Raymond Beadle’s famed Blue Max in 1985. The luring sights and sounds at the most prestigious event on the NHRA tour along with the willingness of the drag racing community to help others have created a platform for Lombardo to annually host children from Hoosier Burn Camp for a memorable “Day at the Races.”
Lombardo, car owner Rick Jackson and the other members of the NAPA Filters/Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro team aim to raise funds for Hoosier Burn Camp and the Racers for Christ Kids Program with an online auction on Facebook and by accepting donations. On Saturday, Sept. 1, they provide “A Day at the Races,” a program bringing 50 2-to-16-year-old children from Hoosier Burn Camp to the track for a fun-filled day at no expense to their families.
The children be in for a fun-filled day that lasts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that will be complete with games, activities and the behind-the-scenes activity of a top caliber race team. A highlight of the day will be an autograph session beginning at 11:30 a.m. that will be attended by John Force, Courtney Force, Brittany Force, Jack Beckman, Erica Enders, Angelle Sampey and many other drivers in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
“We are just a few years into hosting the Hoosier Burn Camp at the U.S. Nationals, but it already feels like a tradition,” said Lombardo. “Campers, along with their friends and families, have made the biggest and most prestigious drag race of the year that much more special for our whole team. Last year, we were fortunate to enjoy the win at ‘the Big Go’ and put the Hoosier Burn Camp logo in the winner’s circle.”
The amplified magnitude of hosting the “Day at the Races” event that is so important in the lives of the children from Hoosier Burn Camp while simultaneously engaged in competing at the biggest event on his annual racing calendar has only brought out the best in Lombardo, on and off the track. His victory last year was perhaps the biggest of his career, and Lombardo has a repeat performance in his sights.
“While winning, welcoming new fans, and sharing the excitement of NHRA Drag Racing are not always mutually exclusive, know that we have exactly that goal in mind,” said Lombardo. “Your first Wally – at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas for me – holds a special place. Enjoying victory at home at Pomona with friends and family is fantastic. Winning Indy puts you on the list; you’re in a different club. To a Funny Car pilot, there’s not a bigger circle or target in the country!”
“Day at the Races” is brought to you by Jackson Lombardo Racing, Hoosier Burn Camp, Centre Pointe Collision Centers and Racers For Christ Kids. It is also supported by Moore Restoration, Finke Equipment, Accelerated Travel, Lucas Oil, Chicago Metal, ATI, GEFS, TSMGI, Napa Filters, John Force Racing, NHRA, Wayne Township Fire Dept., ProThings Apparel, Mahle-Clevite, PHS, NGK Spark Plugs, Hoosier Trainer and VP Racing. Lombardo welcomes team sponsors Benmit and Arvada Excavating.