Driving Out Childhood Cancer
Kickball tournament and auction at Firecracker 100 benefit childhood cancer research
(Special to Kayla May – WoOLMS.com)
For a World of Outlaw Craftsman® Late Model Series driver, life on the road turns into a rhythm, and within that rhythm it’s hard to find the moments to think about the things that matter most. At the Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway drivers take the time, before taking the track, to raise money for something bigger: childhood cancer research.
Every penny raised from the driver kickball tournament and raffle-auction benefit the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation for childhood cancer research. Both Outlaw and non-Series drivers donate racing paraphernalia – from t-shirts to car doors – to be auctioned off after the kickball tournament on Friday.
“For any driver, it always seems that our lifestyles are so fast and so crazy that anytime that anyone can kind of slow down and take a deep breath and make a difference in another person’s life is a good thing,” said the Rum Runner Racing No. 2 driver Joey Coulter. “It’s something I always have tried to do – especially when it comes to kids. it’s nice to help anyway that you can.”
Coulter has a unique relationship with cancer research as his grandfather and great uncle were both leaders in the industry. The Coulter Corporation (which has since been sold and renamed as Beckman Coulter Inc.) was a leader in the design and manufacturing of high-tech laboratory diagnostic systems, including a machine that could count blood cells, which advanced research and diagnostics on cancer, lymphoma, leukemia and other diseases.
Additionally, in 2010 Coulter was racing with the ARCA series and through his sponsor with the Charlotte Checkers he developed a relationship with Ellie Potivn, a six-year-old girl who lost her life to pediatric stage-4 cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma). At the ARCA Prairie Meadows 200 Coulter took the track at Iowa Speedway with a car covered in pink butterflies as a memorial for Ellie.
“Unfortunately, cancer does affect a lot of people,” said Coulter. “It’s honestly hard to find someone that doesn’t or hasn’t been affected by it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10-year-old, a 20-year-old or a 90-year-old; it’s always a big deal. And whether the person pulls through or doesn’t, everyone involved needs someone to lean on. It’s nice to be able to step back from our crazy lifestyles and be able to support a foundation like the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation.”
Coulter – alongside Rick Eckert, Chub Frank, Boom Briggs, Darrell Lanigan, Brandon Sheppard, Morgan Bagley, Brian Shirley, Tyler Erb, Eric Wells and additional drivers – will be donating merchandise to the benefit auction.