LONG BEACH, Calif. – What would make Ryan Hunter-Reay don an evening gown? Raising money for Racing for Cancer, of course.
The 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion put on a red Michael Costello creation during a live auction at the Yellow Party at Long Beach’s Federal Bar.
It sold for $15,000 – part of the more than $85,000 raised during the event, which featured live music from multi-platinum recording band LIVE and Art Alexakis from Everclear.
“Tonight’s Yellow Party event was a blast, we raised a crazy amount of money to beat Cancer,” Hunter-Reay wrote on Twitter after the event, which attracted Hunter-Reay’s Andretti Autosport teammates as well as model Joanna Krupa and cast members from Bravo’s reality shows “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” “Real Housewives of Orange County” and “Shahs of Sunset.”
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate the support.”
The cause is near and dear to Hunter-Reay’s heart as he co-founded Racing for Cancer in honor of his mother, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2011.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” Hunter-Reay said. “Long Beach was my mom’s favorite race. She always came here to watch me race. It makes this one very special.”
Hunter-Reay, who won at Long Beach in 2010, and his wife Beccy will co-host in The Yellow Party in conjunction with four more Verizon IndyCar Series events this season.
“This is the first full year that we’re trying to branch out beyond Indianapolis,” Hunter-Reay said. “Last year, we had parties in Houston and Baltimore but this is going to be a busy year. It seems like we have a promising bunch of venues. I’m thrilled for how long this charity has come in such a short period of time.”
Firestone Racing was there for the very first Indy 500 in 1911, won by Ray Harroun on Firestone brand tires. Legend has it that tires played a pivotal role in the outcome of that first race.
Knowing that tire/wheel changes were difficult and time consuming back then, Ray asked the Firestone Racing engineers how fast he could drive without a tire failure. He was told 75 miles per hour. Sure enough, on May 30, 1911, he crossed the finish line first with an average speed of 74.602 miles per hour – and he only had to change one tire for the whole race.
So many memorable Indy 500 moments have happened on Firestone brand tires. Of our 61 Indy 500 victories, 43 were consecutive between 1920 and 1966. Great names such as Gaston Chevrolet, Wilbur Shaw, AJ Foyt, Jimmy Clark, Mario Andretti and Al Unser have chugged the milk in Victory Circle, thanks in no small part to the reliability of their Firestone race tires.
For many years, Firestone would advertise in newspapers around the nation after the race with artwork featuring all of their Indy 500 victories, proclaiming our Indy success. This ad typified the “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” mentality.
In 2011, the Centennial Anniversary of the first Indy 500, the 62nd driver will cross the finish line on Firestone tires, and we have re-created that classic ad. Who do you think it will be? Comment below and let us know.
Shoes, shoes and more shoes! Recently, we joined up with Magnum Boots USA and ran a Twitter contest to give-away a complimentary pair or boots. Why? Well, we love our fans and we love our sponsors so we figured we better introduce the two…so, kind of like a blind date, but with a prize!
For those of you who don’t know, Magnum, is the sponsor of the IndyCar Series safety and security teams and supports the #4 National Guard car driven by Dan Wheldon. Here is a picture of a pair in action:
Magnum Boots in Action
In addition to giving an IndyCar Series fan a cool new pair of boots, Magnum has also found other ways to give back to the community. During various retail promotions, they donate $2 for every pair of boots sold to the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is an intervention programs dedicated to helping at-risk youth have a better tomorrow. Magnum has already donated approximately $20,000 to this non-profit organization – Pretty amazing!
Magnum is just one of our sponsors that is making a difference in the community and in racing. We hope to have more installments like this one, that highlight our relationship with our fans and our sponsors. We also plan on having another give-away contest soon. Good luck! And you should probably follow us both on Twitter:
IZOD IndyCar Series: @IndyCarNation