NASCAR Teams and Local Racing Community Team Up For Tornado Relief
By Hunter Thomas
A brand new non-profit organization, Community2Community Inc. (C2C), has partnered with five NASCAR teams for the upcoming races at Charlotte Motor Speedway to reach out to the tornado victims in Alabama.
NASCAR and the local racing community answered the call for help with five teams from NASCAR’s top three series, and at least 18 local drivers that will run a C2C decal. Two racetracks and one racing publication will be collecting donations and supporting C2C on their websites.
“This is just phenomenal,” Public Relations Representative Hunter Thomas said. “To have the support from five teams in NASCAR’s top three series is unbelievable. It’s really awesome to see the local racing community to reach out as well. Most local teams put everything they have into their racecars, and to donate valuable sponsorship locations to help others is just priceless.”
Go Green Racing, JD Motorsports, Leavine Fenton Racing, Ricky Benton Racing, SS Green Light Racing, Dillon Motor Speedway, Rockingham Speedway and Speed Weekly Inc. all took up the cause of C2C to raise awareness and funds for the tornado victims in Alabama.
“I decided that we needed to do something for the residents,” said Erica Elliott, a Clemson University student and one of the C2C founders. “We started brainstorming and organizing, and it just spread from there. We started a Facebook page, a website, and made phone calls to all of the businesses around the Grand Strand and Clemson, S.C. We posted flyers up and down the Carolina coast and talked to everyone that we knew to help us carry out our efforts.”
In South Carolina, there are numerous places to make donations. You can visit any Divine Dining restaurants on the Grand Strand as well as various businesses in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island. In Albemarle, N.C., you may make a donation at Monarch on 350 Pee Dee Ave.
For more information on the organization or donations, please visit the C2C website at www.supportc2c.com or visit the C2C Facebook page.
On Friday, May 20, the C2C logo will be on Ricky Benton Racing’s No 92 fleetHQ.com/Black’s Tire Service Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Clay Rogers. The team is currently sitting eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point’s standings along with a third place finish at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year.
SS Green Light Racing will support C2C this weekend as well in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The decal will be placed in-between the number and the rear tire of the No. 81 Zachry Toyota Tundra piloted by David Starr. SS Green Light Racing is currently 11th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point’s standings.
Leavine Fenton Racing carries the C2C banner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as they will compete in the All-Star Shootout on May 21, as well as the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. Once again, David Starr will be behind the wheel of the Jordan Truck Sales/WRL General Contractors Ford Fusion, and the decal is located on the rear corner panel. The C2C girls will be guest of Leavine Fenton Racing for the Coca-Cola 600 weekend.
JD Motorsports, a Gaffney, S.C. based Nationwide Series team is helping out with the efforts by placing a C2C decal on the No. 01 Chevrolet Impala driven by veteran NASCAR driver, Mike Wallace. The team has momentum coming off of a 10th place finish at Dover International Speedway, and the team is currently 15th in the Nationwide Series point’s standings.
Irmo, S.C., native Danny Efland will be helping out the fellow South Carolinians as he will carry the C2C decal on Go Green Racing’s bright yellow C3i Sports Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on May 28. This will be Efland’s third race with the team.
Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., the leading supporter in the local racing scene, will be taking up donations at the concession stands on Saturday, May 20, and at least 18 drivers will support C2C with the special decal during that night’s race. The C2C logo and link is set to appear on DillonMotorSpeedway.com this upcoming weekend.
Rockingham Speedway in Rockingham, N.C., will add the C2C logo to their website, rockinghamracewaypark.com, and Speed Weekly Inc. in Asheville, N.C., will do the same on speedweekly.net.
Local Drivers at Dillon Motor Speedway
Finish Line Designs in Mullins, S.C. will supply 39 decals for the race teams that have not already found a graphic designer this weekend at Dillon Motor Speedway.
Late Model Division: Logan Bunning, and Wayne Locklair
Super Truck Division: Bryan Blackwell, Hal Goodson, Jody Measamer, and Marty Griggs
Charger Division: Brad Dewitt, Cody McKenzie, Mike Watts, Ricky Locklair Sr., and William Haynie
Street Stock Division: Hayes Goodson, Randy Hall, and Ricky Locklair Jr.
Four Cylinder Division: Brent Williams, and Kevin Jackson
Mini Cup Division: John Sofield Jr., and Matt Corbett
Community2Community’s work in TuscaloosaThe C2C efforts started when Erica Elliott’s relatives couldn’t be reached during the mayhem in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Finally, whenever contact was made, the Elliotts learned about the destruction that the EF4 tornado did to the city. The C2C founders and Clemson University students Elliott, Elissa Bailey and Jenny Delaere looked for ways to help as their hearts went out to all of the victims.
The girls’ first trip was on Thursday, May 5, as they traveled down to the Tuscaloosa area to deliver the supplies and helped with the clean-up efforts. The team loaded up three 22 foot trucks filled to the top with supplies.
The team arrived late Thursday night after a 10-hour drive. On Friday morning, with the help of volunteers, they unloaded two of the three trucks at a local church that was serving as a collection center. Before unloading the third truck, a call came that there was a need in Cullman, Ala., for food supplies. The third truck’s doors immediately slammed shut and started its two hour drive towards a church in Cullman.
After unloading the trucks, the girls spent the rest of the weekend, touring damaged areas; delivering supplies they had loaded in the back of SUVs in addition to the trucks and volunteering at local shelters. While volunteering, the girls did anything asked, even cleaning bathrooms or mopping floors, but they took time to play with the kids and talk to some of the shelter residents.
“I knew that the Alabama trip would be emotional and tough, but I had no idea just how difficult it would be,” Erica said. “Nothing could have prepared us for what we saw or the stories we heard. This is an experience that none of us will ever forget.”
The plan was to deliver everything to the Tuscaloosa area, and then let the supplies branch off and reach residents in other parts of Alabama. They will also be preparing to send items to the Mississippi area as their donations permit and as the need arises. The C2C team will visit Alabama once again on Friday, May 20 as they look to make an even bigger impact and help even more victims.
“Our main goal is to get as many donations as possible,” Erica said. “We are going down to Alabama on Thursday to take all of the supplies and to help with all of the clean-up efforts.”