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In The News

Sonoma Raceway Raises more than $50,000 for Youth Groups During NHRA Weekend

Charitable events combined to raise more than $50,000 for Sonoma County youth groups during the 26th NHRA Sonoma Nationals event weekend at Sonoma Raceway, July 26-28.

The proceeds from the majority of events will benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of the raceway, which has distributed more than $4.3 million to qualified youth groups since 2001.

Fundraising kicked off on Thursday, July 25, at the 7th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night, which raised more than $19,000. The evening honors the memory of Medlen, a native of Oakdale in the San Joaquin Valley, who succumbed in March, 2007, to injuries sustained from a testing accident. Medlen was a member of John Force Racing.

A number of popular NHRA personalities highlighted the evening, including Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Courtney Force and Josh Crawford, and Top Fuel drivers Brittany Force, Morgan Lucas and Brandon Bernstein. More than 100 supporters turned out for the dinner at Stone Tree Golf club in Novato, including Medlen’s mother, Mimi, and his father, John.

A highlight of the evening included the auction of a custom engraved wine bottle, which went for $4,100. All proceeds from the evening will benefit SCC in Medlen’s name.

Additional funds were also raised at the Eric Medlen Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 28. Following the final round of elimination, fans were invited onto the race surface for a free scoop of ice cream, compliments of Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. This event also honors Medlen’s memory and fans are encouraged to make donations to SCC.

In addition to the proceeds generated for SCC, Levy Restaurants, the official caterer of Sonoma Raceway, hosted seven local non-profit groups to support concession stands around the facility. In return for their hard work, Levy gives back a portion of sales to support those non-profit organizations. These groups, including Continental Omega Boys & Girls Club, Vallejo High School, Native Sons of the Golden West, Petaluma High School Athletics, Vallejo Little League, and Omega Foundation of Santa Clara, among others, received a total of more than $28,000 from NHRA weekend.

For more information about the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities or to make a donation, visit or contact Melinda Pahl at (707) 933-3950 or If your non-profit group is interested in working with Levy Restaurants at an upcoming event, contact Victoria Campbell at or 707-939-1454.

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