PRESS RELEASE – The race is on as drivers from NASCAR and NHRA will take the field in a charity softball game at CMC-NorthEast Stadium, home of the Kannapolis Intimidators – Class A Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, on Wednesday, April 17. An hour-long pre-game autograph session begins at 5 p.m. with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. The game will be followed by a concert featuring popular country recording artist Darrell Harwood, who will also sing the National Anthem before the game.
Tickets are $20 for reserved-level seating and $15 for general admission and are now on sale online through IntimidatorsBaseball.com/nhra. Proceeds from the event will be donated to charities specifically selected by each team. The NASCAR drivers have selected The Armed Forces Foundation, while the NHRA team has designated Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“The Intimidators are excited to host so many big names from both NASCAR and NHRA,” said Randy Long, General Manager of the Kannapolis Intimidators. “We’re proud to be a part of an event that will not only be fun for our community but will also raise money for several worthy organizations.”
Currently, a bevy of popular drivers have committed to participate in the charity softball game, while additional players may be added in the near future. The star-studded NASCAR team includes Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip, David Ragan, Brad Sweet, and Parker Kligerman.
The big names from the NHRA include Top Fuel Dragster stars Tony Schumacher, Brandon Bernstein, Antron Brown, JR Todd, Shawn Langdon, Clay Millican, and Bob Vandergriff. They will be joined by a number of the brightest Funny Car competitors in the sport, including Courtney Force, Ron Capps, Del Worsham, Chad Head, and Matt Hagan.
NHRA Top Fuel driver Bob Vandergriff and NASCAR star Kurt Busch hatched the plan to set up the game, as a way to raise money for their favorite causes while giving the fans of both the circle-track and straight-line versions of auto racing a chance to see their favorite drivers up-close, in a totally different setting.
“A lot of us on the NHRA and NASCAR sides of racing know each other, but our hectic racing schedules don’t allow us to get together very often,” Vandergriff said. “Kurt and I started talking about this, and before you knew it we had a plan, then we were talking to our fellow drivers in each series, and it all started to come together. Early on in the process, the Kannapolis Intimidators minor league baseball team came on board, and once we had a professional venue in place we knew we could make this happen. Our NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series will be at zMAX Dragway, in Concord, on April 19-21, for the Dollar General 4-Wide Nationals, so that gave our drivers a chance to all come in a little early to do this, have some fun, raise some donations, and promote our sport.
“It will be great to generate some money for two good causes, but on top of that it’s going to be a lot of fun to square off against those guys in the game and I know it’s going to be great for the fans, at least in a comedy sense. We’re going to have an autograph session before the game, and with the Darrell Harwood concert afterward it will be a great night for everyone in attendance. I do think our NASCAR brothers have one built-in advantage, though, because they already know how to keep turning left until you get back home. I’m going to have to make sure my guys don’t just keep on going straight, all the way to the right field fence.”