NASCAR driver Erik Jones is racing for more than a win at this Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Should he find victory lane in the No. 20 Toyota, CRAFTSMAN will donate $1 Million to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) through the Ace Hardware Foundation.
“This is my first year supporting the ‘Racing for a Miracle’ program and I couldn’t be more excited,” said Erik Jones. “I’ve seen this program develop over the past few years and have always been inspired by the concept. Today, I met my amazing honorary crew members, Gavin, Arianna, Colt and Madison, who helped design my CRAFTSMAN Camry for this weekend. I can’t wait to get to the track in Bristol and represent these guys, and all of the children at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, as we compete on Sunday and hopefully end the day with a trip to victory lane.”
The Racing for a Miracle program is in its 13th year, aimed at driving awareness for the vital work that CMN Hospitals do to help treat their patients around the country. This year, through CMN Hospitals, the CRAFTSMAN team has recruited four children from Niswonger Children’s Hospital to be honorary crew members for the April 7th race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Niswonger Children’s Hospital is the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region’s only children’s hospital, and the regional affiliate of CMN Hospitals.
These four children had a unique opportunity to work with Richard Rawlings, star of “Fast N’ Loud” and owner of Gas Monkey Garage, to help design the car that Jones will drive on Sunday. The honorary crew team will get a behind-the-scenes VIP experience with Jones on Sunday, and finally get to watch their car race for $1 Million.
“This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me,” said Richard Rawlings. “I’ve worked on cars and I’ve created brands, but never like this. Getting the opportunity to design a car with these four kids was truly inspirational. I hope that when Erik drives this car on Sunday, he feels the passion and heart that went into this design.”
Jones visited Niswonger Children’s Hospital today to unveil the special paint scheme with all four child designers and guests. The children each designed a unique kite that’s shown on the car. These kites were inspired by stained glass kites that hang throughout Niswonger Children’s Hospital, signs of hope and healing for the patients. The four children wanted this passion and courage to inspire Erik as he races this weekend.
Jones also spent time visiting with hospital patients and presented the Ace Hardware Foundation with a $100,000donation check from CRAFTSMAN. Additionally, Ace Hardware Foundation presented a $25,000 check to Niswonger Children’s Hospital.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of these outstanding organizations and their support of Niswonger Children’s Hospital,” said Lisa Carter, chief executive officer of Niswonger Children’s Hospital. “As our region’s only children’s hospital, we serve 200,000 children in a 29 county area, and donations like this one make such a huge difference in their lives.”
Over the past 13 years, the Racing for a Miracle program has donated $1.3 Million to local CMN Hospitals around the country through the Ace Hardware Foundation.
Stanley Black & Decker (CRAFTSMAN’s parent company) is particularly excited to support Niswonger Children’s Hospital this year, thanks to their long history as a partner. Stanley Black & Decker’s security and healthcare divisions have enjoyed several initiatives over the past three years supporting this hospital as they work to improve healthcare in Tennessee.
Fans can follow Jones and the No. 20 CRAFTSMAN team this weekend at #Racing4Miracles. To make a donation to the Racing for a Miracle campaign, benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital, click here.