Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will arrive at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway as the most recent winner on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit, but it is partner Jimmy John’s who is providing a hero’s welcome to a lucky and deserving Kevin Harvick fan.
The folks at Jimmy John’s recently came across a story on NASCAR.com written by Pat DeCola that documents the story of 11-year-old Jenna Dumanski of Milltown, New Jersey. Dumanski, a Kevin Harvick fan, made a life-saving decision on Aug. 28, 2014 to donate bone marrow to her then-infant brother Tommy.
Tommy Dumanski was 2 months old when he was diagnosed with Chronic Granulomatous Disease, which is a rare genetic disease that would require a bone marrow transplant to survive. The family faced genetic testing to see if there was a match in the family and, sure enough, his big sister Jenna was a perfect match.
Jenna’s decision to donate bone marrow to her younger brother saved his life.
Now, three years later, both Jenna and Tommy are doing well. Jenna was scheduled to attend the Daytona 500 in February but a bout of meningitis prevented her from making the trip.
After seeing the story on NASCAR.com, Jimmy John’s decided to provide Jenna, Tommy and their family with a trip to Daytona of their own. They are scheduled to watch the Coke Zero 400 Saturday night from the comfort of the Jimmy John’s suite high above the front stretch at the “World Center of Racing.”
Harvick is hoping to make Jenna’s trip extra special by crossing the finish line first Saturday night.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion is fresh off his first win of the year last weekend at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, and will be looking to make it two straight trips to victory lane.
If February’s Daytona 500 was any indication, Harvick and the No. 4 team could be favorites heading into the event. Harvick started fifth and led 50 of 200 laps in the season-opening event before being collected in a multicar accident and finished 22nd.
The Bakersfield, California native is no stranger to victory lane at Daytona. He is one of four active drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400, joining the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jamie McMurray.
Harvick, who secured his position in the 2017 NASCAR playoffs with last weekend’s win at Sonoma, would now like to add a second win and start collecting as many playoff points as he can in the final 10 races before the start of the playoffs at Chicago in September. But a win Saturday night would provide an extra special moment for Jenna, Tommy and their family in Daytona.