When Front Row Motorsports’ No. 34 Ford hits Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard, Michael McDowell’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car will already be celebrating a different race win. A commemorative paint scheme on the No. 34 will celebrate the 22nd year of the Kroger Race for Riley, presented by Pepsi, a charity go-kart race that benefits Riley Hospital for Children. The 2018 event is scheduled for Wednesday at New Castle (Ind.) Motorsports Park.
The paint scheme is a nod to former Front Row Motorsports driver John Andretti, who is also a long-time friend of team owner Bob Jenkins. Andretti has been raising money for the Indianapolis hospital through the annual charity race since its inception in 1997.
Wrapped in a design reminiscent of Andretti’s Window World Ford that he drove for Front Row Motorsports in 2009, the No. 34 will feature the logos of fundraising partners Kroger, Pepsi, Window World and Republic Airways.
“John has dedicated himself to raising money for Riley Hospital for Children for more than two decades,” said Jenkins. “He’s a hero to me, and he’s a hero to these kids that benefit from the millions of dollars raised. With the race going on the week of our Cup race in Indianapolis, I wanted to help John and the rest of the ‘Race for Riley’ organizers celebrate another successful year of raising money for such an important cause.”
McDowell has already donated a helmet to a Bell Racing auction that raised funds for the Race for Riley, and he is proud to have the commemorative paint scheme on his No. 34 Ford.
“Events like this remind you what’s really important,” said the father of four. “Bob has always been focused on giving back and supporting charitable causes, and with his friendship with John Andretti, we know this one especially comes from the heart. With Race for Riley donations being accepted through the end of September, we hope it raises awareness and encourages more people to donate and help the kids at Riley.”
To learn more about the Kroger Race for Riley, presented by Pepsi, visit race4riley.com. Donations can also be made online at race4riley.com/contribute.
The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard will air Sunday on the NBC Sports Network at 2 p.m. ET.