Erik Jones is returning to his racing roots for a special event. He and the Erik Jones Foundation will host its first fundraiser of 2022, “3 Reasons to Race.”
The Erik Jones Foundation announced the news on April 8 with a press release. The “3 Reasons to Race” event will take place on May 19, ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series trip to Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR All-Star Race. The renovated Birch Run Speedway in Michigan will serve as the site of the fundraiser, which is fitting considering that Jones grew up competing at the 4/10-mile oval. Back in 2010, he won the Bob Cross Memorial at the age of 14 and became the youngest winner in ASA Late Model history.
The Erik Jones Foundation fundraiser will feature a “game” element for the attendees. There will be a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction featuring mementos from a variety of current and retired NASCAR drivers. The list includes seven-time champion Richard Petty, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, 2004 champion Kurt Busch, two-time champion Kyle Busch, Petty GMS Motorsports teammate Ty Dillon, and Jones.
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The auction will also include four round-trip tickets on Allegiant Air, authentic sports items from the Detroit Tigers and Flint Firebirds, and two tickets to the FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Cup Series race on August 7 at Michigan International Speedway.
A Special ‘Race’ Will Headline the Event
Along with the silent auction, there will also be a special “race” during the fundraiser. A 15-foot long gameboard emulating an oval racetrack will take up a significant portion of the event center. Attendees will be able to purchase “Birch Run Bucks” and place their bets on any of six 1/10th-scale race cars. Jones, who will serve as the grand marshal, will call for the engines to fire.
The small race cars will not have motors. Instead, they will move only when the officials draw ping pong balls with their numbers. This process will continue until one of the scale cars crosses the finish line. Those that bet on the winning car will split the money and celebrate a successful day.
“I love going back home and reconnecting with friends and family, and now we’re able to do it with our foundation and raise money for a great cause,” Jones said in a press release. “May is National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month, and a portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation, a group I’ve worked with for several years. I lost my dad to cancer, and it’s made me so mindful of how important early detection is, because the sooner you diagnose it, the more options you have for treatment. This fundraiser will go directly toward research that provides those options.”
Jones Launched His Foundation During the 2021 Season
The Erik Jones Foundation is a newer creation. The driver of the No. 43 launched it during the 2021 season and a trip to Michigan International Speedway. He revealed on August 20, 2021, that there would be three main pillars of the Erik Jones Foundation — — igniting children’s passion for reading, encouraging early cancer detection and care, and promoting animal welfare.
Once the season came to an end, Jones announced the first initiative of the EJF. He partnered with North Carolina Humanities to promote a statewide reading initiative involving North Carolina-based authors. He highlighted books from this sizable list of authors and read them on his Facebook page.
“The work that NC Humanities does aligns really well with what we’re trying to do with our Foundation,” Jones said in December 2021. “They appreciate the value books provide and are genuinely interested in getting more people to read, especially kids. We’re very proud of this partnership and I’m looking forward to the events we’ll have together.”