NorCal Racing

Sonoma Raceway raises more than $72,600 in fire relief

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More than $72,600 was raised to aid Wine Country wildfire-relief efforts at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday night.

Laps of Appreciation featured rides for the public around the raceway’s 12-turn, 1.99-mile layout in more than 30 ambulances, fire engines and other emergency-response vehicles. More than 200 people participated.

The raceway donated $50,000 and NASCAR $10,000.

“Our goals were to raise some money and to provide a fun environment for community members to interact and thank representatives of the agencies who did so much on all of our behalfs during the recent fires,” Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway, said in a statement released by the raceway. “I think the event was a success on both fronts.”

The money raised will be given to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund and the Redwood Valley and Santa Rosa Community Recovery Fund.

“It’s great to see the community coming out and supporting us and all the different agencies that are here and having us come together to support the community, as well,” said Lakeville Fire Department Capt. Brian Clarke in the raceway’s statement. “We’re having a great time.”

In addition to donations to ride in the emergency vehicles, money was raised through sales of “Sonoma Strong” T-shirts and NHRA Salutes First Responders coin sales.

“We just rode in an ambulance and a fire truck, and it was awesome,” said Holly Wildey, who traveled from Portland, Ore., to participate. “We come down for the NASCAR races and were notified of this fundraiser and wanted to come down from Oregon to participate and to give back.”

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