Girls, have at it! When racing returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11, the ladies of NASCAR will add their own element of speed, danger and fun to Bank of America 500 Week when they take to the frontstretch quarter-mile for the second annual Better Half Dash on Bojangles’ Pole Night.
The charity race, supporting Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) and Speedway Children’s Charities, will pit the women of NASCAR against each other in Bandolero race cars provided by U.S. Legend Cars International.
“The Better Half Dash was a lot of fun last year,” Venturini said. “Despite trying to take the wall down with the hardest hit ever recorded by US Legends, I went on to salvage a top-5 finish. While it’s a great way to spread the word about MRO and what they do for our NASCAR community, I am going for the WIN and nothing less.”
Venturini is being sponsored by several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers as well as The Decal Source.
“I have a lot of pressure by the world’s most talented drivers backing me up,” she said. “They’ve chosen to donate to MRO solely on my behalf. I want to make them proud!”
Several motorsports companies have stepped up to donate their time and products on behalf of Venturini including Simpson, Racing Electronics and Off Axis Paint for the custom-designed helmet.
The Better Half Dash will be a 25-lap race, with a competition caution set for Lap 15. A random inversion will shake up the field before the final 10-lap shootout. Caution laps will not count. If necessary, there will be up to two chances at a green-white-checkered finish. The starting order for the race will be determined by qualifying on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. While the better half takes the wheel, each will choose a crew chief and spotter for the race, but drivers and crew members are not permitted to make any engine, chassis or suspension modifications.
Venturini has chosen her younger brother, Billy Venturini, as her crew chief and her husband, Jarrad Egert, for driver comfort. “Racing in this charity event last year, and winning twice in celebrity school bus races, my husband quietly helps me in a big way. He knows exactly what I need to be comfortable in the driver’s seat. And his support with all the hours put into this event is invaluable. I’m pretty sure he would rather be tuning his ‘73 Road Runner than watching 15 women practice not wrecking. It’s too bad we can’t tune these engines since that’s my better half’s expertise!”
“On the flipside, my brother is a driver development coach and winning crew chief. If he can’t help me drive better, no one can,” jokes Venturini. “He is brutally honest and will make me dig deeper. I want to be able to hand MRO a big check.”
The winning driver will receive $10,000 to be paid to the charity or charities of her choice.
Better Half Dash practice sessions are scheduled for Sept. 25 and Oct. 8, both sessions running 5:30-9:30p.m. Qualifying will be immediately after practice on October 8 at 9:30 p.m. All sessions will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Updates on the race and entrants can be found at www.BetterHalfDash.com or by following #BetterHalfDash on Twitter.
To show your support of MRO, you can join Wendy in donating by scrolling to her car number in this link: http://www.go2mro.com/betterhalfdash/
All donations are 100% tax-deductible.