We see a lot of specialized liveries in drag racing, a lot of the time for charities/nonprofits/general good causes, and the Maynard Family Racing team is continuing that tradition. It was announced this morning that Tony Schumacher will campaign ‘giving cars’ in Las Vegas and Pomona to close out the 2022 season.
Fans will see Tony’s dragster decked out with two causes that are close to Joe and Cathi Maynard’s hearts. For the race in Las Vegas this weekend, it’s the American Mobility Project, and at next month’s finals it will be A Soldier’s Child. It is important to note that both cars are independently funded which means there is no cost associated with either nonprofit organization to be recognized through the dedicated tribute liveries.
“The goal is simple,” Joe Maynard said. “To get more people to donate to these causes. The more eyeballs and and awareness we can bring to these two organizations, the more money that will end up being raised.”
Founded by retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gary Linfoot, his wife Mari and former NFL executive Bob Hyde, America Mobility Project serves to provide mobility and adaptive equipment and resources to those living with disabilities.
“Don Schumacher Racing has a long history of fielding ‘giving cars,’ and that was something we wanted to continue as we took on primary ownership of this team. We’re pleased to be able to shine a big spotlight on Gary and Mari’s organization this weekend in Las Vegas. The American Mobility Project fulfills such a big need for those living with paralysis, including many of our nation’s veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country. AMP’s mission is stronger than pretty much anything out there that isn’t related to a commercial venture,” added Maynard, a retired Army Engineer Sergeant, on behalf of he and Cathi, who served as an M.P. in the Army.
Gary and Mari Linfoot are no strangers to the NHRA community. They were regulars in the Don Schumacher Racing pits when DSR was involved with the Infinite Hero Foundation. At one point during their involvement, when Jack Beckman was running the Infinite Hero Funny Car, Gary was featured on the rear door of Jack’s hauler. Many fans have and are still moved by the memory of Gary standing for the national anthem at the 2015 Bristol race with the assistance of an exoskeleton. It was the first time that Gary was able to stand for the national anthem since becoming paralyzed from a helicopter accident during his 19th combat tour in Iraq.
“We’ve been involved with the NHRA community for many years, but this is the first time we will be showcasing our own organization to the drag racing community in such a large and impactful way,” Mari Linfoot said. “We’ve seen firsthand how beneficial ‘giving cars’ can be and we’re so grateful to Joe and Cathi Maynard that there will be an American Mobility Project car on the track this weekend in Las Vegas.”
Though they both have a shared love of drag racing, it’s not the only thing that has brought the Maynards and the Linfoots together. Both families also live in the same city, Clarksville, Tennessee.
“The Maynards have been involved with our organization since the beginning,” Mari added. “They attended our inaugural fundraising event in Clarksville, which is how we met, and have been active with AMP ever since. They gave us a jumpstart early on to be able to change lives all throughout the country. The passion they have for American Mobility Project is evident, and using Tony Schumacher’s race car to banner our cause this weekend is just another example of that.”
For Tony Schumacher, the chance to bring attention to an organization that works with a large number of veterans is an honor, “I spent nearly two decades representing the US Army,” during that time (2000 – 2018) he earned the nickname ‘The Sarge.’ “I met so many wonderful people through that partnership at all different stages of their military careers – new recruits, people at home in between deployments, veterans – so, I’m very aware of the challenges that are associated with someone becoming disabled, and regardless of whether that person is a veteran or civilian, the need remains the same. What American Mobility Project is doing is so important and so necessary. Of course, anything we can do to help support our nation’s heroes and their families, I’m all about, and I like how this organization also reaches beyond that and aims to help anyone in need of mobility assistance.”
For fans wanting to support the Maynard Family Racing team’s fundraising efforts, you can make a donation at americanmobilityproject.org. Fans attending the race this weekend in Las Vegas can stop by the Fatheadz Trackside Store where there will be select items benefitting AMP, available for purchase and fans cheering from home can purchase merchandise from the Maynard Family Racing e-store.
Qualifying for the NHRA Nevada Nationals kicks off at 1:30 pm PT on Friday, October 28th. Tony and the American Mobility Project team will be looking to make a move into the Top 10 in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship and looking for Tony’s fifth NHRA Nevada Nationals win.