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Peninsula Pipeline Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
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March 04, 2013
MOUNT MORRIS, MI. - Paralyzed racer Michael Johnson and his JDC MotorSports' team will support nonprofit, Wheelchairs 4 Kids during the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Round Three and Four of the 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Johnson will provide the organization with prime advertising space on his helmet during the event weekend to be auctioned off by the organization to the highest bidder who supports Wheelchairs 4 Kids.
The winning bidder also will have the opportunity to meet Johnson and receive paddock pass access to the event for a once in a lifetime experience as guest of Johnson and his team, JDC MotorSports. The winner will also receive two suite passes on the straightaway for Friday and Saturday’s races.
Wheelchairs 4 Kids has local ties within St. Petersburg, Fla. due to the organizations headquarters in Tarpon Springs.
“We are so excited that Michael has chosen Wheelchairs 4 Kids as his Charity of Choice for this race. He is an amazing young man and such an inspiration to our kids,” said Madeline Robinson, Wheelchairs 4 Kids Executive Director. “Words cannot begin to express how grateful we are.”
"I think it's great what Wheelchairs 4 Kids is trying to do, so when they reached out to us there was no question that we wanted to do something for them during the St. Petersburg race. We just needed to come up with an idea on how we can promote the organization and help raise funds for them at the same time, so I think doing that with auctioning off advertising space on my helmet is a good start," Johnson explained.
Based in Tarpon Springs, Fla., north of St. Petersburg, Wheelchairs 4 Kids is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Their mission is to improve the lives of children with physical disabilities by providing wheelchairs, home and vehicle modifications as well as other adaptive devices. Many children in the U.S. faced with these issues are in wheelchairs that are too small, in disrepair, or do not fit the child’s needs. In addition, families are faced with trying to care for their special needs child in homes that have not been properly modified. Imagine trying to lift your teenager in and out of bed or a bathtub without assistive devices or a modified bathroom. Picture a child in a home where they can’t get upstairs. Children outgrow their wheelchairs before government or insurance programs will allow for a replacement. Would you want to sit all day in a chair that was too small resulting in pressure sores? Wheelchairs 4 Kids is prepared to address this much neglected need.
About Michael Johnson:
Twenty-year-old paralyzed racer Michael Johnson, who currently is the first and only paralyzed licensed INDYCAR driver, was on his way to becoming a professional motorcycle racer, having already won races and championships on a regional and national level, when on August 13, 2005 he was involved in an on-track racing accident which left him paralyzed from the mid-chest down.
After several years of recovery, Johnson has started racing and winning again and now has set his goal to become the first paralyzed driver to run the Indianapolis 500.
Johnson drives his specially modified race car with hand controls only and became the first paralyzed racer to win in an open-wheel formula car race during round two of the Skip Barber Summer Series at Watkins Glen International Raceway in 2011. Outside of his first time win at Watkins Glen, Johnson additionally scored two wins at Road America, one pole position, four third-place podiums and several top-five finishes in the 2011 season.
In 2012, Johnson moved up to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with championship-winning team JDC MotorSports, step one of the “Mazda Road to Indy” program.
In his first year as a professional licensed INDYCAR driver Johnson had several top-ten finishing positions in qualifying and races and finished 15th in overall championship point standings out of 36 drivers participating in the 2012 season.
In 2013, Johnson again will compete with JDC MotorSports in the Cooper Tires USF2000Championship powered by Mazda.
Follow Johnson on Facebook@michaeljohnsonracing, Twitter @racer54iscool and Instagram @johnsonracing54.
For more information, please visit: www.MichaelJohnsonRacing.com.
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