PDRA Drivers Give Back Through Drag Race for a Cure

PITTSBORO, N.C. (January 23, 2016): A few years back Florida racer David Pike had an idea to get together with a few buddies and raise money for the local cystic fibrosis (CF) foundation while at the track. His own daughter battles CF and he had recently learned of a young girl his daughter’s age who lost her battle with the disease. Kayla James was a two time Junior Dragster Track Champion at Immokalee Dragway. Life was taken from her at just 17 years old. Once Pike’s idea reached other racers and those affected by CF, it exploded. In 2015, the first annual Drag Race for a Cure was held at Orlando Speed World Dragway. Over 300 racers attended.

The second annual Drag Race for a Cure will be held March 26, 2016 again at Orlando Speed World Dragway. One hundred percent of the event proceeds will go to charity. This year the chosen charities are the Autism Society of Greater Orlando and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Orlando. Although only two years in the making, this event has already commanded national attention. Top industry companies, former NFL players, the Tampa Bay Rays, and numerous drag racers have committed to supporting this event through their time, money and talents. PDRA Top Dragster competitor Ryan Snell is helping to orchestrate the second Annual Drag Race for a Cure and several other PDRA competitors have signed on with their support.

“The main purpose of the race is to bring awareness to cystic fibrosis and autism,” stated Snell. “We’re doing all this strictly for them. One hundred percent of all the proceeds from the race will be donated. Half will go to the cystic fibrosis group and half to the autism group.”

For Snell, cystic fibrosis hits close to home. “\My beautiful girlfriend, Grace, has CF,” added Snell. “Diagnosed at the age of four, she has really been through a lot of the ups and downs including losing a sibling to the disease in 2002. At the age of 22, it was time that she went in for a double lung transplant. Just passing her five year anniversary now, she is

doing great. She has the drive to want to make a difference. Grace is working on her master's degree at the Medical University of South Carolina in Biomedical Science. She is currently in an Immunology lab focusing on transplant. I am so proud of what she is doing to make a difference in this world. We are so ready to see everyone in Florida for this great cause. Thank you to everyone for the support of this great event.”

PDRA teams Craig Sullivan Motorsports, Reid Motorsports. Mick & Lindsey Snyder, Tommy D’Aprile, Kevin Fiscus and Tommy & Judy Franklin have all stepped up to help sponsor the event and raffle.

Drag Race for a Cure will feature the following classes: X632, Ultra Street, Q16 dragsters, Q16 doorslammers, 5.50 index, 6.50 index, Kayla James Pro Junior Dragster and Kayla James Top Junior Dragster. More details, including payout, can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system. Today, the median life expectancy of a person with CF is close to 40, and although this is a great improvement from 50 years ago, there is still a long way to go. Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication and behaviors. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children. There is currently no cure for either autism or cystic fibrosis.

“I was just going to have it as a small gig with my friends and raise whatever I could,” Pike began, relating the story of how Drag Race for a Cure came to be. “Well I mentioned it to Heather [Carter] and she got on board and ran with it. In planning the event I didn’t want it in the middle of summer when it’s so hot and there’s always a chance of rain. So March 28 was really the only date they had open. Incredibly, that also happened to be three years to the date that Kayla passed away. I had no idea.

“We had 361 cars show up at our first race. Kayla’s father was preparing his old Mustang for her to race once she graduated juniors. Unfortunately, she never had the opportunity to race it. The first pass ever made at the Drag Race for a Cure was Kayla’s dad in the Mustang.

“This year, the thing is off the hook,” Pike continued. “Elaine Larson donated two jet dragsters to put on a show to help draw people out. We want to raise money, but the most important thing to us is to raise awareness.”

The event will also feature an Easter Egg Hunt for kids, complete with Easter Bunny, Pro Mod match races, slingshot dragsters and more. Along with Pike, Carter and Snell, Valerie Houghton rounds out the team of event hosts.

“I would like to say a huge thanks for all of the support that everyone has shown,” Pike said. “I would like all of you to know how much this race means to all of my family, my friends, my daughter Paige and myself. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart. We are so looking forward to kicking CF and autism’s ass on March 26th, 2016.”

Drag racers are often known for their generosity, pitching in to help fellow competitors when the situation calls for it, giving of time and money when a racer comes up against difficulty, and planning entire events to benefit those in need. Drag Race for a Cure is a beautiful example of the heart of the drag racing community.

Drag Race for a Cure is still seeking sponsorships and donations. To get involved email DragRaceForACure@gmail.com or call David Pike at 941-256-4974.


Based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, the Professional Drag Racers Association is the top sanctioning body in the United States for the sport of eighth-mile drag racing. The PDRA’s professional categories include Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Pro Boost, and Pro Extreme Motorcycle along with Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Pro Jr. Dragster, and Top Jr. Dragster. The 2016 PDRA schedule consists of nine national events. For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com.
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