One prominent NASCAR team has raised more than $300,000 in support of the victims of war in Ukraine.
Hendrick Motorsports has pledged $302,000 to Samaritan's Purse's humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, which has been under attack from Russian President Vladimir Putin's army for almost two weeks now. The team's four-car ensemble led a total of 51 laps on Sunday's Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
According to the Christian Headlines, Hendrick Motorsports and team owner Rick Hendrick promised to donate $200,000 and an additional $2,000 for every lap led by the team. The racing team's Alex Bowman won the race and led with up to 16 laps, while his teammate Kyle Larson finished second after leading 27 laps. Another Hendrick Motorsports team member, William Byron, finished fifth and led eight laps.
Hendrick Motorsports was able to raise up to $302,000, funds that will go to Samaritan Purse's relief operations in Ukraine. Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational Christian ministry led by Franklin Graham. The 69 year old evangelist and CEO of Samaritan's Purse took to Facebook yesterday to share photos of Larson's #5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which was emblazoned with the Samaritan Purse's website and a tag line that read "Support Ukraine."
The Daytona Beach News Journal reported that Stefan Parsons' No. 99 Chevy also featured the words "Ukraine Strong" on the hood of his car, which was sponsored by advertising agency Sokal. Sokal's founder Mark Sokal has ties in Europe, saying in a press release, "We wanted to take this opportunity to let the people of Ukraine know that we stand with them and are praying for their well being."
Sokal also pledged a donation to the Samaritan's Purse relief operations in Ukraine. Graham wrote on Facebook on Monday, "We're also grateful to Stefan Parsons, Phil Parsons, Team BJ McLeod Motorsports, Inc., and their support of Samaritan's Purse work in Ukraine in yesterday's Xfinity Series race in Las Vegas."
Hendrick Motorsports's owner recounted how he and his family "watched the worsening crisis in Ukraine with shock and sadness" and were "struck by the needless suffering inflicted on innocent children." Because of NASCAR's platform, Hendrick urged many others in the industry to support Samaritan's Purse relief operations in Ukraine and other humanitarian efforts in the region.
In fact, others in NASCAR have also stepped up to respond to the devastating effects of Putin's war in Ukraine. According to Yahoo! Sports, NASCAR Hall of Fame owner Richard Childress has pledged a million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine to help them defend their nation against Russia.
Childress, who is a member of Ammo Inc's board of directors, said on Wednesday that he has reached out to chairman Fred Wagenhals after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed for other countries to supply them with ammunition instead of offering him a ride out of Ukraine.
Childress said he approached Wagenhals, saying that Ukrainians "need ammunition." Wagenhals "stepped right up," according to Childress, who reported, "Now we're turning our production to this as our number one priority."
"We have to do all we can, and I felt with Ammo Inc. and myself, we were doing the right thing. We're going to get the ammunition to them as quick as we can," Childress added.