‘Pink My Ride’ this weekend at Rapid Speedway, I-90 Speedway and Huset’s Speedway
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June 1, 2012  |  by Steve Zwemke

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- USRA B-Mod racers Tyler and Tracy Johnson, along with several other drivers in all divisions, will have their cars decked out in pink for this weekend’s 6th Annual ‘Pink My Ride.’

Inspired by one little girl with cancer, Pink My Ride began in 2007 as a one-time event for the Johnson brothers to raise money in honor of their cousin, Cylie Pastian. Six years later, ‘Pink My Ride’ efforts have raised nearly $96,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network and for Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls.

"It's real special that there's as many guys that are ‘pinking’ their cars and helping with donations as there is. We never expected that," co-creator Tracy Johnson said. "Everybody that we race with, looks forward to it every year. As soon as the season starts, they're asking when ‘Pink My Ride’ is because everybody looks forward to it."

In 2009, the Johnson brothers signed a pledge with Sanford Children's Hospital to raise $100,000. With the generous support of local businesses, racecar drivers and race fans they have been able to donate over $78,000 since that time.

Every dollar has been donated to Children's Miracle Network/Sanford Children's Hospital and 100% of it stays here to help local children and their families. ‘Pink My Ride’ is very optimistic that the remaining $22,000 will be raised this year.

"It's pretty crazy to see what the racing community will do when they come together and everyone gets behind something. When you’re dealing with kids, obviously, you kind of touch everybody a little bit and it shows. I’ve noticed that since I was a little kid with the racing community. Anytime there's somebody that needs something or there's a way that somebody can help out, they're more than willing to get involved," co-creator Tyler Johnson said.

As volunteers get set for another year, including Cylie a healthy high school sophomore now, the future of ‘Pink My Ride’ is unknown.

"Things are kind of still in the air about the future. Obviously filling the pledge was the first real goal we set with this ‘Pink My Ride’ stuff. I guess right now we want to try and get through and put together the money we said we would. We'll kind of see how things are going after the year and how things play out and see if we can continue to do it," Tyler said.

The brothers along with their Dad spent two full days this past weekend getting this year's cars all dressed up in pink. They say it’s time well spent if it helps out kids and families in need.

"You see any kid that has any sort of illness or injury, it’s just hard to stomach. Kids don't deserve to be in pain or suffering. They’re not supposed to be in the hospital. They’re supposed to be out on the playground having fun with their friends. They don’t deserve that,” Tracy said. “To do something like this, it's really special to try and help the kids and families get better and go back to their every day kid life, what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Cylie was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2007. She had scans this week and was cleared by doctors.

The Johnsons, and many other racers supporting ‘Pink My Ride,’ will race at Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, Iowa, on Friday night; I-90 Speedway in Hartford on Saturday; and Huset’s Speedway in Brandon on Sunday. Please visit these tracks this weekend to see some exciting racing and support a great cause.

Fans will have a chance to support ‘Pink My Ride’ on these three race nights through their donations or by purchasing Pink My Ride T-shirts, thermals, hoodies and koozies.

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