National Open drivers play kickball, raise money to fight cancer

September 28, 2012

The top sprint car drivers in the country were getting down and dirty -- even before The National Open runs at Williams Grove Speedway.

Twelve teams played kickball Friday afternoon at Upper Allen Township Park in Cumberland County, raising money for children's cancer research.

The original goal was to raise $2000. On-line pledges exceeded $11,500, according to the event's web page on the Kick It charity website. Total fundraising exceeded $16,000, according to Jason and Julie Bly of, which organized the event.

Money raised will benefit Kick It, a national charity based in Cleveland, Ohio; sponsored by Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation and the Cleveland Indians.

The National Open at Williams Grove is Saturday night.

The drivers played kickball to win, too. Doug Esh scraped his elbow. Greg Hodnett had a brush on his leg. The competition was spirited.

Among the other drivers that attended: Lucas Wolfe, Kevin Nouse, Paul McMahan, Adam Wilt, Brent Marks, Danny Dietrich, Alan Krimes, Steve Buckwalter, Ryan Smith, Nicole Bower, Ashley Cappetta, Ryan Wilson, Amy Ott, Billy Pauch, Brandon Matus, Danny Holtgraver, and Kerry Madsen.

McMahan's team, NSCBBA (National Sprint Car Bean Bag Association), won the kickball championship and McMahan also claimed Friday night's feature at Williams Grove.

Saturday's race is the big one, though.

Hodnett won The National Open in 2009. Sammy Swindell got the second Open win of his career in 2010.

Jason Meyers earned $50,000 by winning last year's 40-lap race.

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