Back in January at the Northeast Motorsports Expo and Trade Show in Augusta, Maine, a bold racing effort was launched with a very important goal, to raise money for the Special Olympics of Maine and New Hampshire. Now, the effort reaches its next stage this coming weekend, entered in its first race this weekend at Lee USA Speedway on the Granite State Pro Stock Series with former GSPSS and Modified Racing Series winner Jacob Dore behind the wheel.
Headed by Steven Perry of Mainely Motorsports along with driver and mechanic Dore, Dream Ride Racing came to be, with the team preparing to field a Super Late Model for five races and a Tour-type Modified for four races. After building a new Super Late Model with the help of athletes from the Special Olympics in two days at Northeast Motorsports, Dream Ride Racing was well on its way.
Dream Ride Racing was inspired by the Dream Ride Experience in Connecticut, a year-long community effort all culminating with the Dream Show weekend. The weekend features a multitude of events, including the Dream Cruise, a 12-mile cruise which provides rides in exotic cars for the Dream Riders.
“I came up with the idea after attending the Dream Ride event in Farmington, Connecticut for the Special Olympics athletes. I decided I wanted to do more, because we used to do a couple of fundraisers a year for them through racing to try and raise some money,” Perry told Speed51.
“So I came up with the concept of going racing and selling sponsorship packages, just like everybody does to fund their racing; only with our program the money went to the Hometown Foundation and was distributed through the Special Olympics. We are also going to be donating all of the winnings from all nine events we run to go to this too.”
With a starting goal of $70,000, the effort of the program focused on selling sponsorship packages – gold being for $2,000 and silver for $1,000 with one spot available per race. There is also the $500 bronze level, with an unlimited number of sponsors per race, with each having a sticker on the cars for each event.
“The way we did it was that we had gold, silver, and bronze sponsorship packages,” said Perry. “The gold would be associated as being a major sponsor for an event, silver as an associate sponsor, and bronze would be a casual sponsor. We had nine opportunities for gold and silver, one for each race, and we sold them all out. We added a platinum level and we’ve sold a couple of them. We sold a lot of bronzes and we’re unlimited on them.”
The addition of the platinum level, $3,000 per race, has already gained traction, with a number of races remaining. Dream Ride Racing is still taking the bronze level sponsorships going forward. The program has also benefited already from the efforts of different race teams in the region.
“With the help of people like Bobby Webber Jr., who’s donated quite a bit from his race team, we are sitting at either committed or collected, $55,000,” Perry said. “It’s unheard of, people will sometimes give a percentage of their winnings to a charity, this and that. We are giving 100 percent of our winnings and 100 percent of our sponsorship money earned. When people write the checks, they don’t write it to me, they write it to the Hometown Foundation.”
With Dream Ride Racing already on target for its goal before even turning a wheel, Perry decided to take things up a notch in the past month.
“We could stop right now with what we have and still make the $70,000 because of the two fundraisers we have left, and the race winnings,” explained Perry. “But, after we had the kickoff party at Bentley’s, I upped the ante, and challenged everybody to go for $100,000. Let’s see if this little race team out of Maine running nine races in Maine and New Hampshire can raise $100,000 for the Special Olympics of Maine and New Hampshire.”
Expecting a great more deal of exposure over the team’s nine race schedule, five of which are currently schedule to broadcast live on the Speed51 Network, including this Sunday at Lee USA Speedway, Perry expects the new goal to be more than attainable.
“We’re excited to get on track and we think the program will gain even more momentum as it goes in front of the race fans who are at the track or even watching on Speed51. When they see the opportunity with what this little team is doing in raising all the proceeds that are going to the Special Olympics.”
Following this weekend’s Granite State Pro Stock Series race at Lee USA, Dream Ride Racing will go to Wiscasset Speedway (ME) for another Super Late Model event on Saturday June 2. From there it is on to White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) for the first Modified race, the inaugural Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge on Sunday, June 16.
After a month off, Dream Ride Racing returns with the SLM for the GSPSS Gate City Classic at Hudson Speedway (NH) Sunday, July 14. A trio of Modified events follow, including the Tri-Track Open Modified Series SBM 125 at Star Speedway (NH) on Saturday, July 27, Valenti Modified Racing Series round at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) on Saturday, August 3, and the Tri-Track race on the Night Before the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) Saturday, August 27.
The program concludes with two SLM events, the Boss Hogg 150 at Wiscasset on Sunday, September 1 and then Friday, September 6 during the GSPSS portion of the Star Classic at Star Speedway.
For more information on the Dream Ride Racing program, visit http://mainelymotorsportstv.com/
For more on the Dream Ride Experience, visit https://www.dreamride.org/
Fans can watch Jacob Dore and Dream Ride Racing this weekend in the Granite State Pro Stock Series event at Lee USA Speedway with a Premium Membership to the Speed51 Network. Click here to sign up today.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo