Pink My Ride
Inspired by one little girl with cancer, "Pink My Ride" began in 2007 as a one time event for two brothers to raise money in honor of their cousin.
Now, nearly five years and more than $65,000 later, the event is still speeding along.
Hard to believe but 'Pink My Ride' is now in it's fifth year of helping out local kids.
“The fans liked it, the other drivers liked it so we kind of kept doing it,” Tracy Johnson said. “We've never really had a goal until last year when we made our $100,000 pledge.”
And thanks to donations that began with a simple helmet pass at local speedways and t-shirt sales among other things, the ones who started it all, the Johnson brothers, are inching closer each year to fulfilling their pledge.
“The fans have been great,” Tyler Johnson said. “The drivers have been great. The local businesses have been excellent as far as supporting us and making donations so the fact that we're in our fifth year of Pink My Ride is definitely not a surprise.”
The event is no longer just two brothers covered in pink like it was that first year. In fact, because of its success and popularity, it's become well known throughout the racing community.
“People have heard about Pink My Ride all over the Midwest,” Tracy said. “It's actually a pretty big deal. People know about it and have heard about it. People make comments and thank you for doing what you're doing. It's pretty amazing.
Last year, the Johnson's even sponsored a room at Sanford Children's Hospital.
“The fact that we have our name at the door and we are able to help support that group is pretty neat,” Tracy said.
'Pink My Ride' was inspired by the Johnson’s cousin, Cylie Pastian. Her battles with cancer have motivated Tyler and Tracy to keep the fundraiser going.
“It's too bad that we have to know the situation but knowing that we helped out is important, it means a lot,” Tyler said.
Something else that means a lot to the drivers is winning races on 'Pink My Ride' weekend. Combined, the two brothers have only claimed victory once all these years.
“We've been pretty quick every year that we've done but just come up short some nights,” Tyler said. “I definitely want to win some rides during Pink My Ride weekend.”
If they come up short again, it sounds like both will have some explaining to do when they see their cousin.
“She definitely puts the pressure on us,” Tracy said. “She likes to pick on us a little bit. I don't know if she cares too much if we win but she likes to pick on us about if we don't win. She always asks you why you didn't win. We torment her, she torments us. It's kind of fun.”
After a few radio appearances, racing begins this Friday at Rapid Speedway. It continues Saturday at I-90. Then on Sunday the Pink My Ride group will man phones during the first hour of our CMN telethon which begins at 8 a.m. That night Tyler will race at Huset's while Tracy is set to race at Nobles County.
Article Credit: Matt Holsen - Keloland News