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NASCAR moguls lend helping hand

Jeff Gordon and his team owner, Rick Hendrick, are lending helping hands in different ways this week
Jeff Gordon and his team owner, Rick Hendrick, are lending helping hands in different ways this week
Photo: AP/ Mark Dupree'

      Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, has loaned a plane for Haiti earthquake relief. The NASCAR team loaned a 45-passenger plane and two flight crews to an organization that is participating in the Haitan earthquake relief efforts. The plane was leant to Missionary Flights International, which will send support teams in and out of Port-au-Prince.

The HMS aviation team is planning to fly at least one roundtrip per day, with the first flight scheduled to leave Fort Pierce, Fla., on Sat. morning. HMS’ eight-team aviation crew consists of HMS aviation director Dave Dudley, four captain-level pilots, one mechanic and one flight attendant. All the members volunteered to participate. The crew will take 30 passengers and mechanical supplies into Haiti, with no timeline set on how long the plane and personnel will assist.

A second plane is on stand by, with Hendrick covering all costs associated with the flights. Hendrick Motorsports said on Friday they received a special exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the plane into Port-au-Prince. Although, the airport is struggling to handle the flood of relief arriving, which is slowing down the amount of planes coming in to help. According to CNN, the devastation that occurred on Jan. 12 has brought the death toll to over 100,000.

Another NASCAR mogul that has leant a helping hand this week is four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, Jeff Gordon. The driver of the #24 joined the ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ team as the celebrity carpenter. The TV show is being filmed this week in Horry County, South Carolina.

Amanda and Derrick Suggs and their children will see the house they inherited from Derrick’s grandfather rebuilt into a stronger, safer home in only a week. The show’s producers said they chose the Suggs after hearing the story of how they adopted Amanda’s younger siblings to keep them out of foster care. Derrick Suggs, a police officer, was also nominated as an officer of the year last year for his role in helping save an infant who had stopped breathing while his mother was driving down the highway.

Gordon was chosen as the celebrity because the Suggs family members are NASCAR fans, with Derrick being an avid Gordon fan.

NASCAR drivers, who call Charlotte home, never shy away from supporting a good cause.

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