Charity Challenge Series Rematch: “Papa John” to Race Top Fuel Driver Leah at NHRA’s Four-Wide Nationals

The Pizzamaker puts his gold 1971 Camaro Z28 to the test again against Champion Drag Racer in Charity Challenge Racing Series to benefit Infinite Hero Foundation

"Papa John," the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's Pizza and Leah Pritchett, winner of three 2017 NHRA Top Fuel titles, will face off in their second Charity Challenge this season on Saturday, April 29, at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. (Photo: Business Wire)

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.--()--Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA), the Official Pizza Partner of the NHRA, will look for two wins at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte this weekend, as “Papa John,” the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's Pizza and Leah Pritchett, winner of three 2017 NHRA Top Fuel titles, face off in their second Charity Challenge this season on Saturday, April 29. Kicking off the season-long challenge in Gainesville at Gatornationals, Leah was quick off the line securing her 2-0 Charity Challenge record against sponsor “Papa John” including last season’s race at NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

This year, “Papa John” and Leah’s on-track rivalry will play out in a series of races for charity—the Charity Challenge Series. “Papa John” and Don Schumacher, owner of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), each will contribute $10,000 ($20,000 total) to the Infinite Hero Foundation (InfiniteHero.org) at each Charity Challenge Series race. In addition to Gainesville and Charlotte, the two will ride in Indianapolis during the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend.

“This 2017 NHRA season is all about the veterans for us, so we will be focused on supporting and raising awareness for the Infinite Hero Foundation,” said “Papa John,” the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's Pizza. “Leah is off to a great start this season with three wins, and her platform helps shine a light on the great work Infinite Hero does to benefit military heroes and their families. I’m happy to work with her, an important part of our pizza family, and that my gold Camaro can be used to help support an important cause.”

“Papa John” will once again race his prized 1971 Camaro Z28, the same car he bought for $1,600 at 15 years old and sold to keep his dad out of bankruptcy and start the very first Papa John's pizzeria. In 2009, he was reunited with his cherished Camaro and fit it for racing.

Infinite Hero™ Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes awareness and provides resources to help combat the mental and physical issues that returning military heroes and their families may face, will receive $20,000 at Four-Wide Nationals, bringing contributions to a total of $40,000 so far this season. The winner of the Charity Challenge race in Charlotte will hand the $20,000 check, funded by Papa John’s and Don Schumacher Racing, to Gary and Mari Linfoot. Gary, a retired U.S. Army officer with 5,000 flight hours and 1,200 hours of combat, is the survivor of a helicopter crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Through Infinite Hero Foundation, Gary became the first military recipient of an Ekso Bionics exoskeleton for home use. With the help of his wife Mari, Gary has taken over 300,000 steps with the exoskeleton.

Infinite Hero seeks to fund programs that are exploring innovative treatments for our military and their families dealing with service-related injuries.

“With each step in the exoskeleton suit, I am not only able to stand or walk, but also provide feedback to help improve the technology for those in the future,” said CWO5 Gary Linfoot, U.S. Army (ret.). “We are excited to partner with Papa John’s and DSR for the Charity Challenge Series to raise awareness and funds for more innovative programs that can make an impact on veterans and their families lives.”

The Charity Challenge will run on Saturday, April 29 at the NHRA Four-Wide in between qualifying races. “Papa John’s” Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and Pritchett’s supercharged Mopar Gen III HEMI® engine in a Dodge Challenger configured for drag racing will be showcased across from Leah’s pit Friday, April 28 – Sunday, April 30. Continuing this weekend, NHRA fans can receive 30 percent off their regular menu priced Papa John’s online orders using code: LEAH30.

About Papa John’s

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world's third-largest pizza delivery company. For 15 of the past 17 years, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John's is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and the Official Pizza of Major League Baseball. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com. Also visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PapaJohns, Twitter at http://twitter.com/PapaJohns, YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/papajohns, Instagram at instagram.com/papajohns, Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/papajohnspizza, and Vine at vine.co/papajohns. Looking to be a part of something Better? Learn more about franchising with Papa John's at www.papajohns.com/franchise.

About Don Schumacher Racing

Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered near Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Ind., includes eight professional NHRA teams in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett in the Papa John’s Pizza/FireAde dragster, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher, the three-time and reigning world champion Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown and 2013 world champion Shawn Langdon. In Funny Car, two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2016 Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge driven by 2016 world champion Ron Capps and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr. DSR has won 297 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships. Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.

About Infinite Hero Foundation

A 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, Infinite Hero Foundation combats the most difficult front line issues – mental and physical – facing returning military heroes and their families. The Foundation funds programs that drive innovation and the accessibility of effective treatments for military heroes and their families dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries. For more information, visit www.infinitehero.org, or follow Infinite Hero on Facebook.

Contacts

Papa John's International, Inc.
Peter Collins, 502-261-4233
Senior Director, Public Relations
peter_collins@papajohns.com

Contacts

Papa John's International, Inc.
Peter Collins, 502-261-4233
Senior Director, Public Relations
peter_collins@papajohns.com