LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA), the Official Pizza Partner of the NHRA, will have two gold cars on the racetrack this weekend at the 2017 NHRA Gatornationals. “Papa John,” the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's Pizza and Leah, winner of two NHRA Top Fuel titles this year in her Papa John’s Pizza Top Fuel dragster, will renew their on-track rivalry for charity on Saturday (March 18) during the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. Last year during the U.S. Nationals, Leah edged past “Papa John” in the inaugural Charity Challenge race and the winner earned the right to select her favorite charity. Leah picked Riley Children’s Foundation who received a $20,000 donation.
This year, “Papa John” and Leah will once again face off 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. Current races include Gainesville (March 18), Charlotte (April 29), and Indianapolis during the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend. Other venues and locations will be announced throughout the season.
“We are always looking for ways to give back to local communities and throughout the 2017 NHRA Season we will be focused on supporting and raising awareness for Infinite Hero Foundation,” said “Papa John,” the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Papa John's Pizza. “I am proud to work with Leah, an important member of our pizza family, to help shine a light on the great work they do to benefit military heroes and their families. I’m also happy my Z28 Camaro is still able to positively impact even more lives through the charitable funds it helps raise.”
“Papa John” will race his prized 1971 Camaro Z28, the same car he bought for $1,600 when he was 15 years old from money he made washing dishes at Rocky's Sub Pub in his hometown of Jeffersonville, Indiana. He eventually sold it 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.
Leah will be running a supercharged Gen III HEMI in a 2017 Dodge Challenger configured for drag racing.
In addition to the contribution to Infinite Hero, bragging rights will be on the line this Saturday. If Leah wins, “Papa John” will have to wax her car before the next race; if he wins, she will apply a shiny new coat of wax to his iconic gold 1971 Camaro Z28. “I want to beat him as badly as he wants to beat me,” said Leah. “He’s a pizza maker, and I’m a racecar driver. I can’t let him beat me at my own game. Whoever gets waxed…has to wax!”
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 Gatornationals, funded by Papa John’s and Don Schumacher Racing. Mike Wilson, former U.S. Marine, will accept the check on behalf of Infinite Hero and present the Charity Challenge winner with the Pizza Paddle trophy.
“At Infinite Hero, we believe that mental and physical rehabilitation for our veterans can and must be better. Our heroes deserve it and we will continue to deliver it with the help of like-minded individuals and companies like Papa John’s,” said Colin Baden, Founder and Board President of the Infinite Hero Foundation. “Infinite Hero looks for the impossible challenges and drives through to find solutions, across the nation and at the community level. We are excited to partner with Papa John’s and DSR on the Charity Challenge Series and make a real impact for veterans.”
The Charity Challenge will run on Saturday, March 18 at the NHRA Gatornationals in between qualifying races. "Papa John’s" Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and Pritchett’s Mopar Challenger Drag Pak will be showcased in the NHRA Midway Display Friday, March 17 – Sunday, March 19. "Papa John" and Pritchett will be greeting fans and signing autographs at the display on Saturday, March 18 from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. 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.