Charitable events combined to raise more than $175,000 for Sonoma County youth groups during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 24-26.

Most of the proceeds will benefit the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway, which has distributed more than $3.7 million to qualified youth groups in Sonoma County since 2001.

The Children’s Champions Grand Marshal’s Banquet generated $134,000, while the 9th annual KFOX Race-n-Rock Charity Auction, which was hosted in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle on NASCAR Sunday, raised more than $31,000.  More than $10,000 was also generated through various donations throughout the weekend, including a $1,000 donation from Farmers Insurance.

The Grand Marshal’s Banquet was held on Friday, June 24, at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma and featured Grand Marshal John Ratzenberger, best known for his role of Cliff Clavin on the sitcom Cheers and the voice of Mack the truck in Cars and Cars 2. The sold-out sit-down dinner, which also featured NASCAR drivers Boris Said and Marcos Ambrose, plus NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Ned Jarrett, attracted nearly 500 people.  Proceeds from the banquet will be split between Speedway Children’s Charities and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.

“The excitement and celebrity appeal of NASCAR creates multiple opportunities to leverage the generosity of our fans, sponsors and members of the community,” said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway.  “This was a terrific result for Speedway Children’s Charities and we thank everyone who combined to make it happen.”

The top-selling item at the KFOX Race-n-Rock Charity Auction was a Ride of a Lifetime with NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. during pre-race ceremonies, which netted $2,800. Other top selling items included a Jeff Gordon signed firesuit ($2,450) Jeff Gordon Ride of a Lifetime ($2,150) and a Tony Stewart signed helmet ($1,400). A Brad Paisley-signed guitar from KUFX-FM generated an additional $1,150.