Fishing for a cause: NASCAR joins forces with Hall of Fame drag racer
Hall of Fame drag racer Darrell Gwynn was joined Saturday by his NASCAR friends as they came together for the annual Hot Rods & Reels Fishing Tournament to benefit The Darrell Gwynn Quality of Life Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
The annual event, held at the infield lake at Homestead-Miami Speedway, combines some of the best NASCAR drivers with the leaders in spinal-cord injury research to help raise much-needed awareness and funds to find a cure for paralysis.
NASCAR personalities who participated included Martin Truex, who is one of four drivers still battling for the 2015 Sprint Cup championship; team owner Richard Childress; former driver Kenny Schrader; and current drivers Ryan Newman, Dave Blaney, Ryan Blaney, David Gilliland, Cole Whitt, Brendan Gaughan and Joey Coulter.
"Each year our friends from Homestead-Miami Speedway and NASCAR come out and support this event and we couldn't be more thankful. Through these events, we are changing the way the world looks at paralysis and making a difference in the lives of those who are paralyzed," Gwynn said.
The catch-and-release fishing tournament had drivers and fans compete side-by-side with prizes for the most combined weight among the top three fish and the heaviest bass. Winner of the overall tournament was Gilliland, who had three fish weighing 6.19 pounds. The heaviest bass, weighing 3.21 pounds, was caught by Coulter.
This year, during the 25th anniversary of both his last National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) win and the accident that left him paralyzed, Darrell officially become the Director of The Darrell Gwynn Quality of Life Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The Buoniconti Fund is the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.