Racing 4 Autism car to take on land speed record at Maple Grove Speedway
Celebrity drag racer Frank Holly will attempt to break the land speed record this weekend at the UTI Sunday Funday event at Maple Grove Speedway. The current "wheel-driven" land speed record for a car without jet or rocket engine is 439.562 mph set in September 2012 by George Poteet in the Speed Demon streamliner.
Holly will be driving the GTP Challenger - also known as the Racing 4 Autism car. David Reichwein - a serial entrepreneur who created the Clapper - designed the GTP Challenger and worked for about two years with Arrington in Martinsville, Va. to build it. The Dodge boasts a staggering 1000 horsepower.
Here's the cool part: If the Racing 4 Autism car breaks the land speed record on Sunday, Reichwein will share the engine plans with everyone who donates $100 or more to Devereux, a Philadelphia-based non-profit serving individuals with special needs. Then, after the Challenger finishes a circuit of charity races and car showings around the U.S. to benefit FreeFit for Autism, it will will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to Devereux.
The money raised will be put toward renovating the Auto Shop at the Devereux Center for the Adult Occupational Therapy Program. The Auto Shop is a full-service auto repair shop employing eight adults with intellectual disabilities and autism. It will be redesigned as both a community repair shop as well as fulfill the needs and interests of individuals employed in the program. To learn more about the renovation plan, click here.
So, why is David Reichwein willing to give away his engine plans? It is because Autism awareness is near and dear to his heart. A relative is a resident at Devereux and has made significant progress since starting there.
Devereux was founded in 1912 by Helena Devereux, a Philadelphia public school teacher who was inspired by students considered "slow" by her colleagues. Devereux believed that every child could learn if they had an environment tailored to their needs. This was nearly 30 years before the term "autism" was ever used.
Still headquartered in Philadelpiha, Devereux has grown to offer a full continuum of individualized care for those living with autism and their families. Traditional residential care, community-based group homes, academic/day programs and workforce employment programs such as The Shops at Devereux are just a few examples.
To learn more about Devereux, click here.