By Dino Oberto …. “Keeping Track”
Each year the stars of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards always look forward to the bi-annual stops at Pocono Raceway but perhaps none could be more anxious then Nick Igdalsky and for good reason.
As grandson to the patriarchs of the famous Long Pond tri-oval, Dr.’s Joe and Rose Mattioli, 33-year old Igdalsky, who is Pocono Raceway’s Executive, will get to race at the track he essentially grew up at.
Last year Igdalsky made his Pocono debut on the Tricky Triangle as part of his running the full ARCA tour which he finished a respectable 12th in season points and was the second highest ranked rookie.
For this coming Saturday’s Pocono ARCA 200, Igdalsky, is not only looking ahead to his home track return but it will also be with a major purpose as well.
He has formed a unique partnership with Michael’s Way, a non-profit charity organization. Michael’s Way is a charitable group that supports families who have children undergoing cancer treatments by helping pay non-medical expenses a family may incur.
Individuals, businesses and corporations are asked to support this worthy cause by making monetary donations to Michael’s Way for every mile of the 200-mile race that Igdalsky completes in the June 11 event. Individual Mileage Donations can be made per mile up to 200 miles. For example, a 10-cent-per-mile donation results in a $20 maximum donation. A 25-cents-per-mile donation results in a maximum donation of $50. A $1-per-mile donation results in a maximum donation of $200. A $10-per-mile donation would result in a maximum donation of $2,000.
“It’s going great. To this point we’ve gotten $13,000 in corporate guaranteed donations,” said Igdalsky who will be racing for local team owners Darlene and John Fox with the No. 23 Fox Reality Chevy.
“It feels really good and we’re not done yet. We have a few more days to push the phones. I’d like to double that if at all possible by race weekend and end up with about $25,000 before we even hit the track.”
Those heading out to Saturday’s Pocono ARCA 200 will have the opportunity to sign up as a donator at a designated booth which will be located behind the main grandstands. At that same location race goers can also take a chance on winning a 2011 Harley Davidson XL 883L Superlow Sportster which has been autographed by 38 Philadelphia Eagles football players. The Harley raffle is being sold for $10.00 per ticket
If not attending the race you can go online to www.michaelsway.org and make a guaranteed or modest donation.
“They (Michael’s Way) do some pretty big functions. They’re associated with the Eagles Fly for Leukemia and also hold a big dinner each year and golf tournament. This will be their first foray into motorsports and they’re very excited. They can see the absolute overwhelming potential of this endeavor and the fact that we already generated over the 13,000 mark bodes well for the whole process. They’re going to get added exposure and donors for their cause which I’m all for,” said Igdalsky.
“They’re looking to help as many kids’ families as possible. Not many organizations do what they do to pay for the non-medical expenses.
“I have to really thank the folks from Sunoco. Michael’s Way will be on the hood of the car and Sunoco will be on the quarter panels because they were awarded for giving the largest guaranteed corporate donation which was $5000.”
While Igdalsky is working hard to generate as many contributions as possible, there is the matter of the race too.
“I actually feel we’re going to have a pretty good race car on Friday and Saturday. My expectations would be a top-15 and we’d come out pretty happy. If we come out with a top-10 we’d be ecstatic,” he noted.
“It’s always special to run here at your own track. Not many people get to say that and it’s an honor. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity not only race but to race at a facility that you grew up at as a kid. I don’t take that lightly. This means a lot to me.
“It’s a big race for both Darlene and John Fox and the Fox Reality Group Chevrolet. Their office is literally a mile from my house in Pocono Summit so it’s a home race for the owners and a home race for me,” he continued.
“We haven’t been together as a team very long and we’ve only run a few races this year and there’s some work that needs to be done but with the chassis we have and hopefully with the engine we have for this weekend we should have a pretty strong car.
“Wayne Hixon, who had been setting up these cars, has a lot of experience here at Pocono and hopefully we can get a good setup in the car and get a good finish on Saturday.”
Igdalsky is a veteran racer with a successful record in stock car racing on both ovals and road courses and in sports car racing. This season he is competing in select ARCA events that have and will include Daytona, Talladega, New Jersey Motorsports Park and both Pocono races. In addition, Igdalsky is competing this season in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series in the ModSpace/Construct Corps MazdaSpeed 3.
Since he won’t hit the track until Friday which will be for practice and Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell, he’ll be utilizing his time until then to make more calls to within the racing fraternity in hopes of raising more donations.
“Any amount helps. The dimes and nickels add up over time. It’s been a great success so far and hopefully with the exposure from this race we can absolutely dwarf what we’ve done already.”
For more information about Michael’s Way or on how to donate, click here for their website.