The Grand Prix of Houston, June 27-29, brought more than IndyCar drivers, thrilling speeds and large crowds to NRG Park. The “Three Day Festival of Speed” also fueled MD Anderson’s race to end cancer.
MD Anderson was a sponsor and the official charity of the event. Grand Prix Charities of Houston once again supported the institution through sales of commemorative flags that lined the 1.7-mile MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway. New this year was the 20-foot-by-30-foot Big Flag to End Cancer, an online donor opportunity that garnered more than 400 names representing donors and loved ones who’ve been touched by cancer. The Big Flag, emblazoned with MD Anderson’s strike-through-cancer logo, was raised during the June 26 ribbon-cutting at the racetrack and was a constant reminder of MD Anderson’s mission throughout the event. Flag sales totaled approximately $40,000 for the institution’s Moon Shots Program.
The MD Anderson Celebrity Go-Kart Race featured 10 teams of celebrities and sponsors who helped raise more than $13,000. Participants included Beccy Hunter-Reay, wife of 2014 Indy 500 champ Ryan Hunter-Reay; baseball’s Roger Clemens; team owner and former Indy driver Larry Foyt; the Houston Dynamo’s Brian Ching; Lauren Sesselmann of the Houston Dash; NASCAR driver Brad Coleman®; motorcyclist Jorge Martinez; and football’s Foswhitt “Fozzy” Whittaker and Josh McNary.
An additional $25,000 came from the Yellow Party, a VIP kickoff event of Racing for Cancer, IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter Reay's foundation.
Marcus Goodnoh, a lifelong race fan from Arkansas and a patient at
MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, served as honorary grand marshal of the Sunday race. Marcus met all the drivers and presented the first-place trophy to Ric Peterson and Davey Hamilton, owners of Simon Pagenaud’s winning car.