Monday, July 22, 2013

Teams On Track to Raise $250,000

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams On Track to Raise $250,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® Inaugural St. Jude Culinary 500 scheduled for July 24

INDIANAPOLIS (July 22, 2013) – Six-year-old Michael Wanser, affectionately known as “Iron Man Mike,” lost his life to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in October 2011 but he continues to inspire hope in the fight against pediatric cancer.

His parents – Laurie Wanser and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) Indy car Team Manager Barry Wanser – are driven to honor his legacy by hosting an inaugural tasting called the St. Jude Culinary 500 on Wednesday, July 24, at the team’s Indy car racing headquarters in Indianapolis.

Actor, humanitarian and public speaker Ashley Judd will host the event.

The event will feature cocktails, live and silent auctions, entertainment and gourmet food from some of Indianapolis’ finest restaurants for more than 200 business professionals, dignitaries and special guests, including the racing community.

Already, the benefit is on track to raise a quarter of a million dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® to support its daily operating costs of $1.8 million per day for continued research and treatment of cancer and other deadly diseases.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital relies on funding from everyday people like the racing community. Thanks to their generous support, no patient family ever receives a bill from St. Jude and doctors and researchers stay focused on what matters most – saving children’s lives regardless of their financial situation.

Michael was a welcome fixture on the racetracks and often described as energetic and hilarious. Many drivers visited him during his treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. When his AML relapsed after his bone marrow transplant in 2011, his parents turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for treatment but his cancer proved too aggressive for a second transplant.

"Like every race car driver out there, Michael wanted a true shot at winning his race...against cancer," said Michael's mother. "St. Jude put Michael back into the driver’s seat to finish his race with a lot of love, laughter, video games, wrestling moves and one-liners. Michael took the checkered flag knowing that his many friends at St. Jude will use his leukemia samples to help other children win their races against cancer."

The event will be attended by Chip Ganassi, CGRT drivers Scott Dixon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, along with a number of others from the racing community. There will also be both LIVE and Silent auctions to benefit St. Jude as well as a special presentation from CGRT.

Participating Restaurants

Late Harvest Kitchen Eddie Merlot’s Chef Ryan Nelson Chef Raymond Dial Like us on Facebook at

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Since opening more than 50 years ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting or following us on and

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams

Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include three cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Overall his teams have 15 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and five Rolex 24 At Daytonas. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn. For more information log onto

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