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Nov 8, 2006

Benefit Track Day Generates $95,000 For Injured AMA Racer Haskovec

The crowd during the after-dinner benefit auction at Infineon Raceway. Photo by Ian Donald.
SONOMA, Calif. "” The motorcycle community came together on Tuesday at Infineon Raceway for injured AMA rider Vincent Haskovec, and the results were staggering.

The event, which was highlighted by a motorcycle track day and dinner at the raceway, generated $95,000, with all proceeds benefiting Haskovec, who was injured at the raceway during an AMA event in 2005 and is currently rehabilitating in Arizona. The day was hosted by Infineon Raceway and 3J's Motorcycle Track Days.

The day featured a bit of everything, from a motorcycle track day that boasted six-time AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin to an old-fashioned Italian Spaghetti Feed and Auction. Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) even donated a brand-new Suzuki GSX-R750, which fetched $24,000 in a raffle "” the bike was won by Harry Wood.

In all, more than 400 people participated in the track day, attended the dinner or stopped by just to give Haskovec their best wishes.

"For a Tuesday, this was pretty amazing to see this many people out here to help Vincent," Mladin said. "It's been a real good time and I'm glad I'm here to be part of it. I've gotten to know Vincent and I like him a lot. He's a real good fellow and I'm glad to help."

Haskovec, who pulled the winning raffle ticket for the GSX-R750, addressed the crowd before dinner and was extremely grateful at the outpouring of support.

"I'm really speechless and touched at the amount of people that showed up for this day. It's simply incredible and I can't thank you enough," he said.

Rider Richard Cormier came all the way from Eureka for the day and piloted his Honda around the twisting road course.

"I was here when Vincent had his accident, so I thought this would be a good way to help out," Cormier said. "I met Vincent a few years ago and he was the nicest guy. I'm just glad I could do my bit to help him."

Following dinner, there was a silent auction and live auction of more than 35 items, with a prize package to the 2007 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca netting the highest amount at $1,050.

"This event really exceeded all of our expectations," said Jere Starks, vice president of facilities at Infineon Raceway, who created 3J's Motorcycle Track Days in 2003 with friends Jim Randolph and Jay Brosius. "We had hoped to raise $60,000 so this was an incredible day."

Starks, Randolph and Brosius, who are all avid motorcycle riders, have hosted nine 3J's Motorcycle Days at Infineon Raceway, raising more than $100,000 for qualified youth groups in Sonoma County through Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway. This marks the second fund-raiser for Haskovec "” the first generated $40,000 last year.

If you could not attend the fund-raiser but would like to contribute to Haskovec, make your check payable to the NEXT STEP FOUNDATION and mail c/o Jere Starks at Infineon Raceway (Highways 37 and 121, Sonoma, CA. 95476).
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