Infineon Raceway will honor the memory of Eric Medlen during the fifth annual AutoTrader.com Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner on Thursday, July 28, at Stone Tree Golf Club.
Medlen, a native of Oakdale in the San Joaquin Valley, won the Funny Car championship at Infineon Raceway, his home track, in 2006. He succumbed in March, 2007, to injuries sustained from a testing accident. Medlen was a member of John Force Racing.
Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman (Aaron’s/Valvoline Dodge), Ron Capps (NAPA Auto Parts Dodge), and Melanie Troxel (In-N-Out Burger Toyota) will attend, as will Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas (GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster) and Shawn Langdon (Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster).
The event will be hosted for the second consecutive year at Stone Tree Golf Club, which is less than five miles from Infineon Raceway in nearby Novato, providing easy access for fans and race teams.
The night will include a one-hour charity poker tournament beginning at 6:30 p.m., as well as a no-host cocktail reception followed by a wonderful three-course meal. Bob Frey, the long-time announcer for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening and will host a Q&A session with the drivers in attendance. There will also be a charity drawing.
Tickets for the evening are $125, and include wine/beer and dinner. All proceeds will go to qualified youth groups in Sonoma County in Eric’s name through Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway.
The event, which has been sold-out each of the last four years, typically boasts a healthy contingent from Eric’s hometown of Oakdale, including his mother, Mimi, and his father, John.
Nitro Night also serves as a kick-off to the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway, July 29-31. This year’s event marks the series’ 24th annual visit to the Sonoma Valley and will feature professional competition in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes.