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Mike from Nevada Claims Corvette in Win Dale Jr.’s Ride Raffle to Benefit The Dale Jr. Foundation

Ron Lemasters | The Dale Jr. Foundation | 10/31/2017

2017 Events Fundraising News Win Dale Jr.'s Ride

For the seventh straight year, a lucky fan has won a Chevrolet Corvette raffled off by The Dale Jr. Foundation. This year’s recipient of a bright yellow 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Coupe with a 3LT and Heritage Package is Mike from Nevada.

For the seventh straight year, a lucky fan has won a Chevrolet Corvette raffled off by The Dale Jr. Foundation. This year’s recipient of a bright yellow 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Coupe with a 3LT and Heritage Package is Mike from Nevada.

The car features a 6.2-liter V8 engine, eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, exposed carbon fiber hood inserts along with an exposed carbon fiber dual roof package. It also includes Chevrolet MyLink radio with navigation, among other features, and perhaps the best part is, all applicable taxes are paid by The Dale Jr. Foundation.

Well, perhaps the best part is, it’s a Corvette!

The 57-year-old from Nevada flew in last week for the key ceremony, meeting Dale Jr. in the process, and arranged to have the car shipped to his Silver State home.

The story behind his winning of the Corvette Grand Sport was quite entertaining.

“I bought my ticket online, on Sept. 29, the last day I could buy one,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve missed buying a ticket every year the Foundation has had this contest. It was my son’s birthday. On Saturday, I told my wife that I was going to win it this year, and I got the ‘yeah, right; you say that every year’ response. Well, I won it this year and I am stoked!”

It almost didn’t happen that way, as he told of the phone call notifying him he was the lucky winner.

“I saw the phone call come in from Mooresville, N.C. and I didn’t even put it together in my head because I get so many solicitation calls,” Mike said. “I just hit the red button and hung up. My phone rang right away from the same number, so I thought I had better see what was going on, and it was Kelley (Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports and vice-president of TDJF). I said, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me! Did I win?’ and she asked me if I felt lucky today.

“I said, ‘oh heck yes!’”

The Win Dale Jr.’s Ride promotion raised more than $250,000 for The Dale Jr. Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is giving underprivileged individuals, with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals.

Mike, who is involved in the engineering of construction products, said he had never owned a Corvette but had driven one.

“I have driven one, a 1966 model owned by one of my buddies, but never owned one,” he said. Now he can cross that line item off his bucket list.

He already has a plan for the life his new machine will lead in the desert Southwest, too.

“I want to keep the miles low,” he said. “I want it to reach 388 miles and I don’t want to drive it any more than that. There’s a big-time Corvette track in the town I live in called Spring Mountain Raceway, and it’s said to be the largest race track in the world at a shade over 14 miles. I doubt I’ll have it out on that track.”

A native of Omaha, Neb., Mike was around racing at a very early age. A school friend’s family owned a now-defunct dirt track there, and he attended many races while growing up. Add to it the fact that he’s been an Earnhardt fan for many years and you have a perfect winner of Dale Jr.’s Ride.

“I started out as a Cale Yarborough fan and then this guy named Dale Earnhardt came along as a rookie,” he said. “No. 3 was my man for a long time, and then we had the tragedy. I’ve been a fan of Dale Jr.’s since he started racing, so I have been an Earnhardt fan since the beginning. I never did get to see Ralph Earnhardt race.”

As for The Dale Jr. Foundation, Mike admitted he’d learned a lot about it and its mission in recent weeks.

“I learned a lot more about it lately, and about Corvette Grand Sports as well,” he cracked. “Everyone is happy for me, where I work. The founder of the company is 78 years old and a longtime Corvette owner. They are great people and very supportive.” 

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