D.C. (October 28) -- This past month, several members of the racing
community participated in Race Against Drugs program during the 13th
annual National Red Ribbon Week Celebration at the Pentagon in
Washington, D.C. Special invitations were given to NASCAR Craftsman
Truck Series driver Bill Lester, ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Justin
Allgaier and motocross champion Eric Saunders to help promote
awareness of the Race Against Drugs program. Allgaier is the
17-year-old son Mike and Dorothy Allgaier of Hoosier Tire Midwest in
Springfield (IL) and Saunders is the 11-year-old son of Irish and
Sheila Saunders. Irish is the Manager of Contract Sales with Hoosier
Racing Tire in Lakeville, IN. The event was held inside the Pentagon
in the interior courtyard for the 23,000 individuals that work inside
the country's security epicenter. The racers and their
equipment--which included a boat, a stock car, a race truck and a
motorcycle, were on hand for the special ceremony. The participants
signed autographs and had their pictures taken to help raise awareness
of our country's fight to keep young people drug-free.
Thomas O'Connell, Assistant Secretary of Defense for
special operations and low- intensity conflict, commented during the
ceremony, "Drugs pose an enormous threat to our national
security. U.S. service members and Department of Defense (DoD)
civilians are fighting against worldwide threats, including drugs, to
keep our homeland secure."
O'Connell explained, "The department also works with civilian
efforts such as Race Against Drugs. By joining forces with civilian
anti-drug initiatives, DoD accomplishes more in the fight against
drugs and is thankful for all of the achievements these programs have
made." Race Against Drugs was founded in 1989 by Ron Steger, who
was also in attendance at the Pentagon event. Race Against Drugs
promotes the message of staying drug-free to the people in our
Steger stated, "Racing is an exciting sport that's a great
venue to market the fight against drugs. Racers can only be high on
adrenaline and cannot use any substance of any kind that impairs their
When asked of his experience 11-year-old Eric Saunders had this to
say, "Being asked to participate in such an important program
like Race Against Drugs was a great honor. I was really proud to
represent the sport of motocross racing at our nation's capitol."
Simply put Saunders said, "I don't want kids doing drugs."
Saunders continued, "Our whole family got to make
the trip to Washington D.C. and we also got to do some sight-seeing
while we were there. We even got a tour of the US Capitol where, I bet
you didn't know the Statue of Liberty can fit inside the rotunda with
a foot and a half to spare!"
While we didn't know that, we do know that the entire
Hoosier organization is proud of Eric and Justin for their
participation in the Race Against Drugs program. Eric is sponsored by
another Indiana native, 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart
through Tony Stewart Racing.
The Department of Defense posted a story on their
website covering the festivities in the Pentagon courtyard. You can
click here to read that story: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2003/n10282003_2003102812.html
A story also appeared in the local paper (The South Bend Tribune) on
Eric's trip to the Pentagon. You can read this story by clicking here:
The ARCA RE/MAX Series also did a story on Justin Allgaier and the
Pentagon trip on their website. This story can be read by clicking
Needless to say, there are a lot of people and organizations proud of
Eric and Justin on their trip to Washington.