Lucas estate - photo courtesy Lucas OilEnlarge Photo
Forrest and Charlotte Lucas have made more than a little bit of money with their Lucas Oil products - and to a large part they've shared their fortune with folks in the racing trade. Charlotte continues to drive in NHRA's Lucas Oil Sportsman ranks and their son, Morgan has his own Top Fuel team. Known for their kindness and generosity, this self-made family always presents itself as givers, not takers.
It's never unusual to see one or both of Lucas' parents on hand to watch NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, even as they lend their sponsorship to ageless Top Fuel competitor Chris Karamesines, Larry Morgan in Pro Stock and Hector Arana and Hector Arana III in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Their MAVTV logo adorns Roger Brogdon's Pro Stock car and Brandon Bernstein's dragster. They've got racetracks all over the midwest for a variety of racing activities, not just straight-line speed attempts. Oh, and then there's Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts and home to this year's football Super Bowl.
Now Lucas Oil and its owners are getting involved with the IZOD IndyCar Series, hosting a charity function on their Indianapolis-area estate that benefits Teammates for Kids Foundation, co-founded in 1999 by singer/songwriter Garth Brooks. An elegant Indy 500 party on May 25th benefits the foundation and has come about after INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard's encounter with the family at their Super Bowl XLVI super bash before the game, also held at their estate.
The newly minted Indy 500 Soiree, presented by Lucas Oil includes gourmet food, cocktails, live music, dancing and "some surprises." It benefits Brooks' foundation and a children's play space planned for Riley Hospital for Children called Life Zones. To date there are seven such Life Zones environments in the United States.
"It's not easy for any kid to be in the hospital," said Jason Grahame, director of operations for Teammates for Kids. "It's just kind of an escape more than anything," he said of Life Zones, a high-tech colorful escape that can include a theater, stage, interactive broadcast studio, kitchen, computers together with a craft and play area for patients.
Garth Brooks will be on hand during the event and walk down the red carpet, but he's not expected to perform. Drivers qualified for the 96th Indianapolis 500 and other celebrities are expected to attend. There will be silent and live auctions and attire is listed as "cocktail casual" which could mean race attire.
Race fans and those wishing to add to their charitable contributions may RSVP by May 18 for the Indy 500 Soiree Presented by Lucas Oil. More information on the soiree and tickets are available by visiting: www.lucasoil.com/indy500soiree or by calling 317.423.3590. Ticket prices range from $300 for general admission to $750 for the VIP reception. The Lucas estate is located in Carmel, IN.