#JusticeForFloyd. #SayTheirNames. #BlackLivesMatter.
These are just a few of the trending hashtags on social media and around the country after the tragic death of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020.
It has sparked an outrage across the country, protests upon protests taking place to raise awareness for the continuing systemic racism that has plagued the United States of America for a long time.
It sparked Monon Rahman, an engineer for Rick Ware Racing, and Rajah Caruth, one of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity racers, to step up and bring awareness in the racing community.
Rahman and Caruth put together the charitable event with a push from their friend, Brad Perez (road crew member for Martins Motorsports). The event would be named the #GeorgeFloyd100, a 44 lap race at the virtual Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval utilizing the iRacing.com technology on Friday night.
101 sim racers signed up and donated to the George Floyd Memorial Fund – a minimum of a $9 donation (to represent the almost nine minutes in which Floyd pleaded with the officer that he couldn’t breathe) was required to enter the event, and many went beyond that, raising over $1,300 just among the entrants days before the event.
A donation pool aimed at helping the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund for the main event was established. Steve Luvender/Trading Paints, Zach McAfee/Sim Seats, and Kyle Riley/FTF Racing committed to funding the pool, a $1 donation per each individual viewer during the broadcast on STN Racing.
The broadcast, produced by Zack Johnson, brought on the on-air talents of Evan Posocco and Josh Mertz, and reminded viewers the entire night about the cause.
Many of the participants had their cars blacked out, or painted up with logos, banners, or anything else to bring awareness to the situation.
101 drivers were shortened down to 41 after qualifying and last chance events earlier on Friday night.
When it was all said and done, Jake Nichols, driver of the No. 24 for Mode Motorsports in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, took home the victory.
Nichols led 12 laps of the 44 scheduled, including the most important one, passing Allen Boes (Total Advantage Motorsports) with four laps to go to take the win.
Brian Mercurio, up-and-coming driver for Lowline Racing who is attempting to make the iRacing Pro Series later this season, started on the pole, and led the most laps, 18.
Mercurio possibly led the second most important lap, the one at the competition caution at lap 20.
During the caution, Mercurio led the entire field down pit road and brought them all to a stop, as a three minute moment of silence was observed. The three minutes represented the three minutes that Floyd was unconscious, still under the officer’s knee.
The field shut off their virtual engines, and the broadcast went silent, only once interrupted by the sound of the virtual AI pace car passing by.
Nichols took the lead after staying out with Santiago Tirres during the caution. Tirres led the field back to the green, but Nichols took over on lap 27.
Boes attempted to stretch the fuel mileage, and was able to successfully do so when it was all said and done, but wound up with a fourth place finish. Zack Novak and Kenny Brady rounded out the podium behind Nichols.
Check out some of the social media highlights:
#GeorgeFloyd100 post-race thread:
Congrats again to @JakeNichols73 for winning the event! We saw some great strategy plays, lead changes, and action throughout the pack.
— Monon Rahman (@MononInc) June 6, 2020
(1) HUGE congrats to @JakeNichols73 on the win! My race was one to forget, but the event is one to be remembered forever.
Thank you to everyone that registered, donated, competed, and supported this event. It means a lot to people of color not only in the sim racing community, pic.twitter.com/ZQivFKzXV3
— Rajah Caruth (@rajahcaruth_) June 6, 2020
Thank you to everyone who participated in the #GeorgeFloyd100. Between the entries, viewer donations, @steveluvender and all the viewers of the stream on STN, we’ve donated over $2600 to the @NAACP_LDF and the Floyd Memorial Fund! Not only that (1/2)
— Kyle Riley (@WheedMBoise) June 6, 2020
Please donate to George Floyd’s Gofundme: https://t.co/xghCJaWzoW
— Mode Media House (@ModeMediaHouse) June 6, 2020
Thanks to Ben Tucker, another additional $200 has been put together for the winner to donate to a racial justice reform charity/organization of their choice. Will also update with the resulting org from this in the AM.
— Monon Rahman (@MononInc) June 6, 2020
- Jake Nichols
- Zack Novak
- Kenny Brady
- Allen Boes
- Austin Johnson
- Brian Mercurio
- Michael P Frisch
- Chase Alvey
- Santiago Tirres
- Evan Rice
- Jake Poulin
- Mike Rasimas
- Blake Sasser
- Jacob Fisher
- Ethan H Smith
- Ray Alfalla
- Daniel Silvestri
- Garrison Hogan
- Liam Brotherton
- Justin Botelho
- Nick Olsen
- Shawn M. Butler
- Austin Drake
- Nick DeGroot
- Brandon Hauff
- Tre Shuttlesworth
- Leigh Overton
- Eric R Prewitt
- Julian Perez
- Covy Moore
- Jonathan Taylor
- Rajah Caruth
- Brandon Buie
- Zachery Robinson
- Dylan Ault
- Steven Rosales
- Ethan Kurtz
- Donovan Strauss
- David Schildhouse
- Chris Overland
- Nate S Stewart
Photo Gallery (all photos by Justin Melillo / TRE via iRacing.com):
Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com