Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports raising $500K for hurricane victims

Brendan Marks, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

Can Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the Hendrick Motorsports team raise half a million dollars in two weeks?

They're certainly going to try.

On Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports -- whose drivers include Earnhardt, Johnson, Chase Elliott, and Kasey Kahne -- announced it was starting a disaster relief fund for victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, which could hit Florida as early as Sunday.

To jumpstart the fund, the organization and its four drivers are committing $200,000 themselves.

"The devastation caused by Harvey is incomprehensible," Johnson said in a statement. "NASCAR fans are some of the most generous and giving people on earth. With another hurricane (Irma) potentially on the way, we encourage everyone to consider joining us (with a contribution)."

All donations will benefit qualified charitable organizations supporting disaster relief efforts, including the Houston-based Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit anytime until September 20.

This announcement is just the latest in a line of sports figures contributing to hurricane relief.

In the NASCAR world, Team Penske's Joey Logano has already pitched in, pledging $25,000 to the American Red Cross. One of his sponsors, Shell-Pennzoil, also donated $1 million. Elliott Sadler, an Xfinity Series driver, donated a portion of his winnings from Darlington to relief efforts, too.

But no athlete has done more than Houston Texans defensive lineman and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. Watt originally started his fund with a $100,000 donation and a goal to double that -- as of Tuesday, his fundraiser has raised over $20 million.

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