INDIANAPOLIS, IN – May 30, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – In an event as exciting as the Indianapolis 500 itself, an auction featuring a one-of-a-kind Indy Car raised more than $1 million for kids fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The Stinger, a priceless salute to a century of Indy 500 racing, sold to 22 members of an elite group called “The Century Club” for $900,000, in addition to other items that were auctioned off totaling more than $1 million with 100 percent of the money raised going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.® Window World®, America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, commissioned the building of The Stinger. The company partnered with Barrett-Jackson, the World’s Great Collector Car Auctions® for the event, which was held in Indianapolis at the Dallara IndyCar Factory ahead of the 100th Indy 500 race.
Barrett-Jackson chairman and CEO Craig Jackson (Left) and Barrett-Jackson lead auctioneer Joseph Mast with the Stinger prior to the charity auction in Indianapolis.
“When we built The Stinger we knew we had a winner that would draw racing fans from all over the country who would passionately fight to own this piece of IndyCar history,” says Tammy Whitworth, CEO of Window World. “The bidding was fierce and exciting and we congratulate The Century Club for winning the car. Every cent will go to children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. One of our company’s core values is to give back, so we end The Stinger’s journey with the greatest finish of all.”
The Stinger is an interpretation of the 1911 Marmon Wasp, the car that won the first-ever Indy 500. Racing great John Andretti crisscrossed the country to get the car autographed by 249 veterans of the famous race.
Immediately following the winning bid, members of The Century Club announced The Stinger will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in Indianapolis for visitors to enjoy for years to come. “This is such a special car to so many people, we are thrilled that our group came out with the winning bid,” said Jeff Stoops. “The fact that we put together a group that raised $900,000 that will be donated to St. Jude just speaks to the character of those involved.”
“Window World, its leadership, franchisees and customers have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and our life-saving mission,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The successful auction of The Stinger exemplifies Window World’s commitment and creativity in raising funds and awareness critical to our efforts to find cures and save the lives of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases in communities everywhere.”
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and vows not to stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
The Stinger is the latest project of Window World’s philanthropic arm, Window World Cares®, which, to date, has raised nearly$7.5 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“I drove in more than 500 races but the greatest thrill of my life is to witness The Stinger raise $1 million for sick children and their families,” says Andretti. “This car is a trophy for an elite group of drivers alright, but now it’s also a monument to the real heroes – the courageous children fighting each and every day stay alive.”
Background on The Stinger:
John Andretti has racing in his blood, competing in 436 NASCAR races and 83 Indy-style races. His uncle Mario raced 29 500s; cousin Michael has 16. Andretti took his passion for racing to Window World, his sponsor for three of his Indy 500s and later years in NASCAR. Window World spared no expense with its commission of The Stinger, including state-of-the-art aerodynamics and a meticulous recreation of the yellow and black color scheme and infamous wasp-like tail of the Marmon Wasp – the first-ever Indy winning car. Honda chipped in by donating an Indy race-winning engine.
The names on the car are a who’s who of racing legends from all genres and forms that have raced in the Indianapolis 500. Big names like four-time winners A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr. are prominent, along with other greats such as Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and Cale Yarborough, as well as recent superstars like Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart.
Roadblocks to Signature Success
Andretti was determined to make The Stinger the greatest rolling autograph collection in motorsports. However, the road to get signatures wasn’t easy, and logistical potholes slowed the process. Andretti set out to get the signatures of all 273 living veterans of the Indianapolis 500 through 2011. Four drivers died before they could sign it, Six more died after they signed it. Twenty-one have yet to be found. Many are overseas and Andretti, adamant that the car stay in one piece, says shipping a piece of it to Europe or Australia won’t happen.
About The Stinger: The Stinger is a history-making IndyCar, an interpretation of the 1911 Marmon Wasp, the car that won the first-ever Indianapolis 500. Racing great John Andretti lapped the country with The Stinger to get every living Indy 500 veteran to sign it. The car, adorned with 249 racer autographs, was auctioned ahead of the 100th running of the Indy 500. One hundred percent of the money was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Window World, America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company paid for the meticulous building of The Stinger.