Tony Stewart donates scooter for auction
February 14, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The custom scooter Tony Stewart used during his recovery from a broken leg last year will be auctioned off, and the winning bidder will receive much more than an autographed piece of memorabilia.
Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, has donated the scooter to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. It will be part of the Barrett-Jackson auction scheduled for April 11-13 in Palm Beach, Fla.
The scooter is painted to resemble the owner/driver's No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. It is part of a package that includes an autographed, race-worn fire suit from Stewart and a trip for two as his guests to this year's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Airfare, hotel and garage passes will be provided and two seats atop the No. 14 team's pit box for the July 5 race are also included.
Stewart is a four-time winner of the July Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona.
"I knew pretty early once we got that scooter," Stewart said of his plans for the piece. "Once I saw how much attention I got at Richmond, I thought 'we can do something productive with this.'
"We didn't know how long we were going to have to use it. The good thing is we've been a big part of the Darrell Gwynn Foundation; I'm a believer of what he does. We knew right off the bat that once it got the attention it got at Richmond, when we were done with it we were going to donate it to Darrell. Instead of just giving it away to anybody, hopefully this thing can raise some money."
The Darrell Gwynn Foundation provides support for people with paralysis through financial and other means. More than 250 wheelchairs have been provided by the foundation thanks to funds raised through various initiatives.
"These wheelchairs he gives away are worth $22,000," Stewart said. "If this can raise $50,000 or $75,000, that's two or three chairs that we can give to someone who needs it. We can take something that I have $5,000 invested in and hopefully put it to really good use."
According to officials, Stewart will match the first $50,000 bid for the scooter and prize package and donate it to the foundation.
Stewart broke his right leg in a sprint car accident Aug. 5 and missed the final 15 Sprint Cup races while undergoing three surgeries and months of rehabilitation. He returned to the track for the first time a month after his accident, at Richmond International Raceway, in early September and began using the scooter to navigate around the garage and pit road.
He will return to competition for the first time since suffering the injury this weekend at Daytona for the Sprint Unlimited.