BY DOYLE FOX,
FOR THE LEADER-POST
REGINA — Clint Tucker has all the right parts of a well-oiled racing enthusiast.
Working on engines comes naturally to him. He has a team that races at Kings Park Speedway, and he grew up a quarter-mile from the dirt track in Swan River, Man. But in the two years that he has been a member of the Regina Auto Racing Club, he has added another element: Helping people.
Tucker started his team, Racing for the Future, last season and entered it in the mini-stock division.
“It’s a lot cheaper for someone to start racing when they haven’t done it before,” Tucker said about the division.
Because he knows many people affected by breast cancer, Tucker decided to make it his cause last season. He entered a pink 1989 Chevrolet Beretta and ended up winning the division.
Off the track, Tucker raised several hundred dollars through one-lap races and 50/50 draws. The poor weather dampened fundraising opportunities, so Tucker donated part of his sponsorship money — money he normally uses to keep his cars running.
Tucker’s successful first season, combined with his insistence on raising money for charity, was enough for Regina Auto Auction to donate a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire to the team.
With another car on his team, Tucker needed a new cause. He recalled witnessing a rollover several years ago where he helped free a little girl who was pinned under the vehicle, but would eventually survive after several life-saving surgeries.
With that in mind, he initially thought about raising money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, but decided he wanted to raise funds for something in Regina, the city he has called home for the last 14 years.
He decided to champion the Access Communications Childrens Fund, where money raised goes to supporting non-profit organizations and charities that are focused on youth.
To raise money, Tucker is selling hand decals, on which purchasers can write their name and stick it on the bright green No. 25 car.
“I thought maybe if I did something like this it would bring the crowds out,” he said.
Tucker is four races into the nine-race season and has already raised $1,000. He is also continuing to raise funds for the green car.
As one of the points leaders in the division, Tucker will be looking to climb the standings tonight at Kings Park Speedway, with the first of three races starting at 7 p.m.
Tucker won’t be behind the wheel for the races because he doesn’t want to risk an injury, especially after a fall several years ago left him in a wheelchair for a year.
Tucker said his friend Noel McAvena will be driving his green car and Nathan Clifton will be in the pink car.
He said he enjoys watching the races from the pit, especially when he can see the looks on his drivers’ faces when they win. After all the racing is done, Tucker said he will take the kids attending out for a lap around the track. That part takes him back to the reason why he got involved in racing in the first place.
“I figured if I’m going to do it, I should do it for something,” Tucker said.
Photograph: Troy Fleece.
Media source: Regina Leader-Post.