You can’t blame all the competitors in this weekend’s NHRA season-opening Lucas Oil Winternationals if they were a bit envious of the check former Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert pocketed Saturday.
Herbert’s B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Defensive Driving organization was the recipient of a $1 million donation from legendary NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle multi-champion Terry Vance during ceremonies at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
B.R.A.K.E.S. (“Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe”) was founded by Herbert 10 years ago after his two teenaged sons, Jon and James, were tragically killed in a car crash near their suburban Charlotte, North Carolina home.
Since then, the non-profit program has trained over 34,000 teenagers and their parents across 45 states and five countries to prevent injuries and save lives by training teens and their parents to be safer drivers on the road.
“Terry and I have been friends for years, and we have a lot in common,” Herbert said. “Besides loving racing, driving and riding, we’re also parents and we both recognize that protecting our kids and setting them up for success in life is the single greatest accomplishment you can ever aspire to.
“Thanks to Terry’s generosity, the charity that I founded to honor my sons is going to help a lot more teens and parents nationwide.”
Vance, the winningest rider in NHRA PSM history with 14 championships and co-owner of Vance & Hines Racing, recently attended a B.R.A.K.E.S. intensive half-day defensive driver training program with both of his own teen sons.
“As a parent, every time your kid goes out the door, especially if they’re getting into a car, you want to know that you’ve done everything in your power to help them get back home safe,” Vance said. “B.R.A.K.E.S. training does that.
“It gives teens skills and knowledge that we all know they’ll need on the street, and it stresses the importance of making good decisions to avoid trouble in the first place. I think every teen should go through B.R.A.K.E.S. That’s why my wife and I are making this donation to help Doug’s program keep expanding and saving lives, and we hope to inspire others to do the same.”