NASCAR champions, fans raise more than $40,000 for Phoenix Children’s    

Inaugural NASCAR Championship Ignition Luncheon benefitting Phoenix Children’s fuels the race to find cures for pediatric cancer 

A fun conversation about the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs did a lot of good on Tuesday at the Arizona Biltmore.

The NASCAR Championship Ignition Luncheon raised more than $40,000 for Phoenix Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Master of ceremonies and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett led a stirring conversation with fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon and 2022 NASCAR regular-season champion Chase Elliott.

More importantly, they highlighted the on-going battle Phoenix Children’s wages against pediatric cancer. They were joined on stage by Dr. Mario Otto, whose research focused on adaptive immunotherapy for pediatric malignancies, stem cell graft engineering and molecular-targeted radiotherapy, are making a difference.

Yet it was 10-year-old Daniel Sanchez’ presence on stage that stirred the crowd the most. Sanchez, who is battling osteosarcoma — a form of bone cancer — received a standing ovation and was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by Gordon, Elliott, team owner Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports drivers Alex Bowman, William Byron and Kyle Larson.

“Our NASCAR champions and the champions of our community made an impact today,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “Not only did they bring joy to Daniel, they also provided additional resources to bring more joy to other children and their families going through the most difficult of circumstances.”