Friday, May 12, 2017

Auction of Shirley Muldowney fully-operational replica dragster moved to September

HOUSTON (May 12) -- The auctioning of drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney's one-of-a-kind Super Comp dragster modeled after her iconic "Last Pass" Top Fuel dragster -- the proceeds of which will benefit her namesake charity, Shirley's Kids -- has been postponed due to the recent death of Muldowney's son John Muldowney.

The Danny Nelson-built Racecraft Chassis, powered by a 582-cubic-inch Chevrolet Head Hunter motor from Sunset Performance, will now be sold at Dana Mecum’s Auction to be held Sept. 6-9 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

"Shirley has been devastated by the passing of her only child, John, and she needs adequate time to grieve so we have moved the auction to September," Shirley's Kids Chairman Stan Holt said. "Our thanks to the professionals at Mecum Auction, who have been so supportive and helpful. They completely understood the situation and graciously moved our time slot to the Dallas auction.

"We're sorry to disappoint the many people that have expressed an interest in the racecar and were planning to bid on it next week in Indy to support Shirley's Kids, but we hope they all understand our predicament."

Because of the generous support of sponsors, 100 percent of the proceeds from the auction will go directly to children in need through Shirley's Kids, a 501(c)(3) charity founded by Stan and Sheila Holt. The dragster build was made possible through donations from John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Coughlin Jr. at JEGS High Performance, Danny Nelson at Racecraft Chassis Ultimate Sportsman Dragsters, Buddy Wood, Sunset Performance, Stu Grant and Bryce Jones at Goodyear, Digital Delay, the Original Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants and Rob Geiger at Geiger Media Global. 

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Friday, April 28, 2017

John Muldowney, son of legend Shirley Muldowney, dead at 59

CHARLOTTE (April 28) -- John Muldowney, the son of drag racing icon Shirley Muldowney, died of a blood clot Thursday at the age of 59 in Springfield, Mo.

John Muldowney was the only child of Shirley Muldowney and her first husband Jack. He worked on Shirley Muldowney's dragsters throughout her driving career and has since worked for a variety of other teams, machines shops and fabricators.

In lieu of flowers, Shirley Muldowney is asking friends and fans to consider making a donation to Shirley's Kids, the 501(c)(3) charity created in her honor that helps kids in need at various stops on the NHRA tour. Donations can easily be made at

Monday, April 24, 2017

Shell joins Shirley's Kids' support of local child in need for second straight year

HOUSTON (April 24) -- For the second straight year, Shell partnered with Shirley's Kids in support of a local child in need. Headed by drag racing pioneer Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney, Shirley's Kids selected 9-year-old Zane Smock of League City, Texas, to join the four-time world champion as a guest of honor at the annual NHRA Spring Nationals in Baytown, Texas.

While at the drag races, the Smock family was presented a check for $5,000 from Shell representative John Chiboroski. Zane suffers from Cerebral Palsy and the donation will be used to offset some of his medical expenses. Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture caused by damage that occurs to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.

"Zane and the Smock family are true champions and we’re so honored to help recognize their courageous spirit," said Chiboroski, Shell Lubricants influencer marketing manager. "Shell and our brand Pennzoil continue to have a long history supporting our communities through organizations like Shirley’s Kids and motorsports including NHRA drag racing."

Shirley's Kids is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity created by Stan and Sheila Holt, owners of locally-based Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants. Because Muldowney has lived her life in drag racing, the organization first seeks out deserving children within the racing community. Recipients may be struggling with medical issues or financial hardships brought on by a personal or family tragedy. With corporate support, Shirley's Kids pledges 100 percent of all proceeds raised go directly to the designated children.

"The people from Shell have been absolutely wonderful and I'm so pleased and honored they helped our charity again this year," Muldowney said. "You better believe I'll be singing their praises all season! They've always been a wonderful company that supports motorsports and charities like ours without hesitation.

"Little Zane is my new best friend. He's such a great kid and having lost his father, he really enjoyed coming out to races with the folks from Boys and Girls Country and meeting all the drivers. The check from Shell and Shirley's Kids was a total surprise to the family and you could see by their reaction how much it meant to them. This is exactly why we created Shirley's Kids; to help children like Zane."

From left to right, Shirley's Kids founders Stan and Sheila Holt, Deacons of Deadwood president Geoff Seaman, Zane Smock (front), Shirley Muldowney, Olivia Smock and Shell representative John Chiborowski during the check presentation at the NHRA Spring Nationals.

About Shell Lubricants
The term ‘Shell Lubricants’ collectively refers to the companies of Royal Dutch Shell plc that are engaged in the lubricants business. Shell Lubricants companies lead the lubricants industry, supplying more than 12 percent of global lubricants volume.* The companies manufacture and blend products for use in consumer, heavy industrial and commercial transport applications. The Shell Lubricants portfolio of top-quality brands includes Pennzoil®, Quaker State®, FormulaShell®, Shell TELLUS®, Shell RIMULA®, Shell ROTELLA® T, Shell SPIRAX® and Jiffy Lube®.

*Kline & Company, “Global Lubricants Industry November 2016: Market Analysis and Assessment. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Initial year of Shirley's Kids charity a real triumph for legend Shirley Muldowney

HOUSTON (Dec. 20) -- The first year of Shirley's Kids, the 501(c)(3) charity bearing the name of NHRA drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney, was a huge success with seven children and their families being helped through the generosity of charity founders Stan and Sheila Holt and several corporate and individual sponsors.

Started as a way for Muldowney to show appreciation for the less fortunate among her legion of drag racing fans, Shirley's Kids easily lived up to its goal of helping children in need at traditional stops along the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Even with Muldowney sidelined for a few months due to her own health concerns, lives were definitely changed and the organization already is making big plans for 2017 and beyond.

Shirley Muldowney with Atlanta
recipient, Robert Tocher
"This has exceeded all my expectations," Muldowney said, "and yet there is so much more we'd like to do. I'll tell you, Stan and Sheila Holt, Nicci Gustavus, Frank Bellini and my wonderful agent Rob Geiger, they all put in a lot of work, countless hours of work, to make this happen. My job was easy, and a lot of fun, because there is nothing I cherish more than helping little children that need a lift in life.

"There's a lot of charities out there and people are so generous, but I know this one is special because every penny that comes in goes right to the kids. That's not always the case, believe me. But with Shirley's Kids, Stan and Sheila graciously cover all the costs to make sure the kids get as much help as possible. And a lot of what we gave the kids came from Stan and Sheila also."

The first "Shirley's Kid" was 12-year-old Jaeden Rossman, who is battling cystic fibrosis. He joined Muldowney for a special day at the Amalie Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., with Amalie assisting with a $5,000 donation to the Rossman family.

Next was the instantly-lovable Kevin Bean, a 6-year-old from Charlotte, who had just completed a round of chemotherapy to help fight brain cancer. He also received $5,000, this time with the help of IDG.

Houston recipient, Tacey Raulerson
receives a check for $10,000
Along with hometown giant Pennzoil, and the Deacons of Deadwood Motorcycle Club, a 200-member strong charitable riding group in Houston, Muldowney was able to give 16-year-old Tacey Raulerson and her family a whopping $10,000 to help them retrofit their home. Tacey lost her sight due to a tumor so the Raulerson residence needed some structural adjustments, which they were able to do after Shirley's Kids funded the project.

"Everyone at Shirley's Kids truly are angels," said Tammy Raulerson, Tacey's mom. "I had been praying to God that we would somehow find a way through the financial problems we were having and a few days later He gave us Shirley Muldowney. Our lives will never be the same."

In Atlanta, Shirley's Kids and sponsor Goodyear were able to offer some fun and $5,000 of financial relief to Robert Tocher, the son of drag racing journalist Ian Tocher, who was severely injured in a top-end crash in Rockingham, N.C.

"That one really sticks out in my mind," Shirley's Kids CEO Stan Holt said. "That kid was so pure, so happy we thought of him, and he'd been through a really scary deal with his dad being so beat up by the accident. Thankfully, Ian is getting better and those two will soon be able to do all the things fathers and sons do. I just hope we were able to bridge the time gap a little for them."

Just before the Denver race, JEGS High Performance stepped up as a major sponsor of Shirley's Kids, and six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. himself helped present 4-year-old Silas Kline and his family with $5,000. That money will be used to help defray the costs associated with home schooling Silas, who is autistic.

In Indianapolis, 9-year-old Dakota Bierman-Ulm, who had just been released from Riley's Childrens Hospital, where he had been recovering from injuries suffered when his family's house burned down, joined Muldowney for a fun-filled day at the track. The family also received $5,000 to help replace many of the items Dakota lost to the fire.

Dallas recipient, Trenton Tyer with
Top Fuel Driver and Shirley's Kids supporter,  Clay Millican
The season of giving concluded in Dallas with the help of Buddy Woods' Sunset Performance Racing Engines and Danny Nelson's Racecraft Chassis. Local hero Trenton Tyer, who suffers from Perthes Disease, a rare childhood condition that affects blood flow to the hipbones, was a crowd favorite as he and Muldowney took the stage during driver intros. The Tyer family was then surprised to receive a check for $5,000 to help them with medical expenses.

"Aside from helping the kids financially, I think they all had really fun days at the races," Muldowney said. "And the professional drivers, all of them, made such an effort to say hello and spend a little time with our honored guests. Those kids got more autographs and hats then they knew what to do. It was so much fun. Our hope is we relieved their suffering a little and let them know that all of us in the drag racing family love them and want them to get better.

"Moving forward, I call on the racers and the sponsors to jump on board and help us in our mission. Clay Millican, Jim Oberhofer and all the Coughlin boys got the ball rolling so lets keep it up. We are making a difference, one child at a time, and it's staying in the drag racing family, which is important to me. I can't wait to get next season started."

On the media side of things, Dave Bowen of Let's Race Magazine has pledged his publication's support in 2017, which will include stories on each future "Shirley's Kid" along with advertising to help raise awareness for the charity.

Shirley's Kids supporter Jeg Coughlin Jr., Shirley Muldowney and 
Sheila Holt present Silas Kline and family with a check for $5,000.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Shirley Muldowney has memorable return to Denver with Shirley's Kids recipient

DENVER (July 26) -- When reflecting on her return to the drag strip in support of her namesake charity, Shirley's Kids, four-time Top Fuel champion and motorsports icon Shirley Muldowney has one overwhelming memory.

Silas Kline
"My little buddy Silas was such a doll, he's going to be a real heart-breaker one day," she said, referring to the newest Shirley's Kid recipient Silas Kline. "He was so sweet to all the drivers when they came over to say hello during driver intros and that cute smile never left his face. We picked an awesome kid, for sure."

Founded by restaurateur Stan Holt and his wife Sheila, Shirley's Kids is a 501(c)(3) charity with a stated goal of helping kids in needs at various stops on the NHRA tour. It's designed as a way for Muldowney to say "thank you" to the communities that supported her and NHRA drag racing for years.

The son of (Ret.) U.S. Army Sergeant Jason Kline and his wife Aylssa of Colorado Springs, 4-year-old Silas suffers from Autism. To help the family, which includes siblings Wesley and Onaleee, prepare for the home schooling Silas will require in the coming years, Shirley's Kids presented them with a check for $5,000.

"I was contacted about being selected as a prize winner of tickets for the race and a chance to meet Shirley Muldowney," Aylssa Kline said. "We were super excited about that. Then we get there and they take us up to the starting line and the kids got to meet all the drivers and get autographs. That was way more than we expected.

"All of a sudden they call Silas up on stage with Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Sheila Holt and out comes this giant check and I was just stunned. I immediately started crying. It's such a huge deal for us and we can't thank JEGS, Lupe Tortilla, Stan and Sheila Holt and, of course, Shirley Muldowney, enough. This is a day we'll never forget. Silas already wants to go back to another race with 'Ms. Sheila.'"

In addition to meeting all of the top pros, the Klines met twin brothers Marcus and Morgan Luttrell, former Navy Seals, with Marcus the author of Lone Survivor, as well as J.R. Martinez, the former Army soldier who won season 13 of Dancing with the Stars.

"Those young men really showed Silas he can overcome anything," Muldowney said. "They inspired all of us."

Supported by companies across the racing spectrum, Shirley's Kids is underwritten by the Holts so all proceeds can be distributed to families in need. To get involved, make a contribution or to find out more about Shirley's Kid's, please visit

Shirley's Kids supporter Jeg Coughlin Jr., Shirley Muldowney and
Sheila Holt present Silas Kline and family with a check for $5,000.
The Kline family accepts the $5,000 check Shirley Muldowney and Sheila Holt.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney diagnosed with lung cancer, will undergo surgery Wednesday in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE (May 24) -- Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney has been diagnosed with lung cancer and will undergo surgery at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in downtown Charlotte early Wednesday morning to remove her right lung, where a Stage II tumor has grown. Renowned thoracic and cardiac surgeon Dr. Harold Howe will lead the team performing the five-hour-long procedure.

"I urge everyone to keep up with their health and get chest X-rays as often as possible to make sure they are OK," the 75-year-old Muldowney said. "I'm a fighter, always have been, and I'm going to fight this as best I can with everything I got. Dr. Howe is the No. 1 guy in the business, and he's as ready as I am to get this thing out of me.

"I'm ready for the pain to stop. It's been getting worse the last few weeks as they did biopsies and the pre-op stress tests to make sure I was strong enough to have the surgery. Everything is good, so we're getting it done."

Muldowney began racing in the 1950s at Fonda Speedway in New York, driving a dragster built by then-husband Jack. Several years later, in 1965, she became the first woman to earn a professional NHRA license. After a few years of racing gas dragsters, Muldowney switched to Funny Car, and in 1971 she won her first major race, the IHRA Southern Nationals. She also began a long career in match races, battling all the best drivers of the era throughout the mid-1970s.

A move to the Top Fuel class in 1973 helped her burgeoning career blossom. In another major accomplishment, she became the first woman to win an NHRA race in a professional class in 1976, going to the winner's circle at the Spring Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

The following season she earned the NHRA Top Fuel championship after becoming the first driver in the class to win three consecutive national events. It was the first time a female driver had won a major motorsports title anywhere in the world. Muldowney earned the Top Fuel crown again in 1980 and 1982, and she also earned the AHRA Top Fuel championship in 1981, her fourth major championship in a six-year period.

"The fans have always been what's kept me going, and I'm sure people will be concerned about me now," said Muldowney, who had a movie, Heart Like a Wheel, made about her life. "Well don't be; I'll be fine. There are still a lot of things left I want to do."

In lieu of flowers or cards, Muldowney is asking her friends and fans to donate to her charity, Shirley's Kids, at Muldowney started the charity this year and already has helped four children in need with large cash donations at races in Gainesville, Fla.; Charlotte; Houston; and Atlanta. Because of corporate support, Shirley's Kids passes through 100 percent of all donations to the children it helps.

"The most joy I've had in years has come this season working with our little team at Shirley's Kids," Muldowney said. "Stan and Sheila Mae Holt have covered all our costs so all the money we raise goes to the kids, and Rob Geiger, Nicci Gustavus, and Frank Bellini have worked tirelessly to make this thing a success.

"If people can find it in their hearts to make a donation, that would brighten my spirits immensely because I know where all the money in this charity goes: Right to the kids that need it. And believe me, we have changed some people's lives for the better.

"Thank you in advance for all the love and prayers. It all helps. My sister (Linda Roque) and niece (Betty Peek) along with Stan and Sheila are here with me, so I'm in great hands."

Because of her pending surgery and the doctor-recommended recovery and rehabilitation time, Muldowney's agent, Rob Geiger, announced that previously scheduled appearances at the NHRA national events in Englishtown, N.J., and Bristol, Tenn., will be canceled. Depending on Muldowney's health moving forward, other appearance dates will be announced on

Shirley Muldowney started Shirley's Kids this year and already has helped four children in need. Shirley's Kids passes through 100 percent of all donations to the children it helps.
Shirley Muldowney was the first female driver to win a major motorsports title anywhere in the world, earning the NHRA Top Fuel crown in 1977, 1980, and 1982 and the AHRA Top Fuel championship in 1981. (Auto Imagery photo)

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Monday, May 2, 2016

With support of Shell, Shirley's Kids charity makes biggest donation to date at Houston race

HOUSTON (May 2) -- Drag racing legend Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney welcomed 16-year-old Tacey Raulerson of College Station, Texas, into her Shirley's Kids charity Sunday during the 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals, presenting the two-time cancer survivor with $10,000 thanks to the generous donations of Shell and charity founders Stan and Sheila Holt of Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants.

"God has answered our prayers and we are completely overwhelmed," said Tommy Raulerson, Tacey's mother. "When Shirley Muldowney invited us for a day at the drag races, that was such a thrill and Tacey barely slept the last few days because she's been so excited. Then they got her up on stage with Shirley, and suddenly John Chiboroski from Shell and Stan and Sheila Holt from Lupe Tortilla walk out with a giant check made out to Tacey for $10,000. I almost fainted.

"You have no idea what this means for us. It's truly going to change our lives. The air conditioner at home went out last week, and together with some remodeling we need to do to make the house a little easier for Tacey to get around, we were looking at about $5,000 in expenses. I prayed for God to help us last night, never expecting this at all, and then we come here and get this surprise. We've never felt so loved."

Tacey was first diagnosed with cancer at age 7, and although she successfully conquered the disease at that time, it left her blind. It was during her rehabilitation from that first bout of cancer when she became a drag racing fan as she realized she could hear, smell, and feel the ground-pounding acceleration of 10,000-horsepower dragsters.

Another fight against cancer came a few years later, but once again Tacey emerged victorious, and her unwavering spirit made her an obvious choice for Shirley's Kids, the 501(c)3 charity Muldowney and the Holts started earlier this year. The stated goal of Shirley's Kids is to help a child in need at each of the stops of the NHRA tour that Muldowney visits. So far, three deserving children have been named "Shirley's Kids."

"It touches your heart to be able to help these wonderful children," said Muldowney as she clutched Tacey near. "It's given my life purpose, and for companies like Shell to get involved and help us with our mission, it fills me with happiness. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Shell. Your reward is this beautiful smiling girl."

Chiboroski, marketing manager for Shell, said supporting Shirley's Kids became a priority for his company soon after they learned of the group's work. Additionally, during Sunday's check presentation to Tacey, he issued a challenge to all the other corporations involved with NHRA drag racing.

"It was an honor for us to be able to help the Raulersons and Shirley's Kids," Chiboroski said. "Shell and our Pennzoil brand have a long history of charitable contributions and our involvement in NHRA drag racing is increasing, so it was natural for us to get involved with Shirley's Kids. Now we want to challenge all the other companies involved in the sport to step up and match our contribution."

For more information, visit

 John Chiboroski of Shell, left, helps present a $10,000 check to Tacey Raulerson (center, with hat and sunglasses) along with, from left, Stan Holt, Shirley Muldowney, Sheila Holt, Mike Raulerson (partially obscured), and Geoff Seamon.

The term "Shell Lubricants" collectively refers to the companies of Royal Dutch Shell plc that are engaged in the lubricants business. Shell Lubricants companies lead the lubricants industry, supplying more than 12 percent of global lubricants volume. *The companies manufacture and blend products for use in consumer, heavy industrial and commercial transport applications. The Shell Lubricants portfolio of top-quality brands includes Pennzoil®, Quaker State®, FormulaShell®, Shell TELLUS®, Shell RIMULA®, Shell ROTELLA® T, Shell SPIRAX® and Jiffy Lube®.

*Kline & Company, "Global Lubricants Industry July 2015: Market Analysis and Assessment.

Please visit,, and for more information.