Commentary | Annual Pro-Am Kart Race benefits All Children's Hospital, honors Dan Wheldon

March 12, 2013 

Several professional race car drivers are scheduled to be on hand at Andersen RacePark this Sunday for the second annual Pro-Am Kart Race to benefit All Children's Hospital in memory of Dan Wheldon.

Wheldon, the late IndyCar star, and his wife, Susie, were supporters of All Children's Hospital in the past, according to a news release.

The cost is $250 per person interested in participating, and the entire entry fee goes toward All Children's Hospital.

The plan is for a noon start, with a modified endure format with 12 to 15 lap stints with all driver changes coming simultaneous.

Andersen's Birel N 35-X (Rock Kart) are being used with a pro driver on each team.

For more information, contact co-chairs David Bassett at 720-1964, Page Obenshain at 727-823-2555 or Dave Herndon at 727-804-1439.

Inaugural Shamrock race

A new race is coming to downtown Bradenton. The inaugural Shamrock 5K

Run/Walk is scheduled for Sunday on Old Main Street to benefit the Foundation of Dreams and the Women's Resource Center.

There's a variety of events for everyone. There is a 5K competitive race, a 5K chip-timed run for dogs with their owners, a 1-mile fitness walk and a children's leprechaun race.

Registration begins at 1 p.m. for all events, and anyone interested should contact event coordinator Douglas Schiller at 932-6147 or via email at for more information.

IMG football mini-camp

The fourth annual IMG Academy football program's kickoff mini-camp is scheduled for this weekend. More than 100 high school football players from 15 states will receive individual position work and classroom film study sessions.

There is also 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 competition.

It's all aimed at gaining a place at the All-Madden Mini-Camp, slated for late July.

Gladiators back in win column

The Bradenton Gladiators are 4-1 following a forfeit victory over the South West Florida Bobcats in the Florida Football Alliance.

That means the Glads are tied atop the NFC Central Division standings with Orlando, but the Rage hold the tiebreaker after handing Bradenton its only loss a couple weeks ago.

Nonetheless, the Gladiators are No. 3 in the latest FFA Power Rankings. They only trail the Rage and the Magic City Bulls.

The latter are the only franchise that has yet to lose this season.

Bradenton returns to the friendly home confines of the Manatee PAL Complex for this week's game against the Treasure Coast Bobcats.

Intermediate baseball

Manatee West Little League has replaced its majors division with an intermediate division. That means players can lead off from each base, a skill usually picked up after Little League.

Players also have bigger barrel bats, metal cleats and are operating on 70-foot basepaths with the pitcher's mound pushed back to 50 feet.

This past week was the first one for the intermediate division, and KCI defeated Westway Shell 7-6 in a recent game.

Matt Christy knocked in Luke Evangelista with a game-winning RBI double.

Meanwhile, Andrew Procter struck out six in 3 1/3 innings of relief for KCI.

Other leading hitters for KCI were Xavier Negrette (triple) and Nicco Grandal (two hits).

For Westway, Spencer Stevens through a complete game and added a triple on offense.

Also leading Westway's offense was Ben Schnuur, who chipped in with two hits.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill.

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