Top Fuel newcomer Joe Morrison is making only his second appearance, but he’s making a big impression with his nonprofit Right2Breathe® organization (www.Right2Breathe.org), providing education and awareness about the impact the coronavirus has on the approximately 50 million Americans living with respiratory disease.
The driver of the Leverich Racing Top Fuel Dragster and CEO of Right2Breathe® is hosting a display in the Manufacturers Midway this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway.
The Flemington, N.J., resident and second-generation drag racer pulled double duty, also trying to qualify for his first race-day start in the Leverich Family-owned dragster. After Saturday’s first session, Morrison was 12th in the tentative order.
This is the fifth time in three years that the Right2Breathe® Project has been showcased at an NHRA national Event. It also has been on display at Charlotte, Epping, N.H., and twice at Reading, Pa.
The Right2Breathe® Project is a grass-roots-marketing lung-health education, awareness and screening campaign hosted at public venues ranging from automotive car shows, drag races, and trade shows to sporting events, including professional baseball, in the United States.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the free screening portion – or spirometry exams – will not be available for those attending the Dodge Indy Nationals. However, respiratory experts will be onsite to answer questions. Available will be updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and lung disease patients-specific tips provided by renown pulmonologist and Right2Breathe® board member Dr. Brian Carlin, MD.
Morrison said, “While racing a Top Fuel dragster on Sunday morning has always been my dream, helping the 50 million Americans living with respiratory diseases is our reality at Right2Breathe®. Since 2014, we’ve completed thousands of free spirometry exams, helped provide a baseline for people to be diagnosed correctly, and provided practical resources to patients and caregivers alike. But to be honest, the growth of activity we’ve experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has been incredible.”
He was referring to the dramatic increase in participation with the group’s latest health awareness initiative, the Right2Breathe Pulmonary Chat Online Patient Support program. This online chat is a live video conference, hosted three times per month, with medical experts providing presentations and answering patient and caregiver questions about living with asthma, COPD, and other respiratory diseases.
“This virus has impacted the drag racing community, with folks like Bob Tasca, Bobby Bennett, Todd Smith, and Whit Bazemore struggling with symptoms of COVID-19 – and these guys are generally healthy dudes,” Morrison said. “COVID-19 is a real disease, but there are many people who are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms and complications than others. Those with underlying conditions sometimes need peace of mind, especially with all the conflicting information being spread through social media and general media outlets. And this is what our online chat program offers.”
He said, “The virtual presentation is 100-percent free, completely secure, and complies with all HIPAA regulations. Respiratory-disease patients, caregivers, or those that simply want to learn some facts about asthma, COPD, and IPF – or have questions about COVID-19 – can sign-up by visiting the Right2Breathe Facebook page and registering via the Events tab.”
The organization produced the following video, complete with guitar music by Morrison himself, who when he was a teenager naively wanted to pursue a career as a rock star so his earnings could support his drag-racing habit.