With a sterling time of 44.334 seconds, Strafford County Deputy Mike Raiche burned through a tricky road course to capture the top spot of the 2013 Race to Benefit Children "Sheriffs Showdown."  Deputy Raiche narrowly held off Carroll County Sheriff Domenic Richardi to win the event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Raiche navigated his cruiser through a course featuring a slalom, a water hazard and multiple hairpin turns to take home a special prize for children in need.  Thanks to his speedy driving, Deputy Raiche received a $10,000 check to help fund the Strafford County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), which assists children who are victims of crime and abuse.

"What a fun way to raise money for a terrific cause," said Deputy Raiche after his win.  "I am honored to be taking home the trophy.  It was a tough course, but it felt good to cross the finish line with the fastest time."

All ten New Hampshire county sheriff's departments participated in the driving showdown and finished the course within a few seconds of one another.  Volunteers from CACs statewide cheered on their driver and celebrated the win with Strafford County officials.

"We struggle to fund our program," said Kristie Palestino, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Centers of New Hampshire.  "This money will go a long way towards helping children who are struggling through a very difficult time in their lives.  It means so much to be the recipient of this donation, and we want to thank New Hampshire Motor Speedway for their generosity."

This is the second year in a row NHMS has hosted a competition to donate money to a children's program in New Hampshire.  Last year, city officials in Nashua won education funds for correctly predicting the winner of last July's Sprint Cup Race, Kasey Kahne.

"It is important to give back to the community and we know how hard people work on behalf of children in need," said Jerry Gappens, Executive Vice President/General Manger of New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  "But we also like to do something fun while promoting a great cause.  Child Advocacy Centers give a voice to young people in need, and it is my honor to help them with their incredible efforts."

The fun was on display as the ten drivers raced a road course set up by Sports Car Club of New Hampshire.  There was plenty of trash talk and good natured fun as the cruisers navigated thorough the tricky obstacles.

"At the end of the day, no one lost this competition," says Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard.  "The kids won today, and my fellow sheriffs and I had a great time competing on the road course. I plan on practicing a lot to get ready for next year.  Deputy Raiche needs to watch his rear view mirror."

Each driver had to negotiate through the course twice.  Times were kept by the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire.  Drivers received a two-second penalty for hitting a cone and a 20-second penalty for going off the designated course.  Competition was fierce and despite the penalties, every driver finished with a time under one minute. 

Drivers who competed in the order in which they finished:
Deputy Mike Raiche - Strafford County:               45.334
Sheriff Domenic Richardi - Carroll County:          45.490
Sheriff Eli Rivera - Cheshire County:                   46.142
Deputy Marshall Bennett - Rockingham County: 46.752
Deputy Mike Auciello - Hillsborough County:       46.831
Sheriff Craig Wiggin - Belknap County:              47.981
Deputy Chad Morris - Grafton County:                 50.604
Sheriff Jerry Marcou - Coos County:                   52.007
Sheriff Scott Hilliard - Merrimack County:           52.206
Sheriff Mike Prozzo - Sullivan County:                57.694