Steven B. Wilson
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Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has joined the track’s family of partners. This Veterans Day, individuals purchasing tickets online or by phone will have the option to support severely disabled veterans and their families through the “$1, $3, or $5…Let Freedom Drive” donation campaign in honor of Veterans Day, November 11.
Fans purchasing tickets to the upcoming Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event weekend, November 6-9, can make a donation to Paralyzed Veterans of America through an optional ticket add-on. The donation option is available for tickets purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or over the phone at 866-408-RACE (7223). Fans who have already purchased tickets, but would like to donate may also do so by contacting PIR through the same channels.
“We are proud to partner with the Paralyzed Veterans of America and assist them in their efforts to support disabled military veterans during the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500 race weekend,” said PIR President Bryan R. Sperber. “Race fans are among the most patriotic in all of sports, and we are honored to play a role in helping the men and women who served in uniform on Veterans Day Weekend.”
Paralyzed Veterans is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization that has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members – veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. They are a leading advocate for quality health care for all members as well as research and education on spinal cord injury and dysfunction.
“We’re very excited about the partnership announcement today with Phoenix International Raceway, and we’re thankful for their willingness to support our fundraising efforts,” said Paralyzed Veterans’ National President, Al Kovach Jr. “Veterans Day can sometimes become another day off for Americans, but for Paralyzed Veterans of America and the many veterans we serve, it’s a very important day of remembrance and thanksgiving. This campaign will help bring light to veterans issues during the patriotic holiday weekend, and support our ongoing efforts to serve those who have sacrificed for our country’s freedom.”
Homestead-Miami Speedway and the Homestead Air Reserve Base are teaming up to host a series of Air Force exercises on Wednesday, September 10, at the Homestead Air Reserve Base located in the Speedway’s backyard. A NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver who is qualified to compete in the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will visit the Base, a fully combat-ready Air Force military unit which has served South Florida for more than 50 years.
The appearance is part of NASCAR’s Chase Across North America Tour, which previews the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This is NASCAR’s equivalent of the playoffs, which boasts an unprecedented new format for 2014, and will culminate with the season-ending championship race – the Ford EcoBoost 400 – on November 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Under the new format for this year, the four remaining drivers in the Chase will compete among a full 43-car field for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, who will be determined next week, will be able to fly a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon simulator, and then work with an F-16 crew chief to prep and launch an F-16 jet from the Base. The driver will also interact with the active military members stationed at the Base, participating in a Q&A and autograph session.
Homestead Miami Speedway PR
For most people, the idea of running every day for 10 straight years seems like an insurmountable task.
Not for Bishopville, S.C. resident and Darlington Marathon participant Robbie McLendon.
This Friday, August 29, McLendon will have run every single day for 10 consecutive years, a span of 3,650 days. The avid runner has averaged 8.38 miles per day since 2004 and will have totaled over 30,607 miles of running, following the completion of his 10-year streak.
“That’s an awful lot of running shoes to go through,” the 59-year old McLendon joked. “I just enjoy running very much. In 2004, I made a decision to want to improve my health and lifestyle. Little did I know I would run for 10 straight years.”
It all began on August 29, 2004. McLendon, who weighed 242 lbs. at the time, left a hospital a few days earlier with doctors diagnosing him with Type 2 Diabetes. At that moment he decided he needed to do something different. So, he started to run. What began with a three-mile run on August 29 turned into another on August 30 and another on August 31. Before long, McLendon was running every single day with no end in sight.
Now, McLendon weighs approximately 165 lbs. He hasn’t taken insulin in years and continues to have satisfactory blood sugar levels.
“I was 49-years old and had health problems that potentially could have ended my life,” he said. “I decided at that point I needed a positive change and thought that running was the best way to get healthy. It started out as just wanting to be a healthier person, but turned into a lifestyle that I truly enjoyed. I’ve never thought of taking a day off from running to this day.”
In the 10 years since, McLendon has competed in 245 races, including 19 this year. He has completed seven marathons and over 20 half marathon events. He keeps a hand-written daily log of every run, keeping notes on his times and how he feels each day.
He continues to run despite injuries, sickness and harsh weather conditions. If the weather is too much to bear, he runs at the Hartsville Family YMCA, where he serves as a staff member.
“Congratulations to Robbie for being an inspiration in our community,” track President Chip Wile said. “To be able to run every day for 10 straight years is truly an amazing feat. We look forward to hosting him and hundreds of other runners at our Darlington Marathon event on Sept. 26-27.”
McLendon will participate in the Darlington Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 27 in the half marathon competition. He raced in the full marathon at the track Too Tough To Tame last year.
“The Darlington Marathon is a great event for our local community. In fact, it’s the only marathon event in our local area,” McLendon said. “I’m really looking forward to racing at the track and throughout the city of Darlington on Sept. 27.”
What started as a healthy lifestyle change has now turned into an inspirational story for people that are seeking ways to get their own health on track.
“I appreciate the friendships I have made through this experience,” McLendon said. “I don’t view myself as an inspiration to others. I just chose to work hard to achieve a level of health that was acceptable for me and I encourage others to do the same.”
The marathon weekend will kick off under the lights on Friday night, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. with a 5K and 1.366-mile fun run, which encompasses one lap around the Lady in Black.
Saturday’s activities (Sept. 27) will begin at 7 a.m. ET and feature half and full marathon events, along with a marathon relay. The races start inside the iconic Darlington Raceway and make their way through the city, which features five historical districts and the beautiful Williamson Park. The event concludes at the historic start-finish line.
Registration for all events is still taking place at www.DarlingtonMarathon.com.
Area racers who participate in the Pee Dee Grand Prix will also benefit by earning seven bonus points to run the half-marathon and nine bonus points for the full marathon. Five bonus points will be awarded for each team member that runs the marathon relay. The 5K will be awarded the regular two points.
Darlington Raceway PR
Children can help build Jimmie Johnson a new race car prior to the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot®500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26.
Well, not a real race car, but a wooden model of Johnson’s Lowe’s No. 48 Chevrolet as part of the Jimmie Johnson® Martinsville Ticket Package.
The Jimmie Johnson® Martinsville Ticket Package includes two adult and two youth (12 and under) tickets, an emceed question-and-answer session with six-time champion Johnson and a Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic for Youth.
The price for the package is $148. The seats will be in the Clay Earles Tower, rows 6-14. The Clay Earles Tower overlooks the second turn.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for all Jimmie Johnson fans, especially families,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “Everyone gets to see a great race, enjoy a fun question-and-answer session with Jimmie, and the kids get a hands-on opportunity to build a model car like Jimmie’s.”
The question-and answer session and the Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic for Youth will be held in the Martinsville Speedway hospitality area.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Statement from Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer
“Tony Stewart has received all necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities, and therefore is eligible to compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team, and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition.”
NASCAR President Mike Helton will participate in a media availability in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center on Friday at 2 p.m. ET. NASCAR will have no further comment until that time.
Tony Stewart has decided to return to racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. The Aug. 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.54-mile oval will mark Stewart’s first start since Aug. 3 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
Stewart sat out the past three races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway following the tragic accident on Aug. 9 involving Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car feature at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.
At 1 p.m. EDT on Friday in the infield media center at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Stewart will be available to the press, where he will be joined by Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood.
Racing returns to the high banks of Southern National Motorsports Park this Saturday night with the Labor Day 260 and Bike Night at the races. The night's on-track action will feature twin 50 lap races from the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stocks. Limited Late Models will run twin 35 lap races, with Street Stocks, Ultimate Body Shop UCARs, Legends and Bandoleros all in action as well.
In addition to the excitement on the track, Saturday evening is Bike Night at the Races, presented by Shelton's Harley Davidson. All motorcycle riders are invited to display their motorcycles in the SNMP facilities. All riders doing so will receive admission into the race for just $10. Trophies will be awarded in the following categories: Most Chrome, Oldest, Best Female Rider, Traveled the Farthest, Best Burnout, Most Unique, Best Paintjob, Highest Mileage, Fans Choice, and Loudest. A trophy will also be awarded to Best in Show. Bike Show registration is from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
In addition to all of the Bike Night festivities, Southern National Motorsports Park will be debuting its own brand of SNMP BBQ Sauce, with bottles available for just $3.50.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the Nationwide Series schedule.
Greg Biffle owns the Nationwide qualifying record – a very brisk 192.300 miles per hour – at AMS.
Jeffrey Earnhardt, running the full Nationwide schedule for the first time this season, will get his first look at the fast race course in Saturday night’s Great Clips 300.
“It’s a fast place, one that gets your attention, I’m sure,” said Earnhardt, who will drive the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 Chevrolet. “I’m looking forward to getting out there. Our cars usually do pretty well at that sort of track.”
Earnhardt is coming off his best performance of the season – a 12th-place finish last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
JD Motorsports PR
With 10 races remaining in the Nationwide Series season, Landon Cassill continues his quest to break into the top 10 in the point standings.
Entering Saturday’s Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Cassill is 11th in points, 34 behind 10th-place James Buescher.
“We were in the top 10 for a while, and we want to return,” Cassill said. “We have the team and cars to do that. A good run this week will help.”
Cassill has raced four times at the fast AMS track – three times in Sprint Cup and once in Nationwide. He’ll be driving the G&K Services Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller in Saturday’s 300-miler.
Atlanta practice is scheduled Friday at 4:10 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Qualifying is set for 4:10 p.m. Saturday, followed by the race at 7:30.
JD Motorsports PR
Whether you were at Richmond International Raceway’s April 25 & 26 NASCAR race weekend, or just happened to be checking your Twitter feed, there’s a good chance you heard about #RIRselfie. And it’s back in action for the upcoming September 5 & 6 race weekend at The Action Track!
The social media campaign that encouraged fans to share their most creative ways of enjoying race weekend returns. If you were here in April, it’s your chance to one-up yourself. Or maybe you missed out on the fun, and it’s your shot at cementing your place in history with an #RIRselfie. It’s simple: take a selfie and Tweet it, tagging @RIRinsider and #RIRselfie.
Buoyed by some influential users (thanks, @DaleJr and @RGIII!) and advocacy from the entire NASCAR community, #RIRselfie generated 43 million Twitter impressions during its inaugural campaign. If you need more direction, or if you just want to look at RIR employees demonstrating their selfies, watch this video.
Join us for the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, September 6. Twelve drivers are locked in to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but four spots remain. Who has what it takes to Get On The Grid? Find out for yourself by purchasing advance tickets, which start at just $35. Kids 12 & younger are admitted at $25 off in every grandstand. Click here or call 866-455-7223 for tickets and information.
But the fun doesn’t end when the checkered flag flies! Every ticket holder is invited to join us on the pavement for the Post-Race Party on the Track, featuring a DJ to get you pumped up for the driver celebration, which includes an introduction of all 16 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.