Speedway Digest Staff
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TRACK KANGAROO EXPRESS OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Ward and Jeb Burton signed autographs, posed for pictures and greeted fans Friday during a special autograph session at the newly opened Kangaroo Xpress infield convenience store.
Located inside the backstretch, the Kangaroo Express offers nearly anything a race fan could need in a convenient on-site location: ice, chips, sunglasses, drinks, T-shirts, personal care items and much more.
“Have you been in there?” Jeb Burton asked. “It’s really cool.”
Jeb Burton is the pole sitter, driving the No. 4 Arrowhead/Kangaroo Express Chevrolet in tonight’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Burton was fastest in Thursday’s final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice, turning a lap in 29.905 seconds (180.572 mph).
ALL-STAR SPECIAL PAINT: A handful of cars will feature special paint schemes this weekend, including the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson (red, white and blue); the No. 2 of Brad Keselowski (blue-on-blue); the No. 18 of Kyle Busch (brown); and the No. 47 of Bobby Labonte (red-and-blue).
SEE YOUR FAVORITE DRIVER: Many NASCAR Series drivers will make appearances during the 10 Greatest Days in Racing beginning this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Below are a few highlights.
Saturday, May 18: Sprint Unlimited Fan Experience, located in the midway in front of the Charlotte Motor Speedway main grandstand. Schedule: Bobby Labonte, 4 pm; Dale Earnhardt Jr., 5:05 pm.; motorsports artist Sam Bass, 5:45 pm.
Monday, May 20: Meet and greet brothers Ty and Austin Dillon with grandfather/team owner Richard Childress at Bass Pro Shops, 8181 Concord Mills Blvd. in Concord, NC. Autographs are scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm.
Wednesday, May 22: GoPro Be a Hero Karting Challenge with Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Brad Sweet, Scott Speed, Matt Crafton, Jason Bowles, Kyle Larson, Jason Allgaier and Nelson Piquet Jr. at the Mooresville Motorplex, 130 Motorplex Dr., Mooresville, NC. Fans will get access to the garages and drivers for $15. There will also be a 10-lap Wonder Woman race for leading females in the racing industry. Fans will also get a track walk over the .7-mile facility.
Thursday, May 23: Kyle Busch Motorsports in Mooresville, NC will host an open house featuring drivers Joey Coulter, Erik Jones and Darrell Wallace Jr. They are scheduled to appear from 11am-12pm. Coulter will also hold his first annual corn hole tournament. Fans can participate with an $18 entry fee.
Thursday, May 23-Saturday, May 25:The 14th annual Food Lion Speed Street festival in uptown Charlotte. Driver appearances, music, booths, activities and more. Free admission; open daily noon to 11 pm.
Friday May 24: Lottery winners to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr., Regan Smith and Brad Sweet at JR Motorsports at 2 pm. Wrist bands will be issued May 23 at the JR Nation retail store in Mooresville, NC.
Friday, May 24: Fan Day with Kasey Kahne, 10 am. Race fans can meet drivers Brad Sweet, Cody Darrah and Daryn Pittman. Kasey Kahne Racing, 265 Cayuga Dr., Mooresville, NC.
Business, Sports Leaders to Honor 10,000 Military and Their Families With Special Luncheon at the Coca-Cola 600
Charlotte Motor Speedway is joining with business leaders from around the country to honor some 10,000 active military and family members before the green flag drops on NASCAR’s ultimate test of man and machine, the May 26Coca-Cola 600, as part of a Memorial Day weekend saluting the U.S. Armed Forces. The day of tribute will feature a special celebration luncheon hosted by John Schnatter, founder, chairman and CEO of Papa John’s International, where more than 3,000 pizzas will be served to the military guests.
“We are excited to partner with Charlotte Motor Speedway to honor the heroes of the US military and their families,” said Schnatter. “This is just one small way of saying ‘thank you’ for the sacrifice they and their families are making every day to defend our freedom.”
The star-studded affair will be emceed by HLN’s Robin Meade, and will include special appearances by Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret), a political commentator, television host, military historian and New York Times best-selling author; Kurt Busch, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet; Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway and Papa John himself. The event will be held at zMAX Dragway from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and also feature live music and a drag racing exhibition with Smith and Papa John.
Hundreds of the troops will then be loaded onto buses courtesy of the speedway’s Patriot Partners program where companies such as Toyota, Papa John’s, Goodyear, Coca-Cola, Bojangles’ and more sponsored their transportation from area military bases. More than 30 Patriot Partner buses will then take a parade lap around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway as part of a patriotic “Welcome Home Our Troops” pre-race show. Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers march through the grandstands to participate in the pre-race ceremonies. The show will also include an air parade featuring during the national anthem performed by Robin Meade and a 21-gun salute by the Fort Bragg firing squad.
“What better way to honor all of the men and women who serve to protect our freedoms than to welcome them home and give them a great big bear hug from more than 100,000 fans on hand for the Coca-Cola 600,” Smith said. “We’re excited to have such supportive partners like Papa John’s to make this Memorial Day weekend one that military members, their families and all of our fans will never forget.”
SPEED IN THE PITS: The last time pit road was without a speed limit during a NASCAR race, Kyle Busch was a 15-year-old kid. Joey Logano had just hit double digits and begun to race Bandits cars. David Ragan wasn’t old enough to get his driver’s license.
But tonight, they will get a taste of NASCAR’s roots as the series abolishes the pit road speed limit for NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race qualifying, which will consist of three laps with a pit stop and four-tire change.
NASCAR’s last foray into limitless pit speed came during the All-Star qualifying races in 2000. Only four drivers eligible for tonight’s race are left from that original roster 13 years ago: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin.
“It’s been a long time (since there was no pit road speed limit),” Busch said. “We’ll see how it all plays out. I think it’ll be interesting. I have no idea what to expect, to be honest with you.”
Busch might not know what to expect, but anyone who was around NASCAR in the 1980s and ‘90s knows. One grizzled PR veteran recalled making a point to go out and watch pit road practice during that 2000 All-Star Race weekend, because it was the most chaotic, entertaining, frenzied time of the entire weekend. The drivers who had experience driving without pit road speeds were still able to perform, but the uninitiated were glaringly obvious, overshooting their pits and generally creating havoc.
“I’m glad I don’t have to do it with no pit road speed (every week),” Matt Kenseth said. “I think it can get pretty crazy and pretty dangerous… I can’t imagine what it would be like today.”
BUSCH THE BOOKIE: Kyle Busch probably thinks Bruton Smith is a pretty smart dude. Smith has offered up Bruton’s Big Bonus, a $1 million windfall for any driver who can win all five segments in addition to the winner’s $1 million prize. Busch said he didn’t like the odds of a winner taking all five segments.
“If I were a sports bookie, I’d put a 300 to 1 on it,” Busch said. “You have to run each segment as hard as you can. You have to stay out front to keep your average finish as high as you can. There’s gonna be a lot of things playing out in between the segments with pit stops, tire strategy; do you take two, do you stay out? Do you come in and get four? If there’s a yellow in the middle of the segment, do you pit then and get yourself ready for the next segment? It’s certainly gonna make it a lot more fun, not only for the fans but for the crew chiefs as well. I say fun, but I’m sure they’re going to have their headaches after it… I think this year’s gonna be a heck of a lot better.”
Todd Peck isn't about to let arthritis slow him down. As a matter of fact, he plans on going faster than ever in 2013. He announced today that he will return to drive his family-owned Peck Motorsports No. 40 Arthritis Foundation Chevrolet Silverado in a limited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. His truck was unveiled in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Arthritis Foundation at OrthoCarolina. Peck, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at a young age, will continue using his racing platform to show everyone that you can still live an active and fast-paced life with the condition.
"Everyone at Peck Motorsports is extremely excited about the season ahead," Peck said. "We're more prepared than ever before. Now that we have enough Truck Series races under our belt to assess our program, I feel like we have a much better idea of our strengths and weaknesses. We've targeted the areas that need improvement and have been hard at work to correct those. I think everything we do on the track and off of the track will be a step above last season. I'm really looking forward to getting back and showing how far we've come.
Peck will continue his association with the Arthritis Foundation in 2013. As someone who faces the daily struggles of arthritis, Peck wanted to inspire others with the condition to live an active, healthy lifestyle. He reached out to the foundation during his inaugural Truck Series season in 2011. Through the partnership, he's helped bring national attention to arthritis through the foundation's branding on his truck, as well as speaking at several arthritis conventions across the country. He's also hosted numerous children with the condition and their families at race events.
"The Arthritis Foundation is pleased to continue our partnership with Todd Peck in 2013," said Stephani Tucker, Arthritis Foundation Director of Development, Mid-Atlantic Region. "Todd has been a great example to others with arthritis. We appreciate all he does to bring awareness to the condition. He and his NASCAR team have been a great partner of the Arthritis Foundation and we look forward to another great year together."
The truck Peck will pilot throughout 2013 was revealed at the OrthoCarolina office on Randolph Road in Charlotte, N.C., where its sports medicine center is housed. On hand were several physicians, patients and race fans.
Peck Motorsports PR
Johnny Sauter feels like last year's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that he and his ThorSport Racing team let get away in 2012.
So Friday night, the driver of ThorSport's No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota wants to set that record straight.
"I'm always optimistic -- any track we go to -- and I felt like we had the truck to beat at Charlotte last year," Sauter said. "We were running second and running the leader down by two-tenths (of a second) a lap and the fuel pump died. So that was kind of a bummer."
Sauter's record at Charlotte is a classic example of the numbers not reflecting how well he's competed. His best finish in four starts came in 2011 -- the year he narrowly lost the Truck Series' championship to Austin Dillon -- when he started seventh, finished sixth and led the only nine laps he's led in a truck at Charlotte.
"We've run well at Charlotte, even though I guess for me and the team it's not been one of our best racetracks, as far as the numbers go," Sauter said. "But I'm always optimistic, like I said. We're going around in circles for a living -- how much more do you need?"
Sauter and the series have been off since April 20 -- nearly four weeks ago -- when he scored his fourth top-five finish of the season at Kansas Speedway, the only Truck Series competitor to achieve that feat this season. That has Sauter sitting 13 points behind ThorSport teammate Matt Crafton's team, tied for second in the standings with rookie Jeb Burton.
That's the second time in its 18-year history ThorSport's held the top two spots in the standings, which occurred for the first time 45 races ago, when Crafton and Sauter were one-two following the May 2011 Dover race.
"I've been racing in the Truck Series long enough that you kind of get used to the breaks in the schedule, but a few years ago it used to drive me insane," Sauter said this week. "But it's all good and I'm kind of glad to have a little bit of time in between events. But I'm ready to go at Charlotte."
In light of that, Sauter appreciated NASCAR selecting Charlotte as the site of one of two open practice days scheduled in conjunction with 2013 race weekends. Thirty-eight Truck Series teams opened the Charlotte weekend Thursday.
"The test was good, because I don't think you'll ever find a competitor that doesn't want extra track time," Sauter said of the 75 laps he turned in practice. "We had a chance to try some different stuff that you typically don't get to try on a given race weekend, because there's not a lot of practice time."
But one thing Sauter won't waste too much time doing is stressing over the points.
"It's way too early to even be thinking about the championship," said Sauter, who won the first two races of the season. "Even when we had the point lead, that's cool when you get it, but there's such a long way to go -- 18 races -- so I can tell you that I don't race any differently in light of the points.
"At this point, I don't think your mentality changes at all. If we were 14 races into the season instead of four that might change a little, but right now, even though we've come out of the gate pretty good there are probably some teams that haven't hit their stride yet, and we have to look out for them every race we go to. We've been on both sides of that and I know how fast things can get turned upside-down so four races in is just too early to be thinking about it.
"Maintaining a high level of performance is always a challenge. You rarely see a guy dominate from the beginning to the end of the year. You'll see guys get on a hot streak, but rarely do they do it all year long. We've just got to keep racing hard, and it's no different for us than it is for anybody else. You've just got to go out and be smart and make good choices on the racetrack and ultimately try to get the best finish that you can. But every race carries the same points and every race is important."
Charlotte's especially important to most of the teams in the series due to the surrounding area's status as the sport's hub. Sauter, a long-time Charlotte-area resident, acknowledges that even though he declares "my heart's still in Wisconsin and always will be."
"I think everybody looks at Charlotte as one of those events that it would be really cool to come out and do really well in, because for most of these teams it's their home base and they have a lot of support," Sauter said. "For ThorSport, being based in Ohio it's great to see the support that Matt and Todd (Bodine, No. 13 Mattei Toyota driver) and I get from the fans, no matter where we go."
Sauter's scheduled to go out 27th in the 38-truck qualifying session that begins at 4 p.m. ET Friday, with live coverage on the SPEED Channel.
The North Carolina Education Lottery 200, the season's fifth race, is 134 laps and 201 miles and scheduled for an 8 p.m. start, with live television on SPEED, beginning with "The Set-Up" pre-race show at 7:30. MRN Radio has live radio coverage, also beginning at 7:30.
NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader has officially filed his ARCA Racing Series entry for the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care at Elko Speedway coming Saturday night June 1.
"We went up there last year to watch the ARCA race, and it was killing me that I wasn't in it," Schrader said.
"But what a great show. All kinds of green flag racing - really, really good racing. We had a good car last year (with Tom Hessert driving) but we got crashed on the last lap. If our car makes it through Toledo this weekend (May 19), it'll be the car we'll take to Elko. If not, we'll pull another one out of the shop. Either way, I'm definitely racing at Elko, and I'm really looking forward to it."
With 80-plus races on his 2013 schedule, the 57-year-old Fenton, Missouri veteran driver has already raced in more than 20 races this season, and it's not even summer yet.
"Been racing the dirt modified quite a bit already."
In fact, Schrader has already raced his dirt modified at Elko a few years back, when track officials created a dirt surface over the asphalt.
"We raced up there a few years ago, but that was on the dirt. Either way, it's a great little track. I like it either way."
The Akona 250 at Elko will mark Schrader's 62nd career ARCA start.
"It's going to be a busy year, and a better one too because we have more ARCA races on our schedule this year."
Schrader is slated to race in four ARCA Racing Series events in 2013 to also include the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway (May 19), the event at Elko, the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (mile-dirt) on Labor Day, September 2, and the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Salem Speedway on September 14.
In addition, Schrader's season includes 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races with team owner Frank Stoddard in the No. 32 FAS Lane Racing Ford, and at least two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Eldora Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg for Schrader, who spends most of his time behind the wheel of his Federated Auto Parts modified playing on dirt bullrings across America, coast to coast. But it's more than just a play in the clay - it's about crossing the finish line first, which he's already done, winning twice this season at Volusia Speedway Park and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And that's not all. Schrader won on the final night of the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia in February, and was crowned 2013 Speedweeks Gator Champion.
"It felt pretty good," said Schrader, who became the only driver to win the Gator Championship and the overall points total in the same year. "It's the second time we won the championship down there; we worked pretty hard at it. It feels awesome."
During Schrader's ARCA tenure, which reaches back to 1981, he has 15 career ARCA wins.
"One of the things I really like about ARCA is that it gives me a chance to play with these Cup type cars, and be competitive, and have lots of fun.
"Looking at Elko last year, one of the things I liked about it is that it's got multiple grooves for a little track, and you can pass on the outside if you need to, which is real helpful on a tight little short-track.
"But it's more than that; I'm just a really big fan of the ARCA Series, and I really enjoy being part of it. We're looking forward to running at DuQuoin and Salem later this year too. I'm just a real fan of a series that runs all those different types of places."
His ARCA triumphs are a stark reminder of his versatile driving skills, with wins at Toledo, the Topeka, Kansas road course, the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, DuQuoin, the Hagerstown Speedway half-mile dirt, Nashville Superspeedway, and other short tracks at Salem, South Boston Speedway, and Anderson Speedway.
In 60 career ARCA starts, he's logged 39 top-fives and 47 top-10s overall, with 15 Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell. Through it all, he's led an impressive 2,063 laps in 34 races.
Schrader was also the 1999 ARCA Racing Series car owner champion with Bill Baird driving, and a back-to-back car owner winner at Daytona with Mike Wallace and Andy Hillenburg.
His NASCAR career includes four Sprint Cup Series wins at Charlotte, Dover, Talladega, and Atlanta, two wins in the Bud Shootout at Daytona, three poles in the Daytona 500, and eight top-10 Cup championship points finishes.
Prior to his stock car career, Schrader first made a name for himself in USAC where he earned the USAC Silver Crown Series championship in 1982 and the USAC Sprint Car championship in 1983. He has 33 career USAC victories overall in Silver Crown, Sprints and Midgets.
Raceday at Elko starts with ARCA Racing Series practice from 2-2:45 p.m., with final practice following from 3:15-4. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell starts at 5:30 with the Akona 250 set to take the green flag at 8.
ARCA Racing PR
Dates Set For NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards And NASCAR Night Of Champions Touring Series Awards
NASCAR announced today the postseason awards dates for the annual NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards and the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards, set for Dec. 13 and 14 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame / Charlotte Convention Center.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards will take place Friday, Dec. 13. Among those honored will be the 2013 national champion, as well as track champions from 55 tracks across the United States and Canada, state and provincial champions and top rookies.
On the following evening, NASCAR’s touring series champions will be recognized at the traditional NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards. Set for Saturday, Dec. 14, honorees will include the champions from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series and Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series.
“Holding our two NASCAR Home Tracks awards ceremonies at the NASCAR Hall of Fame is the perfect setting to recognize the soul of NASCAR,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series. “Celebrating the young talent whose passion build this sport over these two events are highlights each year.”
Both the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards and the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards will be streamed live on NASCARHomeTracks.com.
NASCAR previously announced the date for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards (Dec. 6 at Wynn Las Vegas) and the NASCAR Nationwide-NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards (Nov. 18 at Loews Miami Beach).
MOMENT OF SILENCE: Charlotte Motor Speedway and fans attending the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race Friday will observe a moment of silence to recognize the passing of former NASCAR driver and short-track legend Dick Trickle.
GIBBS TO SAY ALL-STAR INVOCATION: It’s a race full of tradition and pageantry, and this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race will be no different. In what is becoming a quasi-tradition, team owner Joe Gibbs will deliver the invocation before Saturday’s thrilling NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race. He also said the pre-race prayer in 2012 and 2009. In 2010, Gibbs’ grandson Taylor gave the invocation.
MEADE TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT COKE 600: She may be best known as host of Headline News’ Morning Express with Robin Meade, but Meade is also making a name for herself as a country singer. As she prepares to release her second country album next month, Meade will showcase her pipes next weekend while performing the National Anthem at the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
BRUTON’S BIG BONUS: With a $1 million payday, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race already offers the richest per-mile winner’s purse in motorsports. But this year, the pot gets a little sweeter with Bruton’s Big Bonus. If a driver wins all four of the 20-lap segments and stays up front to win the final 10-lap shootout, he will double his payday to $2 million thanks to Bruton’s Big Bonus of $1,000,000.
The May 18 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will consist of 90 total laps: four 20-lap segments, followed by a mandatory four-tire pit stop and the 10-lap sprint to the big-money finish.
“My dad, Bruton Smith, says that three things motivate people – love, fear and money,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “These drivers love to race, and they fear losing with backyard bragging rights on the line. This is motivation like never before to get up on the wheel for the fans.”
STILL TIME FOR NASCAR ALL-STAR FAN VOTE: Race fans have until 5 p.m. Saturday to vote their favorite driver into the All-Star Race. Fans can vote an unlimited number of times by downloading the NASCAR ’13 application or by visiting NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. The votes received on NASCAR ’13 will count twice towards a driver’s total. The driver receiving the highest number of votes will earn a starting position in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
There are 26 drivers eligible for the fan vote, including Rookie of the Year candidates Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. To be eligible for the 2013 Sprint All-Star Fan Vote, drivers had to finish in the top 55 of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series point standings or attempted to qualify for the 2013 Daytona 500.
JOSH TUNER TO PERFORM BEFORE ALL-STAR RACE – Double platinum-selling country music artist Josh Tuner will perform Saturday at 3:15 p.m. in the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield as part of pre-race activities for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race. Charlotte-based Lance brand snacks will sponsor the 90-minute show, which is free to all race ticketholders, and will also include special promotions and games for the family. Gates open at 1:00 p.m.
The NASCAR Foundation and the NASCAR industry celebrate the 10th Annual NASCAR Day today at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the final stop on the “Ten Days of Giving” tour. This special day is an unprecedented celebration of drivers, corporate partners, media and fans uniting with The NASCAR Foundation to support a range of charitable causes that are relevant and meaningful to those within the NASCAR family.
“We are proud of the NASCAR industry’s contributions to communities through NASCAR Day over the past 10 years,” said Betty Jane France, chairwoman of The NASCAR Foundation. “The industry has responded as we envisioned, when we began the foundation, helping us raise almost $12 million for various charities, with an emphasis on children’s causes. These funds have helped more than 100,000 children through numerous organizations including those participating with the tour.”
As part of the day’s festivities, The NASCAR Foundation is hosting a celebratory cake-cutting ceremony in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway that includes appearances by NASCAR drivers and industry representatives. Additionally, the foundation is presenting a check to Victory Junction for $3,385,454 symbolizing donations collected for the camp over the past 10 years of NASCAR Day.
For the first time, The NASCAR Foundation launched a “Ten Days of Giving” tour that included philanthropic activities in several markets across the country. At each stop on the tour, which began May 8 in Atlanta, the foundation partnered with various organizations to deliver surprise acts of kindness. The tour also visited Winston-Salem, N.C.; Brooklyn, Mich.; Darlington, S.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; New York, and Daytona Beach, Fla.
Some of the highlights from the last 10 days are listed below.
Day One:The NASCAR Foundation visited the George Washington Carver Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta, Ga., and surprised the kids with a new flat-screen TV and video gaming equipment. In addition, The NASCAR Foundation celebrated The Coca-Cola Company’s 10 years of contributions, totaling $500,000. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver John Wes Townley participated in the day’s activities. Atlanta Motor Speedway joined the celebration by giving the kids race tickets to the track’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 race in September.
Day Four: The NASCAR Foundation and Darlington Raceway honored Stephanie Decker and her family with an all-inclusive VIP race experience. Decker, a mother of three, lost both her legs after a tornado ripped through Henryville, Ind., in 2012 and leveled their home. Stephanie used her body to shield her children from the falling debris, and, as a result, the kids survived unharmed. The Stephanie Decker Foundation’s mission is to assist children in need of prosthetics and to help others gain access to cutting-edge prosthetics. Decker was recognized and presented with a $5,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation for her charity onstage as part of the pre-race festivities prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Day Five: The NASCAR Foundation, along with NASCAR driver and Kansas City native Jennifer Jo Cobb, surprised mothers staying at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City with beautiful, fresh flowers in honor of Mother’s Day. In 2010, as part of its seventh annual NASCAR Day celebration, The NASCAR Foundation and Sprint donated a playground for children at the facility in honor of Tom Murphy, former board member of The NASCAR Foundation and Sprint Vice President of Corporate Brand Marketing, who was tragically killed in 2009.
Day Eight: The NASCAR Foundation surprised all past Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists with donations of supplies needed for their charities. The eight charities include: Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (Robert Weaver), Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation (Ali McDonough), Autism Academy of South Carolina (Lorri Shealy Unumb), Autism Speaks (Jake Bernstein), Bridge of Books Foundation (Patty Aber), Camp Sunshine of Sebago Lakes (Ron Eby), PBJ Connections, Inc. (Brenda Doner) and Starlight Children’s Foundation (Michael Jackson).
Camping World, the Official Outdoor and RV Retailer of NASCAR, joined the cause this year and offered the limited edition pin, designed by NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist Sam Bass, at Camping World SuperCenters nationwide for a $10 donation to The NASCAR Foundation. NASCAR fans and supporters can pick up their collectible pins through the end of the season at track during select race weekends or online at NASCAR.com/foundation.
To read a recap on each of the stops during the tour, please visit http://nas.cr/g4zP. Fans and supporters can join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #NASCARDay.