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NASCAR Green Recognizes Seven International Speedway Corporation Motorsports Facilities For Their Positive Environmental Sustainability Contributions
International Speedway Corporation ("ISC"), the leading promoter of major motorsports entertainment, had seven of its motorsports facilities honored during the 2013 NASCAR Green Summit with the NASCAR Green track operator award. The award recognizes those motorsports facilities for their ongoing contributions to developing effective and sustainable green policies and practices.
Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations, presented the NASCAR Green track operator award to ISC representatives from Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, Darlington Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Watkins Glen International.
The 2013 NASCAR Green Summit Delivered by UPS, is commemorating five years of innovative changes to the sport's environmental footprint, the event examined the substantive initiatives that have helped make NASCAR the sustainability leader in sports.
NASCAR Green recognized ISC's motorsports facilities with the NASCAR Green track operator award for the following:
Auto Club Speedway of Southern California
NASCAR Green recognized the partnership Auto Club of Speedway of Southern California ("ACS") has with the local rail authority, Metrolink. The partnership received grant funding from the South Coast Air Quality District specifically for major event venues within their district that are not served by regular public transit services and experience high levels of traffic congestion during events. In addition, NASCAR Green highlighted the millions of gallons of sewer and waste water generated by ACS that is diverted to California Steel Industries, which uses the water for the cooling process of steel manufacturing.
NASCAR Green recognized Darlington Raceway and Clemson University partnership to grow switchgrass on speedway grounds, which will later be used in production of bio-fuels.
Daytona International Speedway
NASCAR Green recognized Daytona International Speedway ("DIS") for the significant recycling and waste diversion efforts at its major motorsports events. In 2012, DIS, in partnership with Coca-Cola Recycling, recycled over 150 tons of cardboard, commingled mix material, steel and aluminum. Also, DIS participates in the NASCAR Green Clean Air program where 10 trees are planted for each Green Flag that drops during races, capturing 100 percent of the carbon produced by the on track racing at its events.
NASCAR Green recognized Kansas Speedway's significant support of its efforts during Earth Day. Kansas Speedway hosted the 2013 Green Energy Challenge -- a program teaching local students about green efforts through environmental education.
Michigan International Speedway
Michigan International Speedway ("MIS") was recognized by NASCAR Green for its wetland conservation efforts at its facility, maintaining approximately 200 acres of protected wetland in and around its facility. In addition, NASCAR Green recognized MIS' new solar-powered building, one of the largest U.S. producers of green energy in American sports. The sun-powered, 31-suite building and track media center is outfitted with approximately 8,000-square feet of solar panels across the rooftop that generates about 70,000 kw per hour - enough energy to power 439 fluorescent light bulbs, 79 incandescent light bulbs, 175 laptop computers, 19 desktop computers and 26 refrigerators. Also, MIS featured a 2013 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in vehicle as its official pace car at both of its NASCAR weekend events.
Richmond International Raceway
Richmond International Raceway ("RIR") was honored for its significant support of Race to Green and the Virginia Department of Forestry Initiatives. In addition, NASCAR Green recognized RIR for featuring in 2012, the first electric pace car, a Ford Focus Electric.
Watkins Glen International
NASCAR Green recognized Watkins Glen International and NextEra Energy joining forces to launch a windmill project that will create a lasting renewable energy resource for the area. Approximately 50 turbines will be installed over the next two years, with each tower capable of powering 2,900 homes annually.
"We are honored to be recognized by NASCAR Green for our comprehensive environmental sustainability policies and practices across our motorsports facilities," stated ISC Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. "These awards are an affirmation of ISC's ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.
"Environmental sustainability is a way of doing business that strives to achieve the best possible outcome for the people whose lives we touch and the natural environment that we all depend on. It is a lifelong commitment and we are excited to report on further progress and improvements throughout our company."
For more information on ISC's environmental sustainability programs, please visit ISC Green Flag Team.
Jeb Burton will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) debut in the No. 34 Arrowhead Camaro at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, September 21. The driver of the No. 4 Arrowhead Chevrolet Silverado for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) is currently competing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship.
A native of South Boston, Virginia, the 21-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender currently sits fourth highest in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings. In just fifteen starts, Burton's continued to prove himself on the track, earning one win and four Keystone Light Pole Awards so far this season.
"I'm really thankful for this opportunity," said Burton. "I can't thank Arrowhead enough for their ongoing support. It's all about the experience and the opportunity. At the beginning of the season, I set a couple of goals for myself and racing in a Nationwide Series race was one of them. My Turner Scott Motorsports team is the hardest working group of guys in the garage, so I'm confident we'll give it all we've got at Kentucky Speedway."
Burton will bring along his current crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. as well as his regular NCWTS team for the NNS race at Kentucky.
"Jeb has shown an incredible amount of dedication this season," said TSM co-owner Harry Scott Jr. "His passion and skill for racing is evident in his performance on the track. Providing Jeb with extra on-track experience is crucial for his career, and I couldn't be happier to give him an opportunity to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky. I'm grateful to have Jeb, along with Arrowhead, as members of our Turner Scott Motorsports family and look forward to growing together."
Be sure to tune in on Saturday, September 21 as Burton makes his NNS debut at Kentucky Speedway. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS, followed by the Kentucky 300 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
SS Green Light Racing is pleased to announce that Jimmy Weller will again be behind the wheel of the No. 07 Toyota Tundra on Friday evening in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at the Chicagoland Speedway. Gunbroker.com will support the Ohio native this weekend as Weller will make his third NCWTS start of 2013.
After 11 years racing on both dirt and asphalt short-tracks, Friday’s race at Chicagoland will be the second-generation drivers first venture on a track larger than a mile. “This is my first mile and a half; I’ve run Dover, New Hampshire and Rockingham in a K & N Series car, but those are the biggest tracks I’ve been on.”
“I’m really looking forward to Chicago, I’m glad to have the opportunity to do something completely different so it should be a lot of fun,” Weller continued. “They don’t give us a whole lot of practice time so the learning curve Friday morning is going to be pretty quick.”
“To tie it in with our sponsor this week; Gunbroker.com, we’re going to be shooting from the hip,” joked Weller.
“We had the option of running Bristol or Chicagoland, but when I got my NASCAR approval to run the big tracks we chose Chicagoland. I’m looking forward to running the Gunbroker.com Toyota, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Rather than returning to North Carolina after last Sunday’s race at Iowa then immediately returning to the Midwest, Weller and the SS Green Light Racing Team spent the last few days in Iowa prepping the No. 07 and 81 Toyotas for Chicagoland Speedway. They were also able to enjoy some team building (golfing) just outside the quad cities.
Cal Boprey, who recently joined the team will guide the rookie driver from atop the SS Green Light Racing pit box in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225.
“I’m excited and ready to get to Chicago,” Weller concluded. “I’m very thankful that Bobby Dotter is giving me the opportunity to run the Gunbroker.com Tundra Friday night, I can’t wait.”
The EnjoyIllinois.com 225 is the 307th consecutive NCWTS start for the SS Green Light Racing team and the 3rd career start for Weller in the Truck Series. 24-year veteran Kenny Wallace will make his 899th career NASCAR start Friday in the No. 81 SS Green Light American Ethanol Toyota Tundra thanks to Illinois farmers and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.
Practice for the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 will be Friday, September 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. with two laps of qualifying at 3:05 p.m. The green flag will fly for the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at 7:30 p.m. All times Central. Both qualifying and the race will be shown live on FOX Sports 1 and will also be broadcast via on the Motor Racing Network and on SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
SS Green Light Racing PR
Twelve drivers, 12 markets, 10 race tracks, one ultimate prize – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy.
All 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors took part in the third-annual Chase Across America media tour on Tuesday and Wednesday, traveling throughout the country with one driver assigned to each Chase track market, as well as New York City and ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters.
No matter the stop, optimism ruled the day, as slates have mostly been wiped clean and each driver can dream big heading into the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 15 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN, Motor Racing Network Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio).
Universally, this year’s edition of Chase Across America took on a feeling of remembrance and appreciation, with a number stops paying tribute to first responders, including police, firefighters, EMT and military members on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Below is a rundown of each event. For more information, photos, audio and video, visit NASCARMedia.com throughout the evening and tomorrow.
Edwards Dons Another Kind Of Fire Suit :On Nov. 17, Carl Edwards’ hopes to climb the six-foot high championship stage in Homestead-Miami, and triumphantly lift a trophy that weighs 27 pounds. But before all that possibly takes place, Wednesday he climbed a two-story ladder and hoisted a life-saving device that weighs 52 pounds. Edwards visited the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Training Headquarters, and went through rigorous exercises befitting an athlete of his stature. Among the gauntlet of training methods Edwards endured: operating the fire hose and extinguishing a car fire, breaking open a metal door with an ax, using the 52-pound jaws of life to open a vehicle that had crashed, climbing a ladder and practicing a second-floor rescue – all while wearing full fireman’s gear. At the day’s completion, Edwards gifted Fire Chief Dave Downey – a 30-year veteran of the fire department – his NASCAR fire suit, saying “After wearing your fire suit, I’ll never complain about how hot mine is ever again.”
Top-Seeded Kenseth Looks Down From Standings – But That’s It: As the top seed in this year’s Chase, Matt Kenseth is looking down at the other 11 drivers in the standings. That’s good enough for him, because Wednesday in Chicago, he wouldn’t look down at anything. After a visit to the Sky Deck at the Willis Tower and an interview held in a Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier, the running joke all day was that Kenseth was scared of heights. "I did not stand on the glass (ledge) because I'm a big chicken, but I got to see a lot and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," Kenseth said. "Honestly, the whole day was fun, even though I'm scared of heights, which you all know."
Johnson Not ‘Burned Out’ With New Addition To Family: Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson visited Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday in advance of its Oct. 12 Chase race, participating in a dual “burn out” with seven-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher. Following the display of sound and smoke, fans and media tossed questions Johnson’s way – with his new baby girl Lydia among the hot topics. In reference to Johnson’s recent string of four consecutive finishes outside the top 25, one fan asked: “Jimmie, by the way you have been racing the past couple weeks it seems the new baby has been keeping you up all night. Is that true?” To which Johnson, who had his second child the Friday prior to Richmond, responded: “Whoa, it has only been one race post baby!”
Regarding his recent stumbles, Johnson said, “I have won championships with momentum and without momentum. There is a lot of racing in the Chase. Chicago will be a great gauge of where we are. We would love sit on the pole and win the race but if we come out with a top three or top five, I will feel really good about where the 48 is. The key is to not lose the Chase in Chicago.”
Biffle ‘Shines’ During Talladega’s Stop In Birmingham: Greg Biffle shook hands today, lots of them – all in appreciation for heroics in doing a job that saves lives. During a stop in Birmingham to discuss Talladega’s Chase race on Oct. 20, celebrate Birmingham’s Empowerment Day of Service and pay tribute to 9/11 First Responders, Biffle met the newest class of recruits to the Birmingham Fire Department – shaking the hands of a group consisting of around 50 members. In addition, he helped shine the wheels of a week-old fire truck, tested the fire hose, road in a fire truck bucket with Birmingham Mayor William Bell and tried on fire safety gear. Of Talladega, Biffle said, “All drivers have a love-hate relationship with Talladega. We love the track, but hate being in "The Big One."
Hometown Hero Logano Meets With Everywhere Heroes: Joey Logano’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. So, it’s only fitting that he opened his first Chase near the track that put him in the record books. Logano spent the day at Pease Air Force Base in Newington, N.H., meeting with members of the 157th Air Refueling Wing, participating in a pit-stop demonstration, taking a tour of the refueling airplane and answering questions from fans and media. During his time on the base, Logano discussed growing up in nearby Middletown, Conn., a three-hour drive from New Hampshire Motor Speedway: “Yeah, I’ve got to round up a lot of tickets [for friends and family. I usually call the speedway and am like, ‘Hey…’ The speedway helped us out a lot. … We did a lot of stuff for some of the first responders from the Connecticut shooting [in Newtown]. Last race up in New Hampshire – between the speedway and the Joey Logano Foundation – we brought some tickets up and had a hospitality tent for them [Newtown first responders], and they all had a good time.”
Harvick’s Stop Hits Close To Home: Kevin Harvick knows first-hand how difficult a job it is to be a firefighter. His father was one for more than two decades. “My dad was a firefighter for 25 years,” Harvick said. “I remember going to the fire house as a kid to visit him and always having to go back home if they received a call.” Harvick met with first responders from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in advance of Texas Motor Speedway’s Nov. 3 Chase race, taking questions from media and fans and participating in a ride-along program at the track.
Rowdy Takes Bow For Bravery: Kyle Busch visited the Dover Air Force Base, participating in a 9/11 Memorial Unveil and Dedication Ceremony with Delaware Governor Jack Markell. During the day, he met with military members and airmen, as well as took questions from members of the media. On the anniversary of 9/11, Busch remembered where he was on the tragic day: “I reflected back to where I was when I first heard about the World Trade Center,” Busch said. “I was on my way to high school and it made everyone take a step back and evaluate what's important in life.”
‘Tat’ Was A Good One For Kahne: Upon arrival in Roanoke, Va., behind the wheel of a Gen-6 NASCAR Sprint Cup race car, Kahne was greeted by more than 1,000 cheering fans and the Patrick Henry High School cheerleaders and marching band. Roanoke Mayor David Bowers declared the day, “2013 NASCAR Day,” and Kahne answered some media and fan questions during a Miss Sprint Cup-moderated Q&A. One question in particular provided the sound bite of the event. One fan wondered what sort of thing fans have done to grab his attention. Kasey answered, “I've signed someone's body and a year or two later you see your signature as a tattoo in the same place. That gets my attention.”
Busch Breaks Bread (And Eats Ribs) With First Responders: Kurt Busch, the first driver from a single-car team to make the Chase, participated in a tour and meet-and-greet with firefighters of Fire Station No. 6 in Kansas City, Kan., before heading to Kansas Speedway to get a lesson in something Kansas City natives know a thing or two about – barbecue. “They always have said you can get fall-off-the-bone barbecue ribs in Kansas City, and we enjoyed some of those today.” A barbecue contest winner showed Busch around the kitchen and the grill, and gave the 2004 series champion some of the finer points of rib-making.
Phoenix Says ‘Hello, Newman’ During Morning Media Tour:Ryan Newman participated in an early morning media tour that included appearances on several television morning shows. “I look forward to a great opportunity and a chance for a championship. It’s been a lot of fun. … we’re in the Chase, and I look forward to the opportunity. We’ll do our best.”
Junior, Bowyer Kick Off Chase Across America on Tuesday: NASCAR’s Chase Across America kicked-off Tuesday with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in New York City and Clint Bowyer at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. Earnhardt participated in variety of national broadcast and print opportunities, such as “CBS This Morning” and FOX Sports 1’s “Crowd Goes Wild,” and served as a guest DJ on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Meanwhile, Bowyer took part in an ESPN “Car Wash” that included interviews with numerous ESPN broadcast and online media properties.
For the 12 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, it’s “Go Time” as the 10-race Chase kicks off with Sunday’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The 12 drivers best be “Go Getters” from the drop of the green flag if they’d like to be crowned champion 10 weeks from now at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
For the 31 Sprint Cup drivers not in the Chase, it’s also “Go Time,” as each wants to finish out the year as strong as possible to gain momentum and experience heading into 2014.
For Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the final 10 races are about finishing up her rookie year in strong fashion and continuing to gain valuable experience each time she hits the track.
Patrick has competed in a Sprint Cup race at every track that comprises the 10-race Chase, save for Homestead. She’ll make her second career starts at Chicagoland, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and her third starts at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Phoenix International Raceway.
Patrick is hoping to improve on her results at tracks she will visit a second and third time. Of the tracks where she has competed twice – Dover, Kansas, Charlotte, Texas and Phoenix, she improved her finishing result in race two at the first three. Patrick also bettered her qualifying effort at Kansas and Charlotte.
She and the GoDaddy team are banking on that trend and hope to continue starting and finishing higher than in the previous race. Should that be accomplished, it will provide the team plenty of energy heading into 2014.
This week’s race at Chicagoland is important on the track for Patrick, but also off the track as Chicagoland Speedway is about 116 miles south and east of her hometown of Roscoe, Ill. It’s a home race for Patrick, who will have plenty of friends and family in attendance at the 1.5-mile oval.
An assortment of global influencers, accomplished dignitaries and high-profile executives headlined the 2013 NASCAR Green Summit Delivered by UPS®today in Chicago. Commemorating five years of innovative changes to the sport’s environmental footprint, the event examined the substantive initiatives that have helped make NASCAR the sports sustainability leader.
Among those who addressed summit attendees were: Former Vice President of the United States & Chairman of The Climate Reality Project Al Gore; Retired U.S. Army General Wesley K. Clark; U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Richter; Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Lead Scientist Allen Hershkowitz; Deputy Undersecretary for Science and Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy Dr. Michael Knotek; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Senior Policy Counsel in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Matt Bogoshian.
Founded on NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France’s vision, NASCAR Green has grown exponentially into one of the most powerful environmental awareness platforms in the country. NASCAR owns the largest recycling, tree planting and renewable energy programs in all of sports. It also put nearly five million competition miles on Sunoco Green E15, a biofuel blended with 15 percent American-made ethanol made from American-grown corn.
Importantly, these efforts are aligned with NASCAR fan values and behaviors. According to a 2013 study commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna, NASCAR fans are approximately twice as likely as non-fans to indicate their household is very green – always looking for new ways to positively impact the environment.
“We take an enormous amount of pride in the collective effort that has been put forth across our entire industry to positively impact the environment over the last half decade,” said France. “It’s our mission to pass along a cleaner and healthier environment for generations to come by championing sustainable behavior to our millions of fans."
The 2013 NASCAR Green Summit delivered by UPS recognized a number of Official NASCAR Partners that continue to push the bar in driving sustainable behavior. The program included executives from some of the world’s most influential brands, such as Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, Eaton, General Motors, Liberty Tire, Safety-Kleen, Sprint, Sunoco, Toyota and presenting partner UPS.
Also today, NASCAR formally announced it will enter into strategic collaborations with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the NRDC.
· NASCAR and the DOE will collaborate on advancing the adoption of clean energy technologies. Specifically, NASCAR has deployed Eaton EV charging stations for employee use at its corporate office locations in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Concord, N.C., with plans to install another station in Charlotte, N.C., by the end of the year. Additionally, the DOE and NASCAR will collaborate to identify partnership opportunities, which may include universities, national laboratories, and private sector companies for the purpose of conducting clean energy and auto-related research.
· NASCAR and the NRDC will collaborate on several initiatives in the areas of energy usage, waste management and food consumption. Specifically, NASCAR and NRDC will work to promote energy efficiency at NASCAR-sanctioned racing facilities as well as NASCAR corporate facilities. The two entities will also work together to educate NASCAR fans about the benefits of renewable energy and promote healthy food options in collaboration with concessionaires at NASCAR-sanctioned racing facilities.
“Dedication, innovative thought and a shared vision to better the environment has led to NASCAR entering into two separate Memorandums of Understanding with the DOE and NRDC,” said Dr. Michael Lynch, NASCAR Managing Director of Green Innovation. “These new alliances demonstrate NASCAR’s commitment to driving sustainable behavior amongst our fans.”
Additionally at today’s summit, NASCAR honored a number of sanctioned tracks for their dedication to making a positive impact on the environment. Auto Club Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Richmond International Raceway, Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International all received special awards.
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing and the top seed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, visited Chicago landmarks on Wednesday ahead of the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedwayto get a feel for the city hosting the start of NASCAR’s playoffs.
Kenseth’s first stop was at Navy Pier, where he rode the historic 150-foot-high Ferris wheel. Modeled after the very first Ferris wheel which was built for Chicago's World’s Fair, the Navy Pier Ferris wheel is one of Chicago’s iconic attractions, providing breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. Kenseth also autographed Chicagoland Speedway’s entry in the Great Chicago Fire Hydrants’ fundraiser, which supports the 100 Club of Chicago which provides for families of police officers, firefighters and paramedics who have lost their lives in the line-of-duty.
Next up was the Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, home to the famous “Bean.” The 110-ton sculpture is a collection of highly polished, stainless steel plates that are strikingly reflective. A 12-ft high arc provides the gate portion of the sculpture, which at 66-feet long and 33-feet high is the largest of its kind in the world.
Finally, Kenseth arrived at The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago, located in the Willis Tower. Situated 1,353 feet above the streets of Chicago, Skydeck Chicago invites visitors to step outside the third tallest building in the world into a glass box that sits 4-feet outside the rest of the structure. It was a challenging day for Kenseth, who battled through a fear of heights to complete the day.
“I did not stand on the glass (ledge) because I'm a big chicken, but I got to see a lot and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be,” said Kenseth. “Honestly, the whole day was fun, even though I'm scared of heights. We’re looking forward to getting out to Chicagoland Speedway to start the Chase this Sunday and competing for a championship.”
With the generosity and support of more than 500 donors, the Spirit of America Blood Drive at Michigan International Speedway will again save thousands of lives.
The 424 units can potentially save 1,272 lives. (Each unit can be transfused to up to three people.)
The annual blood drive at the racetrack began as a tribute in 2002 in honor of the victims and heroes of 9-11. Since its inception, the Spirit of America blood drive has collected more than 9,300 pints of blood, positively affecting more than 27,960 lives.
“I can’t say enough about the countless efforts of donors, volunteers, sponsors, Michigan Blood and MIS employees and the many others who helped make this event a success,” MIS Director of Guest Services and Spirit of America founder Tim Booth said. “A special thanks goes out to the blood donors. This drive wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for their generosity.”
“It is always inspiring to see people donate blood, but today was unique in the 60 year history of Michigan blood -- because people were donating not just to save a life but also to commemorate on very salmon event in the history of our country,” Michigan Blood Vice President of Community Relations Jim Childress said. “It was an honor to walk among them. We are also longer to honored to be part of Michigan International Speedway’s commemorative activities today. It is something we hope to be part of for many years come.”
Among the numerous participants, one family arrived with three generations of donors. Richard, Jayce and Raymond Kussmaul of Clinton, Mich. joined the donors to honor and remember the victims and heroes of 9-11. Richard, who was once in a bad automobile accident and needed blood has been donating since high school and understands the importance of donating. He feels, “we got what we gave.”
Tom Kaade from South Bend, Ind. could not pass up a chance to donate blood for something that meant so much to him. Shortly after the events on 9-11, Kaade and his fellow volunteers from the Jonesville, Mich. snow patrol team traveled to New York City. They spent the next several days volunteering with the Salvation Army in any capacity needed.
“FEMA asked how soon we could be there and we said we were packed and ready to go and drove through the night to get there,” Kaade said.
The Spirit of America has evolved into more than just a blood drive. It’s an event and a time of reflection – all at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.
This year, MIS has partnered with Michigan Blood, a nonprofit, community service organization founded in 1955, to host the blood drive and Be the Match® Registry drive.
Those who attempted to donate got the opportunity to travel by MIS tram around the track, through the tunnel to the pits, and into MIS’s Home of the Brave, a 4,000-square-foot multi-media exhibit featuring “as it happened videos,” Presidential letters, magazines and newspapers, and additional tributes.
Donors were also treated to a lunch by CP Federal Credit Union in the Champions Club overlooking the track.
At the conclusion of the tour, donors got an up-close view of more than 3,000 American flags proudly displayed at Unity Field to honor the victims of 9-11. The flags, each representing victims of the 9-11 attacks, are placed in the speedway’s Lot 10 by veterans from local American Legion chapters.
Max Gresham is looking for a comfortable 175 mph day at the office with no drama this Friday in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
After relying heavily on the determination and skill of his pit crew in the last two weeks, Gresham is anticipating a smooth ride for the No. 8 Made in USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race.
"The last couple weeks have really tested everyone on this Sharp-Gallaher Racing team, and I think we've clearly proven ourselves," the 20-year-old driver from Milner, Ga., said. "We battled through a lot of adversity in the last couple weeks and we came through it a lot stronger and a lot better."
"While everyone on this team is up to the challenge, it will be nice to have a smooth race this week."
Friday's race, which starts at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on FOX Sports 1, will mark the first time Gresham has competed at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. He has tested an ARCA Racing Series car there several years ago, so he has a basic idea of what it will take to be successful there.
"It's like most speedways," crew chief Chris Showalter said. "You have to find the kind of balance in our Silverado that allows you to keep the wheels pointed straight as you exit the corners. The trucks that can carry the most momentum through the corners will have a big advantage."
"That kind of track's really been one of our strengths."
Gresham is happy to be in the stretch drive for the truck series. Friday's race will be the fifth race for the Made in USA Brand team in as many weeks. It also is the fifth race on five dramatically different circuits.
"We were on a road course three weeks ago and a short track last week," Gresham said. "Now we're on a speedway. It really challenges the flexibility and resources of a race team. I know everyone at Sharp-Gallaher Racing is up for the challenge."
And ready for one more 175 mph day at the office with no drama.
Max Gresham PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch visits Dover Air Force Base for 9/11 memorial dedication event and tour
Just days before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off for the first of 10 races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch spent the day at Dover Air Force Base Wednesday, participating in a 9/11 memorial dedication and visiting with airmen, amongst other things.
Alongside his wife Samantha, Busch joined Delaware Governor Jack Markell, other elected officials, first responders, airmen and others at the Base as the Eagle Firefighters Association dedicated a 9/11 memorial that was constructed from two beams from the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, a rock from the crash site of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa., and a brick block from the Pentagon crash site.
“It’s certainly an emotional experience any time you’re able to be a part of these memorials,” Busch said. “It’s certainly impactful, attending the memorial events on 9/11, the tributes; it was a pretty neat experience.”
The dedication ceremony was just one part of a busy morning for Busch, who was in Dover as part of NASCAR’s Chase Across America program, as he also visited the USO Delaware Center and met with Director Joan Cote to learn about the functions of the USO and what Delaware’s chapter does for airmen.
While there, a representative from Nestle Toll House Morsels presented Cote and the USO with a donation of 1,500 tickets to the Sunday, Sept. 29 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
For the remainder of the day, Busch met with military members at the Aerial Port Squadron and visited airmen at a C-5 M, the military’s largest aircraft, on the Dover Air Force Base flight line, talking with them about the Chase, his approach to driving and even getting a tour of the plane.
Busch said that getting to spend the anniversary of 9/11 at the Dover Air Force Base, with first responders and military, only amplified his appreciation for the work those men and women do to keep our country safe on a daily basis.
“I’m not privileged to these [experiences] sometimes, but we obviously never forget it here in this country, never forget the many men and women that sacrificed their lives, and the ones that still do today to allow us to live with freedom,” he said.
This weekend, Busch will turn his attention back to his full-time job, where he’ll be set to go on a 10-week journey that he hopes will end with his No. 18 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion circle for the first time.
Though he has struggled in the Chase in the past, he said the momentum his team picked up at the end of the summer have him feeling good about his chances this year.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be considered a contender,” Busch said. “I feel like we’ve run pretty well this year…I feel like we’re definitely contenders or we wouldn’t be in this position.”
The Chase will run through Dover International Speedway for the Sept. 29 “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the third event in the 10-race playoff, and one that Busch said he is particularly excited about.
“I’m looking forward to coming to Dover, one of the Chase tracks and one of my best tracks,” he said. “Hopefully we can run well up front and knock out a win.”
That said, Busch didn’t underestimate the challenges the Monster Mile will pose when he and the rest of the Chase field arrive in three weeks.
“Dover is a really tough race track,” he said. “It’s got a lot of banking and it’s really narrow, so when you do get out of shape and you hit one wall, you’re probably going to hit two.”
Dover Motorsports PR