Celebrities, Start Your Engines!

Inaugural Auto Club Speedway Celebrity FundRacing Event Aims to Raise Awareness and Support for DRIVE4COPD Public Health Initiative

DRIVE4COPD Pro-Am Celebrity Racing Challenge

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif.  (Feb. 28, 2012) – Auto Club Speedway today announced that it will host the first celebrity FundRacing qualifying event. The inaugural DRIVE4COPD Pro-Am Celebrity Racing Challenge will feature well-known faces in entertainment, music and business who will take the wheel of a NASCAR stock car to support awareness, screenings and research for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The star-studded race is created in partnership with the COPD Foundation in support of DRIVE4COPD, the Official Health Initiative of NASCAR®.

Pro-Am participants will attend Rusty Wallace NASCAR Racing School and then tackle Southern California’s fastest motorsports oval behind the wheel of a stock car. The celebrity race will be held at 6 p.m. PST on Friday, March 23, following the DRIVE4COPD NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying for the weekend’s race. Two slots in the racing event will be auctioned off to members of the public online. Additionally, Auto Club Speedway will make a donation to DRIVE4COPD and fans will be encouraged to text donations from the track.

“COPD takes more lives each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined but still there is not enough awareness of the disease,” said John Walsh, President, COPD Foundation. “Funds raised during this race will help us in our mission to raise awareness, encourage screenings, bolster research and advance progress for those living with COPD.”

Members of the public can earn a spot among the celebrity race team by bidding on one of two VIP race seats being auctioned off by COPD Foundation through eBay’s Giving Works program powered by MissionFish. The first auction begins on February 28 and ends on March 8. Starting bids are $1,500 which includes travel and accommodations. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the COPD Foundation and are tax deductible as allowed by law. Click here to visit the auction site to learn about eligibility and racing requirements. 

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both, is progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time, making early diagnosis especially important. More than 24 million Americans have COPD, yet half remain undiagnosed and it takes one life every 4 minutes. DRIVE4COPD, the nation’s single largest awareness campaign for COPD, encourages Americans aged 35 and older to log onto DRIVE4COPD.ORG to take a brief, five-question screener to learn if they might be at risk for the disease. If the screener indicates risk, results can be printed to share with a doctor.

“We’re proud to be able to use the Auto Club 400 race weekend and Auto Club Speedway as a platform to highlight DRIVE4COPD and the program’s important mission,” said Gillian Zucker, Auto Club Speedway President. “We’re confident that our combined weekend efforts will bring a higher level of awareness of COPD throughout the year.”

Tickets for DRIVE4COPD Qualifying Day (scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m. local time) and the Inaugural DRIVE4COPD Pro-Am Celebrity Racing Challenge on Friday, March 23 are as low as $20 for a general admission seat and children 12 and under are FREE with a FREE membership to Lefty’s Kids Club. 

For more information visit the Auto Club Speedway ticket office, located at 9300 Cherry Ave. in Fontana, call 800-944-RACE (7223) or log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com/DRIVE4COPD.
For more information on the COPD Foundation please visit COPDFoundation.org or call 866-316-COPD (2673).

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About DRIVE4COPD:  Launched in February 2010, DRIVE4COPD is a landmark public health movement embraced by leading health, business, entertainment and sports organizations that are aimed at driving fundamental change in COPD awareness in this country. This initiative aims to help millions of people affected by COPD by focusing national attention on this common and debilitating disease. DRIVE4COPD has helped more than 2 million people get screened and of those, 20 percent discovered that they are at risk. Learn more and take a brief, five-question screener to know if you might be at risk for COPD at DRIVE4COPD.ORG.

About COPD Foundation:  The COPD Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created in 2004, and has become the COPD community’s forefront organization, driven by the individuals affected by COPD, that has addressed educational, research and advocacy issues that concern the community in order to improve the quality of life for the 24 million Americans affected by COPD. For more information about the COPD Foundation and its programs, call the C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1-866-316-COPD (2673) or visit the website at www.copdfoundation.org.

About Auto Club Speedway:  Auto Club Speedway, is a two-mile oval located in Fontana, California and is home to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race each March. The track also hosts the IZOD IndyCar Series, Historic Sports Car Festival, NHRA drag racing on the track’s Auto Club Dragway, and community events including Red White & Cruise, the annual Fourth of July celebration. In addition to auto racing and community events, the Speedway is home to numerous movies, television and commercial productions, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. The track is active for more than 320 days every year. 

Tickets to NASCAR and INDYCAR Weekend at Auto Club Speedway are on-sale now.  For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.  For more information on event lodging, visit the Hilton Garden Inn, Fontana, the official hotel partner of Auto Club Speedway and Auto Club Dragway.











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