DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The prestigious NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener, the 120-lap, 300-mile event scheduled on Saturday, Feb. 13, will be known as the DRIVE4COPD 300, Daytona International Speedway Track President Robin Braig announced.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious, progressive disease – which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both – that robs people of their ability to breathe and kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined. The DRIVE4COPD race entitlement is part of a broader nationwide health initiative to bring more awareness to the disease, led by founding sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. with partnering organizations including the COPD Foundation, American Lung Association and NASCAR.
"The season-opening event at Daytona is the most prestigious NASCAR Nationwide Series event of the year and we’re proud to promote COPD awareness through this unique sponsorship here and at other sister facilities in the ISC portfolio throughout the year," Braig said.
Serving as the Grand Marshals for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race will be the four celebrity campaign ambassadors – Emmy-nominated actor Jim Belushi, Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner, Grammy Award-winning country music star Patty Loveless and former Pro Football Star Michael Strahan – who will all give the command, "Drivers start your engines."
Immediately following the start of the DRIVE4COPD 300, the four ambassadors will begin a nationwide DRIVE4COPD tour. Throughout the year, the DRIVE4COPD campaign will host educational activities at several International Speedway Corporation (ISC) race tracks in addition to Daytona.
The DRIVE4COPD 300 features the best of the NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers such as Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick battling for a coveted Daytona victory on the historic 31-degree high banks, a day prior to the 52nd annual Daytona 500.
Tickets for all Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the DRIVE4COPD 300, are available on your web-enabled phone at mobile.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.