, Fla. (Sept. 11, 2008) -- Race fans once again flocked to Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, Sept. 11, but it wasn’t the thrill of racing on the 31-degree high banks that attracted them to “The World Center of Racing.”
This time, race fans were helping save lives by participating in the third annual NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive inside the Daytona 500 Club located in the heart of the infield just outside of Gatorade Victory Lane. >>Video
“This is the first time I’ve donated at the Speedway,” said Mary Ann Kovatch of nearby Port Orange and a regular blood donor. “This is quite an operation. This is impressive, live music, people all over the place. I think I’ll stick around.”
“It was 9/11 and I’m trying to do some good,” said Jim Jensen, from the San Jose, Calif., area on vacation with his family in Daytona Beach.
Daytona International Speedway was among 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide and local tracks that were participating in this year’s third annual NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive.
The drive is a partnership between The NASCAR Foundation, Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Hendrick Marrow Program. The largest effort of its kind within the motorsports industry, The NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive has collected enough pints of blood to potentially save more than 17,000 lives since its launch in 2006.
Every donor who participated in the third annual NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive at DIS received a ticket to Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 8 during DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 as well as some other free items.
In addition, there was an enter to win contest for all participants at any NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive location for a meet and greet with 2006 Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson.