Team members at AdventHealth Daytona Beach got a sneak peek of a new DAYTONA 500 Grand Marshal SUV painted in their honor when Jamie McMurray, who won the DAYTONA 500 in 2010, drove the Chevy Blazer to the hospital Friday morning.
“It’s so meaningful to be able to come out here and honor these workers who have spent day after day tirelessly caring for patients during this pandemic,” said McMurray, who will also drive the No. 77 AdventHealth car in Sunday’s DAYTONA 500.
The Grand Marshal SUV, which will lead the field around the track at the start of Sunday’s race, features more than 3,000 signatures submitted by AdventHealth employees across the organization, which has more than 50 hospitals in 10 states.
Ed Noseworthy, CEO for AdventHealth Daytona Beach, said McMurray’s visit provided a welcome boost for the staff.
“We owe much gratitude to our team members who have been caring for so many patients while working through their own challenges,” Noseworthy said. “It was great to see smiles on the faces of people who have worked so hard to help others heal during the pandemic.”
McMurray first partnered with AdventHealth in 2016, and this year will add a new element to the relationship: He will wear an AdventHealth heart rate monitor during the race to give viewers a different perspective on the stresses of racing. The monitor will be visible through an in-car camera.
Chief Strategy Officer David Banks said AdventHealth’s NASCAR partnerships, including its collaboration on the Human Innovation and Development Lab (HIDL) at Chip Ganassi Racing, contributes benefits that extend beyond the world of racing.
“Not everyone can be an elite athlete and perform on racing’s biggest stage, but everyone can improve their health and wellbeing,” Banks said. “We’re learning a great deal about human performance, and those lessons can help us better provide world-class, whole-person care.”
February is American Heart Month, and McMurray and AdventHealth aim to showcase the importance of cardiac health awareness. This year also happens to be the first time the DAYTONA 500 has fallen on Valentine’s Day since 2010, when McMurray won the race.
Tickets for DAYTONA Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth events, excluding the DAYTONA 500, are still available as children 12 and under are FREE in the 100 level seating and $10 in all other reserved seating. Tickets start at $49 for adults for Friday’s Nextera Energy 250 and Saturday’s doubleheader featuring the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. ® 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire for the ARCA Menards Series.
For information and a complete schedule of all racing events as part of Speedweeks, log onto www.DAYTONA500.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP. Tickets are also available for the track’s tripleheader weekend on the DAYTONA Road course (Feb. 19-21), featuring NASCAR’s top three national series.