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 has announced.
This year, there will be 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, all chosen to serve as both Grand Marshals for the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as further campaign stops & programs throughout 2010.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is described as "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 and the ensuing information campaiogn are led by founding sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. with partnering organizations including the COPD Foundation, American Lung Association and NASCAR.
The four celebrity ambassadors will tour the nation on a DRIVE4COPD campaign, which will host educational activities at several International Speedway Corporation (ISC) race tracks after Daytona. With famous 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, the event, a day prior to the 52nd annual Daytona 500, should be a huge success and reach thousands of fans.
Is it too weird to think that NASCAR and a pharmaceutical company is finding a way to reach out to people through racing events? Last week at a screening of THE TOOTH FAIRY, the local police handed out information about TOOTHPRINTS, a means of helping find lost children. Is this too much collaboration or a good thing for the public?