Patrick Rummerfield and Miller Motorsports Park Join Forces to Honor Wounded Veterans
The first fully functional quadriplegic in the history of medicine and one of the most prominent venues for motorsports in the US join forces to give wounded veterans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the thrill of racecar speed.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (May 8, 2009) -- Patrick Rummerfield, the first fully functional quadriplegic in the history of medicine, and Miller Motorsports Park have announced that they have joined forces to develop a program designed to allow wounded veterans to experience the thrill and excitement of racetrack driving.
At the upcoming American Le Mans Series race weekend, the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix, Patrick Rummerfield and Miller Motorsports Park have teamed with the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City to host four wounded soldiers and make racecars and professional drivers available to allow them to ride around the track in a once-in-a-lifetime experience, before the cheering spectators of Miller Motorsports Park.
The event, scheduled for Thursday, May 14, was designed by Patrick Rummerfield, of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Patrick is an active figure in the world of spinal cord injury research and the co-founder of Adventures on Wheels, a nonprofit organization designed to bring the world of adventure to those affected by paralysis.
Miller Motorsports Park will provide the facilities, racetrack time, vehicles and professional drivers to ensure that the experience is unforgettable, unique and safe.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to these brave men and women," said Patrick Rummerfield, who in 2007 flew to Germany to visit wounded American soldiers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. "Many people love this country and its freedom, but few show it by putting themselves in harm's way to defend that belief, and even less pay the very large price that wounded veterans have paid. I am glad that we are able to show this small token of our appreciation through this program."
"It is our pleasure to work with 'Adventures on Wheels' and give these brave veterans an opportunity to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Miller Motorsports Park President and CEO Dan Davis. "It is a small gesture on our part, but one we hope conveys the message that all of us in the racing community appreciate their service and sacrifice and that we're pulling for them to make as complete a recovery as is possible."
Miller Motorsports Park has also arranged for these US Armed Forces guests to receive a private tour of the Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum, passes to meet the racing crews and tickets to watch the weekend's races.
"These deserving veterans are working hard on their recovery and healing process," said Maria Fruin, Program Manager for Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans at the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City. "The VA appreciates organizations that support our veterans and is grateful for this exciting opportunity."
Patrick Rummerfield hopes that this will be the first of many such efforts to bring adventure to the lives of these brave men and women.
About Patrick Rummerfield:
Patrick Rummerfield is the first fully functional paraplegic in the history of medicine. Following a 1974 car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down, Patrick entered an uncharted and grueling regimen of physical therapy and physical and psychological support. With sheer determination and an iron will, Patrick regained function to his limbs, and went on to race marathons all over the world, including the Ironman Triathlon, the Gobi Desert march and the Antarctica marathon, and to establish the FIA World Land Speed record in an electric car, along with 33 World Firsts. Today Patrick works with the Kennedy Krieger Institute and has co-founded Adventures on Wheels, a nonprofit organization developed to bring the world of adventure to those affected by spinal cord injury. Patrick is an accomplished motivational speaker. For additional information, visit www.Rummerfield.com.
About Miller Motorsports Park:
Miller Motorsports Park is a state-of-the-art road racing facility located 25 miles from Salt Lake City in Tooele, UT. The 511-acre campus includes a multi-configurational 4.5-mile road racing circuit, a multi-configurational 0.9-mile karting circuit with dirt Supermoto sections adjacent and a seven-acre off-road testing and training facility. Miller Motorsports Park is home to the Miller Performance Training Center, which offers comprehensive training for street drivers as well as the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School, the brand-new Yamaha Champions Racing School for motorcycles, an off-road training course and kart racing school. Miller Motorsports Park hosts many of the top professional racing series in the world, including the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship, American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and NASCAR Camping World Series west, as well as a large variety of amateur racing series. The track was opened in 2006, and was named "Motorsport Facility of the Year" by the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, Germany, in its first year of operation. In addition, the track won the "Organizer of the Year" award from the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship after the series' first appearance at the track in 2008. For more information, visit www.MillerMotorsportsPark.com or call 435-277-RACE (7223).