NASCAR Winston Cup Champion's Week -- Day 3
Kenseth leads by example for major March of Dimes fundraiser

NEW YORK (Dec. 3, 2003) -- Matt Kenseth did not need many miracles en route to his NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship, but he played a role in the start of one on Wednesday morning.

Kenseth, on behalf of the Greater New York Chapter of the March of Dimes, officially kicked off the annual CIBC World Markets Miracle Day that benefits a host of children's charities throughout the United States, Canada and other parts of the world.

Miracle Day, which began in 1984 and is held annually on the first Wednesday in December, is a one-day fundraising campaign in which CIBC employees and financial institution clients donate all of the fees, commissions and other monies generated throughout the day to the cause. Last year alone, Miracle Day raised more than $16 million for children's charities and has generated more than $80 million since its inception.

Kenseth was introduced to more than 150 traders by Brian Shaw, deputy chairman and head of global equities and commodity products for CIBC World Markets. He also handed out autographed NASCAR hats to the traders and got on the phone with a few of the clients to generate some donations to the cause.

"I'm honored to be a part of this day and this is a great deal in terms of generating money for children's charities, including the March of Dimes," Kenseth said. "I've heard about the success of Miracle Day and wanted to be a part of it. My being here is to support their efforts."

Other celebrity guests scheduled to visit the CIBC World Markets headquarters on behalf of Miracle Day included the New York Mets' Mike Piazza and Miss USA Susie Castillo.

* What's on tap tomorrow for the champion ... Thursday promises to be another busy day. Kenseth begins with a 10 a.m. autograph session at the NBC Experience at Rockefeller Plaza. Afterward, he'll join New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for an official proclamation and photo opportunity with the No. 17 DEWALT show car in Times Square. Then, it's on to lunch at Manhattan's famous Carnegie Deli. In the afternoon, Kenseth will participate in a press conference featuring the NASCAR Top 10. Later in the evening, he'll drop by a dinner that includes all 11 NASCAR Touring Series champions, plus NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil and NASCAR Busch Series champion Brian Vickers. Kenseth ends the day with a dinner for his No. 17 DEWALT team.

* Gordon cooks Live with Regis & Kelly ... Wednesday morning, four-time NASCAR Winston Cup series champion Jeff Gordon became the latest driver to visit the popular national morning show, "Live with Regis & Kelly." He also became the third driver of the week to whip up a favorite recipe on the set. Gordon, an occasional New York resident, prepared "Fast Lane Lasagna" with help from his "assistant" chef, co-host Regis Philbin. As a "Live with Regis & Kelly" veteran, Gordon has co-hosted the show several times, plus made numerous guest appearances. He's also the author of a new book -- Jeff Gordon: Racing Back to the Front, which is published by Atria Books and available in bookstores.

* More NASCAR champs in the Big Apple ... On Wednesday, NASCAR's other champions arrived in New York City to participate in the festivities. Those drivers hail from eight states and represent 11 NASCAR series, including Vickers, the NASCAR Busch Series champion, Kvapil, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, and the champions of eight regional touring series and the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. All the champions were treated to Wednesday evening dinner at some of New York's trendiest restaurants before retiring to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.