IMS to salute troops at Brickyard 400

IMS JOINS FORCES WITH COALITION TO SALUTE AMERICA'S HEROES Allstate 400 at the Brickyard fans to welcome military personnel INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 20, 2007 -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will unite with the Coalition to Salute America's...

IMS JOINS FORCES WITH COALITION TO SALUTE AMERICA'S HEROES
Allstate 400 at the Brickyard fans to welcome military personnel

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 20, 2007 -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will unite with the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes during the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard weekend July 27-29.

The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes (CSAH) provides many programs to benefit wounded veterans of the United States Military and their families. Programs include Emergency Relief, Family Support Network, Career Network, Homes for Heroes and Road to Recovery Conference. The mission of CSAH is to assist those who have given so much on our behalf, and to help soldiers and their families overcome obstacles and resume productive and fulfilling lives.

CSAH T-shirts and dog tags will be available for purchase in the Pagoda Plaza from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28, and from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29. The T-shirts are $20 each and come with a free dog tag. Dog tags can be purchased separately for $5 each.

Proceeds from the sale of the shirts and dog tags will benefit CSAH.

The shirts feature the phrase "America Supports You" on the front and the CSAH logo on the back. The dog tags sport the America Supports You program logo on the front and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway logo on the back.

Fans attending the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard can greet a few of the military members who have benefited from the program in the past and are now national spokespersons.

"We're honored to welcome these American heroes to the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard weekend," said Joie Chitwood, IMS president and chief operating officer. "Their selfless bravery inspires all Americans, and we hope that fans will show their support for our troops and CSAH throughout the event weekend by purchasing T-shirts and dog tags."

James Majetich, who lives in nearby Fishers, Ind., and his wife, Joan, are both national spokespersons for CSAH.

James Majetich was on his second tour in Iraq with the 304th Psychological Operations Company when his vehicle hit an improvised explosion device (IED). Majetich suffered severe burns and multiple other injuries.

CSAH helped Majetich's wife and family move from California to Texas to be near him during his long recovery. James and Joan think it would have been impossible for them to be together throughout his two-year recovery period without the help of CSAH.

"We want to thank the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and local race fans for making us feel so welcome not only on Race Day, but in our new home state of Indiana," Majetich said. "We are especially grateful that IMS is helping the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes bring much-needed attention to the needs of my fellow brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces who come home severely wounded."

J.R. Martinez (U.S. Army Retired) is from Shreveport, La. and suffered severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body and smoke inhalation when the Humvee he was driving hit a land mine in Iraq. Martinez went through 32 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. After his recovery, Martinez joined CSAH as a national spokesman in 2004.

Jorge DeLeon (U.S. Army Retired) joined CSAH after recovering from devastating injuries, including the loss of a leg, suffered when the Humvee he was driving ran over an anti-tank mine in Afghanistan. DeLeon works at the Department of Defense as a radio operator with the police department in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Corporal Robert "B.J." Jackson (Iowa National Guard) is from Des Moines, Iowa, and became involved as a national spokesman after his recovery from losing both legs and suffering severe burns when the Humvee he was driving on his day off hit a land mine in Baghdad, Iraq.

Daniel Vargas (E6-USAF Retired), director of family support services for CSAH, began assisting our nation's wounded and disabled Iraq and Afghanistan war heroes while serving as a non-commissioned officer with the United States Air Force. Recently retired after 20 years with the United States Air Force, Vargas is continuing his commitment to assist wounded heroes in his role with CSAH.

"Every day, America's wounded service members are coming home with severe wounds and must face an often more difficult battle, adjusting to life with their injuries," Vargas said. "But through the generous contributions that have been made by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes will be able to help these wounded troops and their families rebuild their lives. We are extremely honored that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is able to support the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes and give back to those who have given so much for our country.

"Hurrah to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for reaching out to these veterans. Yes, there are plenty of government services available, but it means a lot more that average Americans appreciate these vets' sacrifices."

For more information about the Coalition to Support America's Heroes, visit www.saluteheroes.org.

***

Tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 14th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, scheduled for Sunday, July 29.

Tickets can be purchased at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Web site, www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by phone or at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office. The IMS Ticket Office can be contacted at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally. Ticket Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Race Day reserved seat tickets start at just $35.

Parking and camping permits also can be purchased online, by phone or at the Ticket Office.

For group sales information, call (866) 221-8775 or (317) 492-8100, or e-mail groupsales@brickyard.com.

-credit: ims

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup