Michigan Int'l Speedway news 2007-08-13

Ernie Irvan Returns to the Racetrack with Fellow NASCAR Celebrities for LAPS Walk Event at MIS Raises Funds for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors -- Motorist, Military and Civilian Alike Brooklyn, Mich., August 13, 2007 - The Brain Injury...

Ernie Irvan Returns to the Racetrack with Fellow NASCAR Celebrities for LAPS Walk

Event at MIS Raises Funds for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors -- Motorist, Military and Civilian Alike

Brooklyn, Mich., August 13, 2007 - The Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) and Ernie Irvan's non-profit organization Race2Safety will hold the third annual LAPS Walk, presented by AAA and endorsed by NASCAR, on August 16 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn. Irvan, fellow NASCAR celebrities, members of the American military, NASCAR fans and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivors will unite on the track in the quest to conquer TBI in America. NASCAR celebrities scheduled to appear include Irvan's former crew chief Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond of SPEED Channel, and NASCAR legend Bobby Allison and former NASCAR driver Jerry Nadeau. Current drivers are expected to commit in the next few days.

To expand upon LAPS Walk's focus of transportation and helmet-related safety, this year's event will honor our American military with a portion of the funds raised helping provide support for returning veterans with TBIs. Two-thirds of American service personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan sustain TBIs, and many returning veterans will participate in LAPS Walk

"With TBI being the signature injury of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, I want to commend Race2Safety and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan for the 2007 LAPS Walk as we attempt to raise awareness of traumatic brain injury and demonstrate their support of our American Heroes," said Brigadier General Carol Anne Fausone of the Michigan Army National Guard.

"AAA has a history of serving the motoring public since 1916," said Mike Yost, AAA Motorsports Director. "We know national statistics show half of all TBIs to people under age 75 are due to transportation accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. We are proud to participate in this effort to help those who have been injured, both overseas and here at home, and to hopefully prevent future injuries."

The Michigan Army National Guard will have a strong presence trackside, with activities including an obstacle course and rock-climbing wall, display of military hardware and a fly-in by Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters. A Tribute Lap prior to the start of the walk will include AAA-branded Miller Industry tow trucks driving beside the LAPS Walk pace car and military vehicles to honor those who have sustained TBIs. Additional elements of LAPS Walk will include a live musical performance by country singer and TBI activist Christi Bauerlee, and the announcement of prizes for LAPS Walk's top fundraisers.

LAPS Walk on-site registration and activities will begin at 8:00 a.m., opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m., and the walk will start at 11:15 a.m. Advance registration for LAPS Walk is available at www.lapswalk.org until 5 p.m. August 14th, or register on-site at LAPS Walk on Thursday, August 16th.

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) was founded in 1981 by family members, persons with brain injury and persons in the brain injury profession. At the time, brain injuries were largely misunderstood and services for those affected were hard to find. In the years since its inception, much progress has been made in treating brain injuries, and the BIAMI has expanded its focus to include prevention programs. The BIAMI's mission is to enhance the lives of those affected by brain injury through education, advocacy, research and local support groups and to reduce the incidence of brain injury through prevention.

Race2Safety was formed in 2004 to make a positive difference in the lives of men, women and children across America by informing and educating them about the latest transportation-related head protection equipment and technologies and actively promoting the everyday use of such equipment. Race2Safety works closely with safety equipment manufacturers, head injury prevention and treatment associations, as well as state and federal transportation safety organizations to help dramatically reduce the number of transportation-related traumatic brain injuries that occur every year.

AAA Michigan offers travel, insurance and financial services to more than 1.6 million members in Michigan. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest, with approximately 4.1 million members in eight states. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation, a not-for-profit organization with more than 50 million members in the United States and Canada.

-credit: mis

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About this article
Series Charity , NASCAR
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Jerry Nadeau