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Myers Brothers Awards: Andy Lally
Andy Lally accepts the 2011 Rookie of the Year Award.
Several cars wreck on a restart in the rain
Erik Jones, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Andy Lally wreck during a restart at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
NASCAR Foundation to donate $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center
NEW YORK -- The NASCAR Foundation will donate $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center, as part of a multi-year partnership to benefit hospitalized children. Through this partnership, The NASCAR Foundation will enhance the Child Life Program at the Hassenfeld Children's Hospital of New York at NYU Langone. The partnership will be commemorated at the first-ever NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala taking place at The Marriott Marquis in New York on Sept. 27. This is The NASCAR Foundation's first multi-year partnership with a New York area hospital and marks its commitment to reach more kids nationally. NASCAR’s charitable arm has donated $25 million and impacted more than one million children since its inception in 2006. "This is an important partnership for The NASCAR Foundation," said NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton. "The work being done by the NYU Langone Medical Center is changing lives, each and every day. The NASCAR Foundation is proud to have an opportunity to support that important work and expand our commitment to improving the lives of children in need." Through this partnership, the Child Life Program will ease the anxiety of children and their families during their hospital stay, which is essential to recovery. The NASCAR Foundation will support an enhanced child and family experience, fund two Child Life specialists, and provide resources, equipment and supplies to complement the wide-range of supportive and therapeutic activities currently offered at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at no charge to patients. This marks an expansion of The NASCAR Foundation's commitment to supporting children with Child Life programming as part of its signature Speediatrics program, which has provided more than 500,000 children with state-of-the-art medical care. "As leaders in the field of pediatrics, we're proud to partner with The NASCAR Foundation whose generous philanthropic support provides extensive and meaningful programs to help children and their families," said Catherine S. Manno, MD, the Pat and John Rosenwald Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone. "This sponsorship, in concert with our Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care, will strengthen our national exemplar model of care for children and their families." The NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala, which was planned to celebrate "10 Years of Giving," has taken on additional significance following the unexpected passing of its Founder and Chairwoman Emeritus Betty Jane France last month. The Gala will be a tribute to Betty Jane France's life and is being hosted by the France family including NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (son) and his wife Amy France, International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy (daughter) and NASCAR Vice Chairman and International Speedway Corporation Chairman Jim France (brother-in-law). At the Honors Gala, various awards will be bestowed, including: -- Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide : One of four finalists will be announced as the winner following a fan vote which has taken place since July 13. The NASCAR Foundation will donate a total of $175,000 to the charities represented by the finalists -- with the winner's charity receiving a $100,000 donation. This year's finalists include Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday's Children; Andy Hoffman of Atkinson, Nebraska, founder of the Team Jack Foundation; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla's Voice; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. Since the award's inception, nearly $900,000 has been contributed to charities represented by the finalists . -- Children's Champion Award: Dr. Howard B. Ginsburg : The William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery at NYU Langone, will receive the award recognizing his commitment to children. -- Founder's Award: NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus will receive the award recognizing his contributions to philanthropy. The Honors Gala will be headlined by Grammy® and Tony® nominated singer Sara Bareilles . The following NASCAR champions and rising stars will be in attendance: six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson , seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Richard Petty , reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series Champions Martin Truex Jr . and Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Danica Patrick , Kyle Larson , Kasey Kahne , Ben Kennedy and Julia Landauer. This event builds on NASCAR's long history in New York. The racing organization opened its first office in Manhattan in 1996 and is based out of the newly renovated New York headquarters at 590 Madison Avenue. This partnership also marks further collaboration between NYU and NASCAR. In March, Brian France participated in NYU's first Social Responsibility of Sports Conference where he pledged NASCAR's support to improve social responsibility in sports. For ticket information or table sponsorships, please visit www.nascarfoundation.org/honors-gala .
NASCAR drivers ready to put Rolex in rearview mirror
RELATED: Best photos from Rolex 24 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona was certainly rare of late, in that none of the current NASCAR drivers entered in the great sports car race hoisted an overall winner's trophy. Since Casey Mears became the first full-time Sprint Cup Series driver to score an overall victory in this event in 2006 -- NASCAR drivers have won five more grand Rolex titles, including team owner Chip Ganassi's head-turning sixth overall victory last year. XFINITY Series driver Brendan Gaughan was NASCAR's highest finisher this year, his No. 20 ORECA FLM09 finishing third in the PC class; nine laps behind the class winner and eight laps ahead of the next car in class; 43 laps down to the overall winner. "It was a lot of fun to come back to the 24 -- my average finish is 2 now (he won in GT3 Class in 2011) so I either retire now or come back for another Rolex,’" Gaughan said. "Such a great event and what an honor to be here." Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year (2011) Andy Lally claimed his fifth class win in the GTD classification. But as is sometimes the case in this 24-hour endurance test, some of NASCAR's biggest names didn't end up hoisting trophies, instead finding the value in turning laps on the speedway to feel prepped and ready come stock car's version of Speedweeks here in two weeks. "I'm spending Tuesday with my new spotter and we're going to watch speedway races and intermediate tracks and go over what we expect of each other,'' 2015 race winner Jamie McMurray said. "Once this race is over, your focus just goes to your real job (in NASCAR)." The defending overall Rolex race winning team of McMurray and co-drivers Kyle Larson , IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and former Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan finished 13th overall, 28 laps down after a crash with approximately three hours remaining thwarted any chance of a podium finish. Larson was driving when the car suffered its second major brake problem of the race, launching the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year straight into a tire barrier at substantial speed. "That one time, it locked early and wasn't slowing down and I didn't make the corner and I drilled the barriers," Larson said, assuring that he was fine physically. "I've never hit anything like that so I was just hoping it would be soft. It was pretty soft. I'm not hurting at all. Glad I'm going to be here in two weeks in a stock car." His No. 02 Ford prototype suffered multiple nagging problems throughout its title defense this week, forcing time off track to repair and the laps lost -- even earlier in the event -- proved too much to overcome. Still, they finished seventh in class. NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger was scored 50th in the 54-car field. His No. 60 Honda prototype -- which won the 50th anniversary of this race four years ago -- suffered engine failure about nine and a half hours into the 24-hour affair. The Michael Shank Racing team had hoped to score a victory in honor of their longtime driver Justin Wilson, who was killed competing in an IndyCar race last season. And while the overall race winning Honda team will duly and deservedly earn the world's headlines this week, the new look Daytona International Speedway will also be talked about for a great while. RELATED: Larson, McMurray react to Daytona renovations It proved a wonderful venue for the Rolex and will be packed with fans and VIPs in only two weeks as NASCAR takes over for its 2016 edition of Speedweeks. Having some time to check out the $400 million speedway makeover this week, the drivers were impressed and enthused about the new-look facility. And track executives couldn't be more ready to introduce it to the NASCAR crowd. "The Rolex 24 is a unique event but the focus has always been on the infield,'' Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood said. "We're so excited that Daytona Rising and the Rolex 24 has given fans a chance to check out the concourses, sight lines and seats, but with NASCAR coming to town, we know all the grandstand amenities on the other side of the stadium will be put to their fullest tests because we'll get maximum capacity. "So all those great NASCAR fans that never get a chance to get into the infield are going to enjoy the Daytona 500 and the events with all the great things on the outside -- 1,400 screens, we've got wifi in all concourses, vertical transportation, social zones, you name it. "That's when we'll put the Daytona International Speedway to a true test when we're at max capacity with all those NASCAR fans during Speedweeks."
Weekly NASCAR.com preview: Aug. 10-Aug. 16
See what's coming this week to NASCAR.com Here's what you'll see on NASCAR.com this week: MONDAY: Buddy Baker passed away Monday, and we'll remember his life with stories, videos and photos ... Senior writer Kenny Bruce details Kevin Harvick 's finish at Watkins Glen after the driver of the No. 4 ran out of fuel late ... The Rundown will recap how every driver in the field fared, 1-43. TUESDAY: This week's Power Rankings presented by Outback is sure to get a shakeup now that Joey Logano has two wins on the season, and has looked great in recent weeks ... @nascarcasm will have his winner's Facebook page, as well as vanity license tags for NASCAR drivers ... Hear the best from the scanner in "Scanner Sounds." WEDNESDAY: New paint schemes will be on display at Michigan and Mid-Ohio, and we'll have them all in Paint Scheme Preview ... High 5 presents the best NASCAR content from around the web ... Chris Buescher , the NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader, returns to Mid-Ohio, the site of his first national series win. THURSDAY: Driver Reports highlights the 16 drivers currently on the Chase Grid, and how they fare at Michigan ... The high drag package returns at Michigan, and we'll break down one that means -- and how it's different from the low downforce setup ... Speaking of those new packages, which one has been better? Kenny Bruce and RJ Kraft debate. FRIDAY: The Sprint Cup Series gets on track at 11 a.m. ET, and we'll have full coverage from a busy day at the track ... 8 Tweets You Might Have Missed highlights the best from social media over the past week. Also coming this week: @nascarcasm is doing a voice-to-text interview with Andy Lally . We're sure that will go super smooth.
A personal mission becomes a cause for Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Finalist
In 2011, Andy Hoffman's young son Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumor. And so, in America's Heartland, the battle began for the life of one child. Soon, the situation led Hoffman's family to take on another battle of national scope, for the lives of many children. One year after the devastating diagnosis, Hoffman had T-shirts made to sell as a fundraiser for children's brain cancer research. Approximately 20,000 shirts were sold, more than $300,000 was raised. Inspiration morphed into dedication and a year later Hoffman and his wife, Brianna, formed "Team Jack Foundation" based in Atkinson, Nebraska. In the process, they confronted the fact that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer – both in surgery and chemotherapy – were more than 30 years old. A further catalyst was the obvious need for funding, for further childhood cancer research. Team Jack Foundation raises money to fund impactful pediatric brain cancer research while working to create national awareness for the disease. The long-term goal of the non-profit organization is to fund research at the top research centers in the United States and internationally with a special emphasis on the state of Nebraska and the surrounding region, where research centers are limited. "Our goal is to raise as much money as we can, as fast as we can and get that money into the hands of the best researchers in the world to help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer," Hoffman said. It's happening. In 2013, Hoffman appealed to the Nebraska State Legislature for funding at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, resulting in the state matching Team Jack Foundation's commitment of $1.5 million. The foundation has raised nearly $3 million, with the funding going to five research programs across the country. In addition, Hoffman has run three marathons through which he personally raised more than $10,000. Hoffman, 37 – and a longtime Jeff Gordon fan – is one of four finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's 2016 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide. The award will be presented by France, The NASCAR Foundation's Chairwoman Emeritus and founder, on Sept. 27 during the inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The foundation will donate $100,000 to the charity represented by the award winner and $25,000 to each of the other three finalists' charities. The award winner will be determined via an online vote now underway and running through Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET at NASCAR.com/Award Andy Hoffman and his son, Jack, at a chemotherapy session. Each year, approximately 4,300 children are diagnosed with life-threatening brain cancer. Young Jack Hoffman's battle continues, but for many other children, the battle is lost. "As a parent, when your child receives that first cancer diagnosis, it's a process," Hoffman said. "It's devastating. It's paralyzing. Then you go from being paralyzed to almost having a pity party, and you're praying, asking God, 'Why?' But then, the next step is, 'How are we going to beat this thing?' "I can't ask for a better group to advocate for, than these kids going through something like this. … There's so much more work that needs to be done. We've only scratched the surface. "For whatever reason, God chose us [to face this challenge] so we felt like it was our job, our obligation to other families … to use all of the blessings in our life, to do the most amount of good as possible." To learn more about this year's finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide, and to cast your vote today, go to www.NASCAR.com/Award . Voting is open now until Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. ET.
Kennedy: Betty Jane France left 'a strong footprint on the sport'
Ben Kennedy addressed the drivers' meeting at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to thank the NASCAR community for the support and outreach after his grandmother, Betty Jane France, passed away earlier this week.
Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists named
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- Finalists for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide were announced on Wednesday night on NASCAR America on NBC Sports Network. The award will be showcased on Sept. 27 at the Foundation's inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The award honors volunteers – who are also NASCAR fans – who dedicate themselves to children's causes in their communities throughout the United States. The award winner will be determined via an on-line vote now underway and running through Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. (ET) at www.NASCAR.com/Award . This year's award presentation will be part of the "10 Years of Giving" celebration for The NASCAR Foundation, which has donated $25 million to more than one million children since its inception in 2006. Betty Jane France, founder and chairwoman emeritus of The NASCAR Foundation, will present the award. The NASCAR Foundation will donate a total of $175,000 to the charities represented by the finalists – with the winner's charity receiving a $100,000 donation. This year's finalists include Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday's Children; Andy Hoffman of Atkinson, Nebraska, founder of the Team Jack Foundation; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla's Voice; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. "The body of work by this year's four finalists reflects an impressive level of commitment to improving the lives of children," France said. "Their accomplishments likewise reflect The NASCAR Foundation's fundamental ideals and what the Foundation strives to achieve on a daily basis. All four finalists are wonderful representatives of our award process and of the NASCAR community." Following is additional information about the 2016 finalists: Jim Giaccone, Tuesday's Children: Giaccone lost his older brother, Joseph, in the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Giaccone determined quickly that the best way to honor his brother was by assisting others -- especially children -- who also were affected by the tragedy. That led to Giaccone's involvement with Tuesday's Children, an organization founded in 2001 and dedicated to providing long-term support to those directly impacted by the events of 9/11 and other communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss. Jim is involved with many aspects of Tuesday’s Children including raising funds, serving on the Mentoring Advisory Board, serving on the Family Advisory Board and his most significant contribution: serving as a mentor. Andy Hoffman, Team Jack Foundation: In 2011, Hoffman's world was turned upside down when his son, Jack, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Hoffman soon learned that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer -- surgery and chemotherapy -- were more than 30 years old. He also learned that less than four percent of federal funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research each year. One year after the diagnosis, Hoffman made T-shirts as a fundraiser for children's brain cancer research; through his efforts he was able to sell 20,000 shirts and raise more than $300,000. Inspired by that success, Hoffman and his wife formed Team Jack Foundation in January 2013. The foundation raises money to fund pediatric brain cancer research and works to create national awareness for the disease. Logan Houptley, Mikayla's Voice: Houptley met a young lady named Mikayla Resh in his third-grade classroom after moving to a new school district in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Mikayla had profound multiple disabilities that included brain damage, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, along with facing the challenges of being blind and deaf. At only 10 years old, Houptley was incredibly understanding and accepting, treating Mikayla with love, kindness, and inclusion. Ten years after they met, Houptley has continued his friendship with Mikayla, in the process helping create Mikayla's Voice. Founded in 2010, the organization is dedicated to inspiring children and young adults to embrace individuals of all abilities. The organization promotes cultural change by teaching communities about the importance of inclusion and acceptance. Parker White, BackPack Beginnings: White founded BackPack Beginnings in 2010, driven by a compassion for families struggling to provide for their children on a daily basis. With two young children of her own, Parker understood a mother's desire to see her child be happy and successful. But she also knew that not every family has the means to put enough food on the table or provide basic necessities for their children. That led White to establish BackPack Beginnings, which strives to provide children in the Greensboro and High Point, North Carolina areas with nutritious food, clothing, and other basic necessities. BackPack Beginnings works with local schools to open food and clothing pantries, donate backpacks filled with blankets and school supplies, and provide comfort and hygiene items to children in need. To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide and each of the national finalists, please visit: www.NASCAR.com/Award .
Sprint Fan Vote: Current top 10 revealed
RELATED: Cast your vote now The Sprint Fan Vote is underway, and now, we have updates on (perhaps) your favorite driver. There's still plenty of time left to vote but, so far, the top-10 vote-getters are as follows, in alphabetical order: AJ Allmendinger , Trevor Bayne , Ryan Blaney , Clint Bowyer , Matt DiBenedetto , Chase Elliott , Kyle Larson , Casey Mears , Danica Patrick and Brian Vickers . Patrick, who won the Sprint Fan Vote last year and in 2013, is the first two-time Sprint Fan Vote winner. Elliott and Blaney are the current leaders in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year competition. Fans are able to vote daily by downloading the NASCAR Mobile App or visiting www.nascar.com/SprintFanVote. Votes that are shared on Facebook or Twitter will count for double, so make sure to post on your social media channels. So if you're voting for one of the 10 drivers above, get to it! If your driver isn't on the list, don't worry -- there's still plenty of time to help him or her catch up. Fans have until 5 p.m. ET May 20 to cast their votes. NASCAR will announce the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote in Victory Lane after the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20 (7 p.m. ET, FS1/MRN/Sirius XM NASCAR Radio). The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is scheduled for May 21. If any of the Sprint Fan Vote candidates wins in the races leading up to the Sprint All-Star Race, he or she will automatically earn a spot in the race and their name will be removed from the Sprint Fan Vote ballot. To purchase ticket packages for the Sprint All-Star Race weekend -- which includes the Sprint Showdown, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series N.C. Education Lottery 200, Andy Grammer pre-race concert powered by Rayovac and the Sprint All-Star Race and qualifying -- call Charlotte Motor Speedway at 1-800-455-FANS or visit CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com . Fans wishing to engage in the #SprintAllStar Race conversation through the #SprintFanVote window are encouraged to follow @MissSprintCup, @CLTMotorSpdwy and @NASCAR on Twitter.
O'Donnell: Larson's celebration appropriate for first-time winner
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to discuss whether he believed Kyle Larson's Michigan celebration was excessive.