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Daily Trackside Report - Saturday, July 30
TODAY’S ON-TRACK SCHEDULE (all times local):
8 a.m.
Public Gates Open
10-11:30 a.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice
2:10 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying (Two laps, all positions)
6 p.m.
Public Gates Close
***
United States women’s national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo will drive the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com, leading the starting field to the green flag Sunday.
Solo became a worldwide sensation earlier this month as one of the leaders of the U.S. national team that advanced to the Women’s World Cup final in Germany, losing to Japan on penalty kicks. She was named the top goalkeeper of the tournament and was named to the 2011 World Cup all-tournament team.
Solo led the United States to the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing with a stunning performance in a 1-0 victory over Brazil in the gold-medal game. She has made 101 appearances for the U.S. in international play.
HOPE SOLO: “I’m honored to have the unique privilege of driving the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at the Brickyard 400. It’s going to be so much fun. The entire world of NASCAR and its people are such a new and exciting experience for me.”
JEFF BELSKUS (President and chief executive officer, Indianapolis Motor Speedway): “We’re thrilled to welcome Hope Solo as the Pace Car driver for the Brickyard 400. Hope and her teammates captivated all of America with their fighting spirit during the Women’s World Cup, and her presence as Pace Car driver adds to the prestige and excitement of this great event.”
***
A 2011 Corvette Grand Sport will be the Pace Car for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, the 18th consecutive year that a Chevrolet served as a Pace Car for the event.
Chevrolet – with help from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus, Brickyard 400-winning drivers Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray, and a fan who through a radio station promotion won the opportunity – unveiled this year’s 2011 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car Friday morning outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
JEFF CHEW (Marketing manager, Chevy Racing): “The fans are the most important reason why we do things like this, so unveiling the 2011 Brickyard 400 Pace Car at our fan display at the track simply made sense. The fans were the very first to see the 2011 Corvette Grand Sport that will bring the field to the green flag on Sunday.”
***
Kody Swanson won the J.D. Byrider 100 TRAXXAS USAC Silver Crown Championship Series race Thursday night at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Tracy Hines finished second.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star and 1999 USAC Silver Crown champion Ryan Newman finished eighth. NASCAR Nationwide Series star and 1998 USAC Silver Crown champion Jason Leffler finished 27th.
***
Timothy Peters won the AAA Insurance 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Peters passed James Buescher on Lap 194 of the 200-lap race and beat Buescher to the finish by 2.645 seconds.
Facing a critical nationwide blood shortage, the American Red Cross turns to race fans to ask them to spend an hour, give blood and help save lives.
Greg Biffle’s No. 16 Ford will sport a new Red Cross paint scheme in the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com Sunday. The scheme features thousands of cascading red blood cells, each representing a new donor needed to stabilize the Red Cross blood supply.
The bumper of Biffle’s car features the Twitter hashtag #RefuelOurTank, reminding fans to share this call-to-action with their online networks. More than 500,000 blood donors are needed throughout the month of August alone.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The Red Cross has issued a national appeal for donors of every blood type, with an emphasis on type O-negative, which can be used to treat any patient. Eligible donors can give blood once every 56 days at Red Cross blood drives and donor centers across the country.
GREG BIFFLE: “I encourage everyone who is able to give blood to visit redcrossblood.org or to call 1-800-RED-CROSS and find a convenient blood donation location. I donate myself, and it feels great to know that you can help save lives with only about an hour of your time.”
DARREN IRBY (Spokesperson, American Red Cross): “Summer is a crucial time for blood donations. With summer vacations, no school and hot weather, blood donations decline. This year is especially critical. Recent blo
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