For those of you who have never been to a NASCAR® race let me just say- you are missing out. And for those of you that have any interest in driving one of those powerful machines at 150 miles per hour, you need to put that on your short list too. Seriously, I have caught the NASCAR® bug in a big way.
Two weeks ago, I headed to the racetrack in the name of NASCAR®'s official health initiative, the COPD Foundation. What an experience both professionally and personally. I participated in the first-annual DRIVE4COPD Pro-Am Celebrity Racing Challenge at the famous Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. R2integrated, the COPD Foundation, and NASCAR® are on a mission to increase awareness of the disease which effects 24 million Americas,which unfortunately goes largely undiagnosed.
We started the day by experiencing a day in the life of a professional race-car driver, with my teammates actress Kristy Swanson, Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, X Games medalist Todd Potter, actor Bill Fichtner and NFL and reality star Hank Baskett NASCAR® driver Greg Biffle, who is currently leading in points this season was our coach and helped prepare us for a four-lap timed competition, against three other teams. Rusty Wallace NASCAR® Racing School, provided the official NASCAR® stock cars for the day.
Yes, we were all a little scared.
We raced hard and in the end my team came out victorious (which I think surprised all of us) but it was really the Foundation and the awareness the event created, that we were most excited about.
DRIVE4COPD is a nationally campaign aimed at driving fundamental change in COPD awareness in the U.S. and has helped more than 2 million people get screened; of those, 20 percent discovered they are at risk for COPD. Like in most health situations early detection is very important and our goals are to get as many people educated and screened as possible. On behalf of NASCAR® and COPD, I want to thank everyone that participated in the event and an even greater thank you for those that texted in donations during our three days at the track.
Please share this blog as we help raise awareness for COPD and definitely get yourself to a NASCAR® race -you will not be disappointed.
Learn more and take a brief, five-question screener to know if you might be at risk for COPD at DRIVE4COPD.ORG.