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Sponsor Nationwide Insurance gets behind Sept. 11 blood, marrow drive

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 11, 2008) – The NASCAR Foundation announced today that series sponsor Nationwide Insurance has joined the efforts encouraging fans to roll up their sleeves to help save a life for The NASCAR Foundation Third Annual Blood & Marrow Drive Presented by Nationwide Insurance on Sept. 11.

The drive is a partnership between The NASCAR Foundation, Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Hendrick Marrow Program and 30 NASCAR Nationwide, Sprint Cup and local home tracks. The largest effort of its kind within the motorsports industry, The NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive has collected enough pints of blood and names for the National Marrow Donor Program® Registry to potentially save more than 17,000 lives since its launch in 2006.

With the addition of NASCAR official partner Nationwide Insurance, the Drive hopes eventually to expand its reach so that every NASCAR fan is able to find a participating location nearby on Sept. 11. In an effort to further increase the number of potential lives saved, Nationwide will hold drives at two of its corporate offices in Columbus, Ohio and Des Moines, Ind.
“Nationwide Insurance and our Foundation have a proud tradition of supporting causes that help people who are in critical or immediate need,” said John Aman, Jr., AVP of Strategic Sponsorship at Nationwide. “That’s why the opportunity to support The NASCAR Foundation’s Blood and Marrow Drive was a natural fit for Nationwide. The true gift comes when a donor is identified and has the opportunity to share the gift of life with a stranger in need. I have no doubt NASCAR fans will embrace this opportunity.”

In addition to corporate support from Nationwide Insurance, the Nationwide Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to the Marrow Foundation in support of the Hendrick Marrow Program to support marrow typing, which costs approximately $52 per person. Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, founded the Hendrick Marrow Program in 1997.
“We are proud to partner with The NASCAR Foundation and Jimmie Johnson Foundation in this effort to add more members to the NMDP Registry,” Hendrick said. “The generosity of the Nationwide Foundation and Nationwide Insurance has allowed us to increase our goals for this year’s event and ultimately give more patients a second chance at life.”

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson once again will serve as the official spokesperson for the Drive.

“It has been incredible to watch the drive grow over the past two years,” said Johnson, co-founder of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. “Each year, we have been able to add more tracks to the program.  This will be our biggest drive yet. It is amazing how everyone is able to come together on one day to make such a huge impact.”

In 2007, The NASCAR Foundation Blood & Marrow Drive collected 3,410 pints of blood and added 1,031 new members the National Donor Program Registry from 24 participating tracks. Every year the Drive mobilizes some of NASCAR’s biggest players - tracks, teams and sponsors - in an effort to try and meet the desperate need for blood donations and National Marrow Donor Program Registry members. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day and approximately 6,000 people every day are searching for a marrow match.
“We are very proud of how The NASCAR Foundation has been able to engage the entire industry in this important project in just two short years,” said Mike Helton, president of NASCAR and The NASCAR Foundation. “We believe that Nationwide Insurance’s participation in this effort will only help to increase our visibility and reach, thereby saving more lives.”

To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation Third Annual Blood & Marrow Drive Presented by Nationwide Insurance or to find a participating track near you visit WWW.NASCAR.COM/foundation.

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