Michael Waltrip plans to continue crusade for kids

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//img-JTkjwvr0B6.jpg’, ‘Photo by Chris Kelley courtesy of KMK Media Group, Inc.’, ‘NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Michael Waltrip spent nearly two hours at the Rockford Speedway July 8 for “Racin’ For Kids” to raise funds for Easter Seals Children’s Development Center. Easter Seals is auctioning off a Corvette Waltrip drove around the track. To enter the raffle, call 866-698-4567 or visit www.century21eastersealscarraffle.com.’);

Michael Waltrip, who was at Rockford Speedway July 8 for kids, will continue to do what he can to help kids.

Over the next six months, he’s planning an aggressive fund-raising campaign for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

Waltrip has announced his intent to run in the 39th Las Vegas Marathon on Jan. 30, 2005. He also made a commitment to try to raise $1 million a year for the next five years—by running the marathon—for the camp for critically ill children created by Kyle and Pattie Petty.

Waltrip’s “Operation Marathon, Going the Distance for Kids” has teamed with Las Vegas Marathon organizer Devine Racing in a five-year agreement to support the program. For every person who signs up to run in the 2005 Las Vegas Marathon, Devine Racing will donate $10 to the cause.

Waltrip said Operation Marathon is a multi-faceted avenue for people to donate money to the camp.

“Through Operation Marathon, we want to draw attention to the fact that it’s going to cost $2-3 million in operating expenses if the kids are there year round,” Waltrip said. “The donations need to continue rolling in.

“I realize that $1 million is a lofty goal, but so is running 26-plus miles. Making a commitment to run that far pushes my limits, and in turn, I want to push the limits of NASCAR fans, my corporate sponsors and running enthusiasts across the country by asking them to contribute to this cause.

“With the amazing fan base that NASCAR has, we can do this,” continued Waltrip. “We’re going to need the masses to pitch in $10 at a time in order to accomplish our goal.”

“Michael is going to try to put me in training,” Kyle Petty said. “I’m going to run along behind him and give him water. I may be on a golf cart or something like that, but I’ll be there for him because I think this is incredible.”

Fans can contribute to Operation Marathon by logging onto www.michaelwaltrip.com or calling (866) WALTRIP. Waltrip offers several ways for fans to get involved including entering the marathon or the 5K Run/Walk on Jan. 29. Waltrip will do an autograph session following the 3.1-mile race.

In the Rockford races, Tom Gille of Winnebago won the 30-lap NASCAR late-model feature, George Sparkman of Loves Park captured the 25-lap American Short Tracker main with an engine borrowed from Don Russell and “the old guy,” Gene Marocco, took the Roadrunner feature.

From www.nascar.com.

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