Monday, January 23, 2012

Gordon Wins NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award

Jeff Gordon is the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award for 2011 for his work with children’s health issues. Gordon was one of four quarterly winners of the award, before being chosen by NMPA members as the overall winner for the year.

The NMPA Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Gordon has always taken an interest in children’s health issues through his Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Treatment Research, but those efforts expanded in 2011.

Gordon brought a hands-on approach to his work with children this summer. Working with the Clinton Global Initiative, Gordon traveled to a refugee camp in the Congo in July in an effort aid with health issues. He witnessed first-hand what children in the area face and offered his personal assistance to the program.

Other quarterly winners for 2011 included JTG Daugherty Racing, which was honored in the first quarter. Driver Bobby Labonte and his team embraced a six-year old girl seeking a bone marrow donor, as well as others needing similar transplants. The team visited her in the hospital and placed her photo and the "” website on their #47 Toyota during the 2011 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, in an effort to raise awareness for both her fight and the need for donors overall.

Jamie McMurray was recognized in the second quarter. Personally impacted by the tornadoes that devastated his hometown of Joplin, Mo., McMurray got involved with raising awareness and funds through promotion of Convoy of Hope, then visited the area and met with residents in an effort to raise spirits.

Greg Biffle was the fourth-quarter recipient. Biffle teamed with several partners to provide Charlotte-area children the opportunity to receive free dental care during the October race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Give Kids A Smile program was aimed at helping more than 200 young fans.

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