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Fan participants picked to join drivers for Wake Forest Baptist Fitness 500

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Twelve fan participants have been selected from a nationwide pool to compete in the Wake Forest Baptist Fitness 500 Saturday at the LJVM Coliseum.

Chris Kochenower of Houston, Texas; Michael Friedhoff of Newton, Va.; Jeffrey Evans of Washington, D.C.; James McGuire of Mayodan, N.C.; Emily Atwood of Winston-Salem, N.C.; Crystal Atwood of Winston-Salem, N.C.; Chris Casner of Apex, N.C.; Amy Krow of Concord, N.C.; Amanda Saferin of Washington, D.C.; Kathy Nix of Sarasota, Fl.; Tim McKie of Michigan; and Jonathan Rowland of Clyde, N.C have been selected to compete on one of eight teams coached by a NASCAR personality.

Fan participants were asked to register on the event’s website, http://www.fitness500.com, to win a chance to compete on a driver’s team on Saturday.

"We were pleased with the response we received to participate in the Wake Forest Baptist Fitness 500," said J. Kevin Bokeno, vice president of marketing and public relations at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "While planning this event, we were eager to give folks a chance to meet the drivers and participate in a fun event, while learning and teaching others about healthy lifestyle behaviors. It promises to be a fun day for all involved."

NASCAR drivers and personalities scheduled to appear at the Wake Forest Baptist Fitness 500 include: Rusty Wallace, Jeff Burton, Jimmy Spencer, Jerry Nadeau, Carl Edwards, NASCAR President Mike Helton, Bobby Allison, Ray Evernham, Chocolate Meyers, Ron Hornaday, Dave Blaney, and Teri MacDonald. Ann Schrader, wife of Kenny Schrader; Kim Labonte, wife of Terry Labonte; Kim Burton, wife of Jeff Burton; and Nancy Andretti are scheduled to compete on the Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports (WAM) team.

"We encourage fans to continually check the event’s website at http://www.fitness500.com -- even in these final days -- for the latest information regarding the event," Bokeno said. "While some drivers have had conflicts, there are a number of drivers who may become available at the last minute. So fans may be in for a few surprises."

In addition, ticketholders will have an opportunity to bid on a number of hard-to-get NASCAR items during the auction portion of the event. Some of the auction items are:1994 #3 Dale Earnhardt Winston Cup Championship Trophy; two speedway club tickets to the Charlotte race in May with two garage passes and a private "meet and greet" with Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; two Sam Bass prints signed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.; one Sam Bass print signed by Jeff Gordon; four leather jackets (Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.); the side of #48 Jimmy Johnson’s Lowes Home Improvement car; the rear bumper from Terry Labonte’s Kellogg’s car; a 2003 Winston Cup series book signed by Matt Kenseth; a 2003 Championship display case with card, autographed champagne bottle (unopened) and two die cast cars signed by Matt Kenseth; a Bristol Motor Speedway 36 degree jersey signed by Kurt Busch; and tickets to races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Talladega and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Wake Forest Baptist Fitness 500® is a community health event featuring the stars of NASCAR®. General admission is $15, with children under age 2 admitted free. All proceeds will benefit Brenner Children’s Hospital, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

During the event, drivers’ teams will compete in a fitness challenge followed by a live racing memorabilia auction and two-hour autograph session. Attendees will be able to participate in health screenings and receive information on a variety of healthcare topics from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, one of the nation’s top academic medical centers.

Tickets can be purchased at the Joel Coliseum Box office, online at http://www.ticketmaster.com, through local Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 336-722-6400 in Winston-Salem or 336-852-1100 in Greensboro. For more information, call the coliseum box office at 336-725-5635, ext. 350.

After purchasing a ticket, fans must obtain a wristband in order to attend an autograph session of a driver. Wristbands will be dispersed through a priority system based on the time of ticket purchase and are subject to availability. Wristbands will be distributed beginning at 7 a.m. on Jan. 8. The schedule for wristband distribution can be found on Wake Forest Baptist’s website at http://www.wfubmc.edu under "tickets".

Allegacy Federal Credit Union is the marquee sponsor for this event. Other team sponsors include Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Corporate Express, The Scope Exchange, Aramark, Lowes Home Improvement, Hayes Jewelers, Nextel, Hanes Mall, Sodexho and GlaxoSmithKline.

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Media Contacts: Rae Beasley (336) 716-6878, rabeasle@wfubmc.edu; Shannon Koontz (336) 716-2415, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu; or Karen Richardson (336) 716-4453, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu.

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