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Wake Forest Cardiologist in Auto Race Fundraiser for American Heart Association

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center cardiologist David M. Herrington, M.D., M.H.S., will take part in an amateur auto race to be held as part of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series automobile race weekend, Oct. 3-5 at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) near Danville, Va.

The American Heart Association (AHA) will benefit from the event from racing tickets purchased through the AHA. The organization will keep 50-percent of the price of each ticket it sells—a charitable deduction for the ticket purchaser.

Herrington, an amateur driver, took up the sport in January with his son Daniel, 17. Initially, he thought getting behind the wheel of a racecar would be a brief fling. However, his curiosity about racing has turned into a passionate hobby for father and son. This is their fourth racing event.

"I thought it would be a fun, one-time event," said Herrington. "However, I got hooked immediately and never looked back."

Herrington and son drive a 1988 BMW 325is with a 2.5-liter engine. The passenger car has been fully equipped as a racecar. The Herringtons took driving lessons from professional racecar driver and instructor Justin Bell.

Bell, who has raced for many of the major sports car manufacturers, including Saab, Peugeot, Porsche, BMW, Dodge and General Motors, has a racecar driving school. He will participate in the race and sign autographs for racing fans.

"Part of the appeal of racing is that it’s a difficult sport to master," said Herrington "It’s also a great opportunity to spend time with my teenage son." Herrington, who is professor of cardiology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and associate professor of public health sciences, has made arrangements to combine his profession with his new hobby.

The Medical Center, the AHA and the VIR will sponsor a heart health fair to coincide with the October race. Spectators and race participants will be able to receive:

  • Free cholesterol and blood pressure screening.
  • Heart health educational material about cholesterol, blood pressure and diet.
  • Educational materials and demonstrations of public access defibrillators.
  • Heart healthy snacks and food items offered through VIR concessions.

Raffle tickets are on sale to raise money for the AHA. The first prize is a "hot lap" around the racecourse with Bell in his racecar. For information about how to purchase racing tickets and raffle tickets to benefit the AHA, contact Allie Richardson in the Wake Forest cardiology department at (336) 716-9124.

Racing fans attending the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series automobile race weekend will have the opportunity to see a new series of prototype sports racer, the Daytona Prototype. The cars slightly resemble the Grand Touring Prototypes no longer in service.

The Virginia International Raceway is located in the hills of southern Virginia approximately 15 minutes from Danville.

Each year the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series draws approximately 6,000 spectators.

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Media Contacts: Jim Steele jsteele@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, (336) 716-4587.

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