The “Best Buy 400 benefiting Student Clubs for Autism Speaks” was won by Kyle Busch at on June 1, 2008, at Dover International Speedway. The race not only raised funds from ticket sales and fan donations, but it also generated tremendous awareness for autism and the new Student Club for Autism Speaks program.
On the morning of the race, Elliott Sadler, driver of the Best Buy car, met with ten student club members at the Best Buy Live experience. Sadler thanked the group for their efforts in helping spread awareness of autism, a cause close to his heart.
"Thank you so much for your involvement in Student Clubs for Autism Speaks. I've met a lot of great families this year that need programs like this in their community, dedicated to raising awareness
NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler, far right, along with Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks, in orange shirt), and members of Student Clubs for Autism Speaks
and support for autism," said Sadler.
Sadler signed photos, shirts and hats for the students as well as participating individual and group photo ops. "This is so neat," remarked one of the students, "can we do this again next year?"
Joe and Shelly Galli were the highest bidders for the one-of-a-kind online auction winning the opportunity to say "Gentleman start your engines" prior to the start of the race. Click here to see an interview with the Gallis on Fox News.
Read coverage of the fundraising efforts from SceneDaily.com.
Shelly Galli celebrates after daugher Camille, front, says "Start your engines."
Prior to the race, Scott Leibowitz, Director of Corporate Partnerships, and Glenn Tringali, Executive Vice President, both of Autism Speaks, "touch up" the finish line with Mark Rossi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Dover Motorsports - Phil Cavali /HHP
View Hightlights from The Best Buy 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks
YouTube Video ~ 1 min
The crowd gathered for the trophy presentation to Kyle Busch
Winner Kyle Busch crosses the finish line - Getty Images
A variety of initiatives took place during Dover's May 30 – June 1, 2008 NASCAR race weekend to increase awareness and raise funds for Autism Speaks.
On Saturday, May 31, Grammy-nominated Emerson Drive performed at the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of Delaware.
On May 21, NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler visited Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte, N.C. to honor the first Student Club for Autism Speaks in the Southeast. Read more here. Vist the new Student Clubs for Autism Speaks site here.
Read a press release about the “Best Buy 400 benefiting Student Clubs for Autism Speaks” here.