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IRL, NASCAR drivers go to bat for local charities

07/01/2003 10:19 AM - KANSAS CITY, Kan. (June 19, 2003) – When this year’s Indianapolis 500 champion Gil de Ferran gets to Kansas City, he’ll go to bat for local charities … literally.

Drivers from the Indy Racing League’s IndyCar Series and NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series are teaming up for a charity softball game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 3 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

All proceeds raised from the game will benefit BPU Checkered Flag Charities, a charity formed by Kansas Speedway and the Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan., in 2001 to fund youth and community initiatives in the area.

Scheduled to join de Ferran are two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves; 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Scott Sharp; IRL's 2001 Bombardier Rookie of the Year Felipe Giaffone; Indy Racing League drivers Buddy Rice, Tora Takagi and Robbie Buhl; and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Bill Lester, Rick Crawford, Travis Kvapil, Randy Briggs, Jason Leffler and Lance Hooper.

“We are thrilled for race fans and baseball fans alike to see for themselves how talented these driver athletes are,” speedway President Jeff Boerger said. “The drivers from both of the series are some of the biggest names in motorsports and easily the best people you will ever watch behind the plate or behind the wheel.”

The drivers from each series will be in town that weekend for Kansas Speedway’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 on July 5 and the Kansas Indy 300 and Aventis Racing for Kids 100 on July 6.

The softball game will be played at CommunityAmerican Ballpark, the beautiful 4,500-seat home of the Kansas City T-Bones. CommunityAmerica Ballpark is at 110th Street and Parallel Parkway – across the street from Kansas Speedway.

Tickets are $5 for children and $10 for adults and can be purchased at Kansas Speedway's ticket office (110th Street off Interstate 70); Kansas Speedway's Pit Shop (next door to Kansas Speedway); and CommunityAmerica Ballpark (Parallel Parkway and 110th Street, across the street from Kansas Speedway).

For more information about the softball game, please click or call or 913.328.RACE.