Driving For A Cause

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR Drivers proved their driving skills on the high banks of Daytona today, joining LPGA Tour players in the 33rd annual Daytona 500 NASCAR-LPGA Charity Golf Classic Presented by Kitson & Partners, LLC.

The Classic, which was hosted at the majestic LPGA International’s Legends Course, benefits both the Betty Jane France Center of Excellence for Children and Women and The LPGA Foundation.

A field of 15 NASCAR personalities that included NEXTEL Cup stars Kyle Petty, David Stremme, Tony Raines and Kenny Wallace were joined by 16 LPGA players to tackle the challenge presented by the Legends Course, which hosts amongst other events LPGA Qualifying School.

Petty, a staunch advocate of charity, was proud to help the cause.

"This is great. Obviously what Betty Jane and her foundation is doing with Speediatrics is near and dear to my heart and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Speediatrics wards they have here in Daytona at Halifax and at Miami-Homestead are phenomenal places and it’s cool for the kids. Having been to the hospitals and been to the Speediatrics, to be able to come out and do something like this, to know you are being a small part of it is a lot of fun."

The event helped raise over $120,000 for the causes.

"LPGA International is proud to be a part of this great event," said Nancy Henderson, the Director of Golf and General Manager of the course. "Obviously the LPGA Foundation is already a great cause for us, but to be able to partner with the Betty Jane Foundation is a pleasure for us to be associated with such a worthy cause."

While not sharing in the golfing success as much as his playing partners, Mike Skinner was glad to take the time out of a busy Speedweeks schedule to help the cause of a friend.

"She is not the first lady of NASCAR for nothing. On top of being a great person, she is a friend of ours. We all get together every once in a while and we get a chance to know her not just as Betty Jane France, but as Betty Jane a friend. She is just an amazing person for what she does for the community. She don’t have to do what she does, she takes a lot of her personal time to make a difference and she definitely makes a difference," said the Daytona Beach resident.

Even though he struggled with his game, Stremme probably summed up the feelings of all of the drivers on the course best.

"I don’t play but twice a year maybe, but it’s for a good charity and I am having a lot of fun on this beautiful day," said the driver of the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge. "I think winning Rookie of the Year will be a lot easier (than improving his golf game), even with the class that we are in."

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