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Local

Hinchcliffe Challenge returns to Iowa Speedway

American Red Cross Regional CEO Leslie Schaffer, IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe and
Donor Recruitment Manager Judi Faas pose for a photo in the Newton Club at the Iowa Speedway during the American Red Cross Blood Drive in 2018.
American Red Cross Regional CEO Leslie Schaffer, IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe and Donor Recruitment Manager Judi Faas pose for a photo in the Newton Club at the Iowa Speedway during the American Red Cross Blood Drive in 2018.

The community is again invited to join the race to help save lives with NTT IndyCar Series driver and blood recipient James Hinchcliffe.

For the second consecutive year, Iowa Speedway will host a special American Red Cross James Hinchcliffe Challenge Blood Drive presented by INDYCAR Cares, Iowa Speedway Cares and the NTT IndyCar Series. The event is from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 18 at the Newton Club at Iowa Speedway with a goal to collect 40 blood donations.

“When James suffered a major crash at Indianapolis a few years ago and needed a significant amount of blood, many of us were reminded of how fragile the blood supply can be,” Iowa Speedway President David Hyatt said. “Blood is needed for ongoing and emergency medical situations every single day in Iowa, but not nearly enough people are giving.

“We are honored to host this lifesaving event again this year because you never know who will benefit from these selfless donations. It could go to your neighbor, a family member or co-worker.”

All presenting donors will receive one weekend Paddock Pass for the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 on Saturday. Before entering the paddock area, all donors must sign a waiver in the credentials office. Participants 18 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult and complete a minor waiver form. Paddock Passes provide behind-the-scenes access to the garages and the Infield Fan Walk during INDYCAR weekend.

“What happened to me was a real eye opener,” Hinchcliffe said. “I understand now how blood can be needed in a moment’s notice and how much can be used to help just one person. I’m partnering with Red Cross to encourage more people to give blood so that patients can have another shot at life, just like I did.”

In 2015, Hinchcliffe suffered severe injuries after a crash during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He needed 22 pints of blood to survive, about twice an average person’s blood volume. His experience led him to realize the importance of blood donations.

“Severe injuries, like those that happened to Hinchcliffe, are a reminder of how fragile the blood supply can be. We can’t predict when a major accident might happen,” said Laura McGuire, external communications manager for the Red Cross. “We need to be ready to respond to emergencies at any time and it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.”

This blood drive is one of several Hinchcliffe is sponsoring across the country partnering with the Red Cross to help boost blood supplies during the summer when donations often declines. The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,500 hospitals nationwide.

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