LOUDON, NH (June 26, 2008) -- The wait for the historic "Extra Mile" at New Hampshire Motor Speedway′s "Magic Mile" is over. This weekend, for the first time in motorsports history, an extra mile is being added to the Magic Mile′s summer classic NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, making it the LENOX® Industrial Tools 301.
"It′s going to be different, that is for sure," said the track′s all-time winner Jeff Burton, who will be driving the No. 31 LENOX Industrial Tools Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in the monumental race. "I can tell you that our team is going to go the extra mile to make sure we are in a position to lead that extra mile when it counts. I have won 300-lap races at New Hampshire. There is no reason why we can′t lead one more mile and take home the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 this year."
Why the added lap? The extra mile was added to recognize LENOX customers -- users and suppliers of industrial tools who perform physically demanding jobs and still find time to give back to their communities. LENOX is celebrating the event with the LENOX Extra Mile Hero Program, where someone could receive up to $1 million to split equally with their charity of choice. LENOX, a leading manufacturer of premium power tool accessories, torches, solder and band saw blades, is in its third year as sponsor of New Hampshire′s annual summer racing tradition.
"We know there are heroes out there and the LENOX Extra Mile Heroes Contest is a great way to spotlight those who exemplify the spirit of going the extra mile," said Rich Mathews, vice president of marketing for LENOX. "Its also important to us to have this contest driven by our customers – the stories they submit and vote for will ultimately determine our hero."
"LENOX is going the extra mile to recognize heroes and rightfully so," added Burton. "I would not be surprised to see one driver lead lap 300 and another driver lead lap 301 – all because of this great program by LENOX that could award someone and their charity $1 million. I think it′s pretty special that LENOX is bringing a couple of their heroes to the race to serve as the official Grand Marshal."
Denny Hamlin is the race′s defending champion. Current Series points leader Kyle Busch captured the checkered flag in 2006 while Burton, who is second in the 2008 standings, has won at the track four times, including his 2000 performance where he led every lap. Burton holds the race speed record of 117.134 mph, set in 1997. Sunday′s race starts at 2 p.m. EST.
Daytona 500 Champion Ryan Newman holds the track qualifying record of 133.357 mph, set in 2003 on the 1.058-mile track, which features unpredictable variable degree banking. The full 43-car field will be determined Friday at 3:10 p.m. during qualifying. Dave Blaney started from the pole last year.
Tickets remain for the event. Fans are urged to call the track′s Ticket Hotline at 603-783-4931 or log onto www.nhms.com to reserve their seat for this historic race. Upon arriving at the track, fans will notice numerous cosmetic upgrades to the facility, including new signage, branding, new restrooms, etc., all in time for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
To learn more about the LENOX Extra Mile Heroes Program, details are available at www.lenoxhero.com. The program is open to users and suppliers of industrial tools, 21 and over in the United States and Canada. Submissions are being accepted through November 30, 2008.
To enter go to www.lenoxhero.com and submit the story of the hero in your life and why you think they should be the LENOX Extra Mile Hero. LENOX wants to know how the nominee has gone the extra mile for an individual or group and how their actions represent quality and integrity among users and suppliers of industrial tools. All entries must be received on or before November 30, 2008. Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of judges and ten finalists will be announced in January 2009. Finalists will each receive a check for $3,100 and to go the extra mile, LENOX will match that amount for each of the finalist′s charity of choice. All ten finalists and a guest are also invited to attend the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 race scheduled for June 28, 2009, where the grand prize winner will be announced.
Beginning on February 1, 2009, all of the finalists and their stories will be posted to www.lenoxhero.com. Customers will be asked to vote on who they think should be named the ultimate LENOX Extra Mile Hero. The finalist who receives the most votes will not only carry the honor of being the LENOX Extra Mile Hero, but they also win the Grand Prize of $31,000 as well as an additional $31,000 to be donated to their charity of choice. But that′s not all! If Burton wins the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 race scheduled for June 28, 2009, LENOX will increase the grand prize to $1 million for the winner to split with their charity of choice!