Charles and Kelli Floyd spent part of their honeymoon lined up at the American Red Cross exhibit at Talladega Superspeedway, waiting for a chance to get an autograph from NASCAR Greg Biffle.
#16 Ford Fusion Driver and blood donor Greg Biffle signs autographs at the American Red Cross exhibit in Talladega, Ala. before the Aaron's 499 on April 27. (Photo credit: Lesly Simmons/American Red Cross).
Thanks to a nearly $2 million donation from 3M and support from Roush Fenway Racing, the Red Cross logo appeared on Biffle's car, the #16 Ford Fusion, during this Sunday's race. Despite a rainy forecast and an overcast sky, the sun started to shine just before Biffle arrived on the midway to sign autographs for the Floyds and dozens of other fans. People came armed with items—hats, die-cast cars, posters, and jackets—for Biffle's signature.
Red Cross Biomedical Services Executive Vice President Chris Rhouda was on hand to view the excitement about Red Cross Racing, and he described the project as energizing.
"Thanks to the 3M donation we are now doing something new that's getting a lot of attention," said Rhouda. "And working with Greg Biffle has been outstanding. He's a first class individual, and having him drive the car with the American Red Cross logo is exhilarating."
Over three days thousands of people came through the Red Cross exhibit on the midway at Talladega, learning about the need for blood and finding out how they can get involved. Thousands also registered to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the race in Phoenix later this year.
Biffle, a blood donor and National Celebrity Cabinet member, shook hands and took pictures with nearly 100 fans at the exhibit before heading off to prepare for the race. For the Floyds and others, the chance to meet their favorite driver and get involved in his causes was worth the time in line.
Race fans gathered early in the American Red Cross exhibit in Talladega for a chance to get autographs, play games for instant win prizes, and enter to win a trip for two to a NASCAR race in Phoenix later this year. (Photo credit: Lesly Simmons/American Red Cross).
"I thought it was great when I heard he was going to be working with the Red Cross," said Terry Tuberville, who drove to Talladega from Monroe, Ala., with his wife Erin. They also lined up at 7 am for a chance to meet Biffle. "It's going to get us involved with the Red Cross, because we gotta support our boy."
As part of the partnership with 3M, the Red Cross paint scheme will appear again on the #16 Ford Fusion in November during the race in Phoenix. In addition, the Red Cross logo will be seen on the No. 16 Ford Fusion in eight other races this season.
"Because of the loyalty of NASCAR fans, they appreciate that if it wasn't for the sponsors the cars wouldn't be involved, and they support their sponsors almost as much as the drivers," said Jerry Maybrey, Director of Customer Events for 3M Corporation. "It's a great base to work with, and I'm glad that we were able to donate some races to the Red Cross so that they could get the visibility, and so far the program is off to a wonderful start."
To learn more about Red Cross Racing, Greg Biffle and the #16 Ford Fusion, visit http://www.redcrossracing.com.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.