SOURCE: Brain Injury Association of America

April 21, 2006 13:18 ET

NASCAR Legend Ernie Irvan Announces LAPS Walk 2006 Schedule

Pocono Raceway Added; More Locations Expected in Months to Come

MCLEAN, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 21, 2006 -- On the heels of last August's successful inaugural walkathon event at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), NASCAR racing legend Ernie Irvan and the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) have today announced the 2006 dates for Irvan's LAPS Walk, and have added the Pocono Raceway in Pocono, PA as an additional location. The event, which allows participants to walk the racetrack alongside Irvan and other current and former NASCAR drivers to raise awareness and funding for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) prevention and treatment, will occur on Friday, July 21 at Pocono (after Cup qualifying,) and Wednesday, August 16 at MIS in Brooklyn, MI. Irvan and the BIAA are also working on additional track locations for LAPS Walk and are expected to announce them soon.

For a minimum $100 entry fee, anyone is able to participate and walk side-by-side with Irvan, as well as other current and former NASCAR drivers to raise money for TBI education, awareness and prevention. Registration for each event will begin on Friday, April 21, 2006. Interested individuals can register online at There are only a limited amount of walker positions available for each event and it is expected that registration will fill very quickly.

Last year's event at MIS drew over 600 participants and raised nearly $100,000 in gross proceeds for TBI awareness and prevention. Participants had the opportunity to obtain autographs, shake hands, and walk side-by-side with Irvan and other current and former NASCAR legends such as Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Bobby Labonte, Jerry Nadeau, Ned Jarrett, and Bobby and Donny Allison.

Irvan was at the top of the NASCAR standings competing fiercely for the points championship in 1994 when he sustained life-threatening injuries in a horrific crash at MIS. Irvan triumphantly returned to the NASCAR circuit only to suffer a career-ending TBI in a crash at the same racetrack exactly five years to the day after the 1994 incident. After a long road to recovery which included learning to walk and talk all over again, Irvan became increasingly determined to use his NASCAR popularity and personal experience to help others. In February of 2004, he formed a non-profit organization called Race2Safety in order to educate the public about TBI and spearhead development of next-generation transportation head protection safety equipment for adults and children. Race2Safety is now a part of the Brain Injury Association of America, providing Ernie with the ability to spread his message across the country.

"You never really embrace how life-changing brain injury is until you experience it," said Irvan. "My goals changed from being the top NASCAR driver in America to simply being able to take my daughter to school. I had a second and then a third chance at life, and I feel these chances were granted to me so that I could make a difference -- so I could spread the word about brain injury awareness, protection and prevention."

Founded in 1980, the Brain Injury Association of America encompasses a national network of more than 40 chartered state affiliates across the country, as well as hundreds of local chapters and support groups. The Association works with these organizations to improve the quality of life for individuals who have sustained a brain injury and their family members, and seeks to create a better future through brain injury prevention, research, education and advocacy. For more information, please visit

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