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Austin Dillon to Join ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Field at Road America

WELCOME, N.C. (June 20, 2013) –NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Austin Dillon has entered the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at Road America in a Ken Schrader Racing entry sponsored by DRIVE4COPD, a campaign of the COPD Foundation which is designed to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a serious and progressive lung disease that is the third leading cause of death in America.

Dillon, the grandson of legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, lost his paternal grandfather, Stan Dillon, to COPD in May 2012. He now serves as an ambassador for DRIVE4COPD to encourage Americans to be screened for the disease.

“It means a lot to be able to work with DRIVE4COPD, a campaign of the COPD Foundation,” said Dillon. “It’s an honor to play a small part in helping to raise awareness about COPD and work towards improving the quality of people’s lives. It will be fun to be able to drive for COPD in the ARCA Racing Series. The ARCA Series has always meant a lot to my family. My brother won the ARCA Championship in 2011 and I’ve raced in several ARCA events in the past as well. I think having the extra track time this weekend will really help me in the Nationwide Series race.”

COPD takes one life every four minutes and kills more people each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined. 

“My Paw was an outdoorsman his entire life but as his COPD progressed, he could do less and less,” said Dillon. “It made it really hard because we couldn’t enjoy the outdoors together or do other active things. It was tough watching my grandfather live with his illness and I know that other families are dealing with the same issues.  Seeing the DRIVE4COPD initiative within motorsports gives me hope that by raising awareness, I can help other families understand COPD and screen for the disease.”

Currently, half of the estimated 24 million Americans who may be living with COPD remain undiagnosed. Dillon will play a role in encouraging all Americans aged 35 or older to log onto to take a brief, five-question screener to see if they might be at risk for COPD. If the screener indicates risk, patients are encouraged to take the next step and speak with their healthcare professional or call the C.O.P.D. Information Line (1-866-316-2673) to discuss what their score may mean.  Because COPD is a progressive disease that causes irreversible lung damage, early diagnosis and disease management are critical to helping patients breathe better in the future.

Directly after Saturday’s ARCA Racing Series event, Dillon is scheduled to drive the No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event. The race is live on ESPN beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

The DRIVE4COPD campaign is a landmark public health initiative led by the COPD Foundation, working to help individuals determine their risk and recognize the signs and symptoms of COPD and take action. More than 2.5 million Americans have assessed their risk for COPD through a brief, five-question risk screener ( DRIVE4COPD is spreading the message that, when diagnosed, COPD is treatable, and individuals with COPD can lead full and productive lives.

About COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also known as chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. This disease makes it harder to breathe because less air is able to flow in and out of the lungs. As many as 24 million Americans may have COPD – even those who haven’t smoked in years – and half of them remain undiagnosed.  Common symptoms of COPD include coughing, with or without mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness.  These symptoms are often confused with normal signs of aging or being out of shape. As COPD progresses, symptoms tend to get worse and more damage occurs in the lungs. Breathing gradually becomes more difficult until people with COPD feel like they are inhaling and exhaling through a small straw.

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