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Stafford Motor Speedway has lined up an impressive field of current and former open wheel champions for its 3rd Annual CARQUEST Champions For Charities Event, which will take place on Friday, June 28th this season. During the coming weeks, SMS will offer a profile on each of its championship winning drivers and the charity they will be racing for and this week's CARQUEST Champions For Charities spotlights falls on 2-time Pro-4 Modified Limited champion Stan Mertz, who will be racing to support the Connecticut chapter of Autism Speaks.

Mertz is a CARQUEST Champions For Charities veteran with the 2013 season marking his third year of raising money for the Connecticut Chapter of Autism Speaks. While Mertz is a veteran of CARQUEST Champions For Charities, he hasn't had very much luck in the two previous races, finishing last in each of them. But Mertz is hoping that the third time will be the charm for him.

"I'm back for another year," said Mertz. "We've done a good job of raising money, but when it comes to the actual race, I haven't done too well. Last year I got together with Lou Cicconi on the first lap and that broke a tie rod on the kart, so we were done for the night. It's frustrating because as racers, we all want to be on the track and fighting for the win. But in this case, it's all about raising money for charity. I have a lot of fun doing it and I've met a ton of great people the last couple years while raising money for Autism Speaks."

When it comes to fundraising, Mertz went the extra mile to raise $3,643 last year for Autism Speaks. Mertz put together a coloring book that he sold at the track for a $5.00 donation to Autism Speaks, he had koozies made up with a Champions For Charities logo that he sold for a $2.00 donation, and he auctioned off a color painting of 5-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson. Mertz also donated some of his own money as well as getting some other drivers and his employer to help the cause as he tried to be the top-fund raiser to start as close to the front of the CARQUEST Champions For Charities field as possible.

"Last year I made a personal donation of $500 and once I raise $500 this year, I'm going to make another personal donation of $500 to match the first $500," said Mertz. "Last year, Applied Proactive Technologies, the company that I work for, made a $500 donation, Derek Robbie made a $500 donation between purse winnings and donations, and Kris Fluckiger from the DARE Stock class at Stafford donated all of his purse winnings. It was really great to see some of the other racers embracing the charity cause and I'm hoping I can get some more drivers involved this year to raise even more money. I have a couple of new ideas that I'm working on. We're definitely going to do another coloring book and I'm going to sell ad space in this year's coloring book to donate to Autism Speaks and I've already seen that Kris Fluckiger is going to donate his winnings again. Hopefully I can get a few more drivers to help out also, this is certainly not a singular effort by myself, it takes a lot of help and I'm very grateful for everyone who helped me out last year."

Can you imagine hearing the words, "Your child has autism"? In a split second, life - as you know it - has changed. For a different family every 20 minutes, tomorrow will never be the same. By donating to Autism Speaks, you are helping to change the future for all who struggle with autism. Donations help get one step closer to finding what causes autism, how to prevent and treat it, and ultimately a cure so no family ever hears those words again. Until then, Autism Speaks continues to strive to find answers and raise awareness about the devastating toll that autism has had on families.

The starting lineups for the CARQUEST Champions For Charities qualifying races will be determined by how much money each driver raises for their selected charity. The starting grid will be set with the drivers who have raised the most money starting up front. Fans are encouraged to get involved in the event by donating to their favorite driver or favorite charity. To make a donation to The Connecticut Chapter of Autism Speaks on behalf of Stan Mertz, and for more information on the event, please refer to the CARQUEST Champions for Charities donation page located at www.staffordspeedway.com. Stay tuned to www.staffordspeedway.com for more driver spotlights and exciting information regarding the CARQUEST Champions for Charities event, which will take place on Friday, June 28.

CARQUEST Super Saturday will take place on Saturday, June 29, and will feature the ISMA Super Modifieds, NEMA Midgets, and Pro-4 Modifieds. Tickets for CARQUEST Super Saturday are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office and are priced at $35.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $38.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.

For more information, or to order tickets to the 10th Annual CARQUEST Super Saturday event, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: March 12, 2013

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