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Jay Busbee

NASCAR takes over the NBA, at least in Charlotte

Jay Busbee
From The Marbles

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No, you haven't accidentally wandered onto Yahoo! Sports' esteemed basketball blog Ball Don't Lie by mistake. That there is Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats, and the reason he's here is because of a "NASCAR Night" held Saturday night at the Bobcats' game against the Orlando Magic. Drivers were in attendance, fans got all kind of NASCAR swag, and the team dressed in special race-themed unis. (Dig the checkered flag there on their uniforms. Every time they ran past Jimmie Johnson, he grabbed at them and tried to celebrate.)

The evening was originally meant to raise funds for Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp for critically ill children. But the focus of the night moved to Haiti, and the NASCAR Foundation announced that it will be donating $250,000 for Haiti relief efforts. This supplements Rick Hendrick's donation of the use of two planes for immediate aid. Michael Waltrip announced that he too would be donating the use of one of his planes, and Joe Gibbs Racing may be doing the same thing as well.

Drivers have begun announcing individual efforts. Jimmie Johnson has donated 2,000 t-shirts, and Max Papis will be crafting a form of donation based on the number of laps he runs at Daytona at both the Rolex 24 and the Daytona 500.

Papis, Waltrip, Kelly Bires, Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. competed in an NBA skills competition before the game. Stenhouse won the competition, not bad since he was a last-minute substitution for Denny Hamlin. The showdown included dribbling, foul shooting, passing, and shooting layups. (Dead last? Keselowski, who reportedly airballed several free throws.)

Hamlin was out because he'd torn his ACL on Friday playing, yep, basketball. Which is a true shame, because the ongoing Hamlin-Keselowski battle needs to be played out on as many fronts as possible.


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