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Dover renews with Autism Speaks, FedEx

NASCAR.com

DOVER, Del. -- For the third straight year, FedEx Corp., Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway will team up, as FedEx will serve as the title sponsor for the "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, June 2, 2013.

The announcement of the renewed partnership is coupled with the news that for the second straight year, the Autism Speaks Day at the Races event will be part of the June 2 race. Last year, this was the first-ever opportunity for those on the autism spectrum and their families to attend a NASCAR race, with a special ticket package set in a sensory friendly area within the air-conditioned grandstands at the Monster Mile.

The seating area offers a great view of the race along the backstretch of the track, with pre-race features including appearances from NASCAR drivers and personalities; brief presentations by educational speakers in the morning; food and drink; and much more.

On top of that, the area provides a dedicated quiet zone, with muted lighting in a calmer environment for parents to help their children escape the crowd if necessary. The room will also have comfortable seating, games and video screens to help fans keep up with the action on the track as well as display family friendly movies.

Tickets for the Autism Speaks Day at the Races cost $88 for adults and $20 for children ages 14 and younger. The $88 price point is symbolic -- as recent studies have shown that an estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum, a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Autism Speaks.

To purchase tickets to Autism Speaks Day at the Races, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.

The NASCAR Unites Track Walk, benefiting Autism Speaks and The NASCAR Foundation, will follow the Saturday, June 1 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Fans will have the opportunity to walk a lap around the one-mile, concrete oval where the top drivers in the sport do battle all weekend long. More information, including special guests and instructions on how to register, will be shared next week.

The Autism Speaks Day at the Races and NASCAR Unites Track Walk events are just another part of an ever-growing partnership between FedEx and Autism Speaks. This marks the seventh straight year the Monster Mile is partnering with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, to help raise funds and awareness for the cause throughout the weekend.

"There is no event that is more accessible for individuals and families with autism than our event at Dover," said Artie Kempner, Autism Speaks board member, co-founder of Autism Delaware, and coordinating director and executive producer of NASCAR on Fox. "We've seen this partnership grow into something truly amazing, with an unbelievable amount of awareness being raised throughout each Dover spring race weekend."

With its return as title sponsor of the "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks," FedEx continues to maintain a strong presence in NASCAR, most notably as the primary sponsor on Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing, a relationship that dates back to the beginning of the 2005 season. The past two years, Hamlin has run a specialized Autism Speaks/FedEx paint scheme for the Dover spring events.

Another returning aspect to help raise awareness for Autism Speaks throughout the weekend will be the Autism Speaks puzzle piece decals for drivers in all three national touring series to display on their cars throughout the weekend. In 2012, 47 drivers participated in this aspect of the weekend.

NASCAR returns to Dover International Speedway May 31-June 2, 2013 for the June 2 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the June 1 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the May 31 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway or on Twitter at @MonsterMile.

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Joe Gibbs at last year's Autism Speaks event.

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Jimmie Johnson visited with kids last year at Dover.

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