DRIVE4COPD, NASCAR join forces to increase awareness, get fans screened

November 19, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - November 19, 2014 - NASCAR announced today on World COPD Day that it is joining the fight to help NASCAR fans with COPD breathe easier.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a life threatening lung disease, is the fourth leading cause of death globally and affects more than 300 million individuals worldwide. Within the United States, COPD ranks as the third leading cause of death, with more than 24 million Americans affected and approximately half that number remaining undiagnosed. However, a simple, painless breathing test, called spirometry, can determine whether or not a person has COPD.

"DRIVE4COPD's goal to create awareness about COPD is critical to NASCAR as many of our fans, like all Americans, may be affected by it," said Jim O'Connell, NASCAR chief sales officer. "Today, on World COPD Day, we want our fans to learn more about this debilitating disease and encourage them to get screened."

DRIVE4COPD has been the Official Health Initiative of NASCAR since 2010 and has been responsible for screening nearly three million NASCAR fans.

NASCAR and DRIVE4COPD are embarking on activities this month to help generate awareness and encourage fans to get screened, including:

• NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte will be lit orange throughout the remainder of the month

• SiriusXM will run PSAs encouraging fans to be screened

• NASCAR will recognize World COPD Day across its digital platforms

• DRIVE4COPD to host sweepstakes with NASCAR-themed prizing

"DRIVE4COPD is proud to partner with NASCAR in the fight against COPD," said John W. Walsh, president and co-founder of the COPD Foundation. "We're pleased with the support of NASCAR in our mission to prevent and cure COPD, which affects many Americans and their families."

World COPD Day is an annual global event that aims to raise awareness of COPD. World COPD Day 2014 takes place around the theme "It's not too late." This positive message was chosen to emphasize the meaningful actions people can take to improve their respiratory health, at any stage, before or after a COPD diagnosis.

DRIVE4COPD is a public health initiative that aims to help people identify symptoms of COPD and take action by utilizing public health screenings offered by the nonprofit group. For more information about the COPD Foundation and DRIVE4COPD, please visit