On Saturday, May 18, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Peck took steps to help fight arthritis, literally. He particpated in the Arthritis Walk-Charlotte at the U.S. National Whitewater Center to help raise funding for the Arthritis Foundation. Peck, who was diagnosed with arthritis as a child, trotted a three-mile course along with hundreds of arthritis patients and their families as a reminder to stay moving for at least 30 minutes a day to help prevent or treat arthritis.
As the Arthritis Foundation’s signature event, The Arthritis Walk raises funds and awareness every year to fight the nation’s leading cause of disability. In addition to fighting arthritis and helping the millions of people who live with arthritis pain, the foundation aims to make the impact of arthritis and move together to help prevent and treat this serious and painful disease through research, education and community programs.
Participants walked for friends or family members with arthritis, and those with arthritis wore blue hats to signify their action to take control of their condition.
“Today was a whole lot of fun,” Peck said. “I really enjoyed seeing everyone come together and make strides towards fighting arthritis. It’s obviously an important cause to me and I was really excited to see the support that flowed in from the community.”
Peck, driver of the No. 40 Arthritis Foundation Silverado, had his race truck and team hauler at the event for the walk’s participants to experience. In an effort to boost the fundraising efforts, he accepted $1 donations for the foundation from participants to sign a sticky note and post it on his truck. He also accepted donations to sign his pit wall banner.
“It’s an honor to use our race program to help the Arthritis Foundation,” said Keith Wolfe, general manager of Peck Motorsports. “We’re proud to support their efforts and hope we can continue to do so for years to come. We’re already looking forward to next year’s walk.”
Peck announced last week that he will return to drive his family-owned Peck Motorsports No. 40 Arthritis Foundation Chevrolet Silverado in a limited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. His truck was unveiled in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Arthritis Foundation at OrthoCarolina. Peck, who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at a young age, will continue using his racing platform to show everyone that you can still live an active and fast-paced life with the condition.
“Everyone at Peck Motorsports is extremely excited about the season ahead,” Peck said. “We’re more prepared than ever before. Now that we have enough Truck Series races under our belt to assess our program, I feel like we have a much better idea of our strengths and weaknesses. We’ve targeted the areas that need improvement and have been hard at work to correct those. I think everything we do on the track and off of the track will be a step above last season. I’m really looking forward to getting back and showing how far we’ve come.
Peck will continue his association with the Arthritis Foundation in 2013. As someone who faces the daily struggles of arthritis, Peck wanted to inspire others with the condition to live an active, healthy lifestyle. He reached out to the foundation during his inaugural Truck Series season in 2011. Through the partnership, he’s helped bring national attention to arthritis through the foundation’s branding on his truck, as well as speaking at several arthritis conventions across the country. He’s also hosted numerous children with the condition and their families at race events.
“The Arthritis Foundation is pleased to continue our partnership with Todd Peck in 2013,” said Stephani Tucker, Arthritis Foundation Director of Development, Mid-Atlantic Region. “Todd has been a great example to others with arthritis. We appreciate all he does to bring awareness to the condition. He and his NASCAR team have been a great partner of the Arthritis Foundation and we look forward to another great year together.”
The truck Peck will pilot throughout 2013 was revealed at the OrthoCarolina office on Randolph Road in Charlotte, N.C., where its sports medicine center is housed. On hand were several physicians, patients and race fans.
“I’m very proud of our association with the Arthritis Foundation,” said Keith Wolfe, general manager of Peck Motorsports. “I hope that we’ve shown that you can live a very dynamic life, even with arthritis. People are always surprised to hear that Todd has the condition. They didn’t think that someone with arthritis could be a race car driver. It’s really gratifying when we show kids and adults that they can still be very active.”
Peck’s first race will be at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, June 27. The remaining races are to be determined.
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