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- Location Indianapolis, IN
Just before his 600th consecutive start, NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte, past champion of the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series, will be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, signing autographs and reminding motorists to be Better Safe around railroad tracks.
Labonte will sign autographs at the "Better Safe" exhibit in the track's infield from 12–1:00 pm on Saturday, July 24 and from 9:30–10:30 am on Sunday, July 25. His appearances are part of the festivities surrounding the Brickyard 400.
"It's a very important safety message that every motorist needs to hear," says Labonte, the 2000 Brickyard 400 winner who also won the Sprint Cup championship that year. "On the track, I try to beat every driver, but on the road, I would never try to beat a train. Nothing is that important."
According to Cliff Stayton, director of community affairs and safety for CSX Transportation, the Labonte appearance kicks off a new safety campaign developed by the largest eastern railroad called, "Better Safe."
"Most people don't know that a moving train makes little sound and can take up to a mile to stop. By the time a train sees a vehicle or person on the tracks, it is almost always too late to stop. 'Better Safe' is our latest attempt to remind people to stay off and away from railroad tracks and to always obey crossing guards and signals and to look both ways at intersections," says Stayton. The campaign will be featured in important markets throughout the railroad's 21,000-mile system.
In addition to "Better Safe," CSX is a sponsor of the Operation Lifesaver trespassing safety campaign called "Common Sense" and has brought its safety message to two other NASCAR races, Aaron's 499 at Talladega Speedway in 2007 and the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008.