SPARTA, Ky. - The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety announced its return to Kentucky Speedway as the title sponsor for the June 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series 300-mile event. The John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over will be part of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend June 26-28.    

Kentucky HERO is part of The HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers, a national campaign established by the family of Navy Ensign John R. Elliott of New Jersey. Elliott, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, was killed in a head-on collision by a drunken driver in July 2000 as he was traveling home from Annapolis, Md.

A key component of Kentucky Speedway's involvement with Kentucky's HERO program is to raise awareness about the importance of having a designated driver.

"Kentucky Speedway has been a long time partner with the Office of Highway Safety. Together we saved lives with the seatbelt campaign and we are excited to save even more by reminding people to drive sober, and be a HERO," said Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer held a joint news conference December 18, 2012, to announce the launch of the Kentucky HERO program. The campaign asks bar and tavern owners, package stores, law enforcement, colleges as well as state and local governments throughout the Commonwealth to participate to help promote the use of safe and sober designated drivers.

"We appreciate the Kentucky Speedway's continued assistance in promoting our highway safety messages," said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, who is Gov. Beshear's designated representative on highway safety and chair of the Governor's Executive Committee on Highway Safety. "As we gear up for racing season, we're proud to bring attention to this critical highway safety issue and encourage NASCAR fans to use designated drivers."

The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) will visit the speedway for the 16th time in series history. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick took home the inaugural win in 2001. Last season, Brad Keselowski earned his second NNS checkered flag at the track and became the third driver to earn multiple series victories at the venue. The most recent NNS track winner, Ryan Blaney, captured his first career series victory Sept. 21, 2013.

In addition to the NNS John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over event, the Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts Saturday, June 28 will anchor the three-race NASCAR weekend that opens with the Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225 Thursday, June 26.  

Saturday's NSCS event also will feature a prerace concert by country music singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett.

Tickets, Kroger Fan Zone passes and camping are on sale now at http://kentuckyspeedway.com, (859) 578-2300 or the speedway ticket offices at 1 Speedway Dr., Sparta, Ky., 41086, just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.    

- Kentucky Speedway -