Before NASCAR takes the track at Chicagoland Speedway in a few weeks, 11 of its elite drivers — including 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Points Champion Kurt Busch — will hit the softball field with National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Ryne Sandberg, in the second annual “Racin’ the Bases” celebrity softball game. The event takes place at Silver Cross Field in Joliet’s City Center on Thurs., July 7. Gates open at 4 p.m.

"Racin' the Bases" is presented by Chicagoland Speedway, Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Joliet JackHammers as part of the 2005 Joliet Fan Fest. Festivities kick off with an autograph session from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by the celebrity softball game at 6 p.m. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to bid on autographed racing memorabilia in the pro shop throughout the game. Proceeds will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

NASCAR Nextel Cup driver and co-founder of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Kyle Petty, will be joined on the diamond by both Busch brothers (Kurt and his brother, rookie driver Kyle) along with rising NASCAR star Carl Edwards, who has already won two races this year in just his second Nextel Cup season. 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jennie Finch, and three of her teammates from the Chicago Bandits Professional Softball Team, will also participate. Additionally, former Chicago Bulls center Will Perdue is slated to coach.

The line-up for this year also includes NASCAR drivers Dave Blaney (No. 07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet); Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Supercuts Chevrolet); Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet); Stacey Compton (No. 59 Kingsford/Ball Park Franks Ford); Aaron Fike (No. 66 DuraFlame Ford); and Michael Jourdain (No. 10 TBA Ford).

Silver Cross Field is located three miles north of Chicagoland Speedway. The state-of-the-art ballpark opened in 2002 and has a seating capacity of 4,616, but Silver Cross Field can hold more than 7,000 fans with the General Admission areas (grassy hills). In 2003, Baseball America ranked Silver Cross Field the second-best of the 66 ballparks in the independent classification of professional baseball and first in the Northern League.

Ticket prices for "Racin' the Bases" are as follows: $10 (General Admission), $15 (Reserved Seat and Box Seat). Tickets are on sale now at the Joliet JackHammers box office. Tickets can be purchased by calling 815-726-BALL (2255) or by visiting

For more information on Victory Junction Gang Camp, visit

Additional drivers, media members and celebrities will be announced once confirmed.

Media Contacts:
Chicagoland Speedway Meier Raivich (815) 722-5500

Victory Junction Gang Camp Jennifer Poole (336)495-2010

Joliet JackHammers Sarah Heth (815) 774-2877

City of Joliet Kevin Hegarty (815) 724-3738


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