Bill and Muriel Elliott, founders of the John R. Elliott Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers, served as grand marshals for the Drive Sober 150, presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Dover International Speedway Sept. 27.
The Elliotts, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., rode the pace car and were the official starters for the race on the famed Monster Mile track. The Hero Campaign also registered designated drivers at the event, and the Hero logo was displayed on the No.96 Ben Kennedy Racing Chevrolet for the Drive Sober 150 race.
The race was sponsored by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, which has partnered with the Hero Campaign since 2006 to prevent drunken driving tragedies like the one that took the life of the Elliott’s son John in July 2000. The 22-year-old U.S. Navy ensign had just graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy and was traveling from Annapolis to his home in southern New Jersey for his mother’s birthday celebration when he was killed in a head-on collision with a drunken driver.
“We are excited to have the Elliotts and the Hero Campaign join us for the Drive Sober 150 and be part of our Drive Sober campaign,” said Jana Simpler, director for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.
Bill Elliott, chairman of the HERO Campaign and John Elliott’s father, said he and his wife Muriel appreciate being selected as grand marshals for the race and look forward to expanding the HERO Campaign’s exposure to the NASCAR racing community. “We want to thank the Delaware Office of Highway Safety for helping us save lives by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers,” Elliott said.
The Hero Campaign, which promotes the use of safe and sober designated drivers, now operates in seven states including Delaware, where it was first introduced at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. In addition to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Dover Downs and Dover International Speedway, the campaign now partners with the Delaware Restaurant Association, the Delaware State Police, and the University of Delaware, site of the inaugural Halloween Hero Walk, to be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Newark Campus. Registration information is available at www.theherowalk.org.