This weekend, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is hosting NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series and the final race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Motorsports fans will certainly see racing versions of Chevrolet, Toyota, Dodge and Ford pickup trucks, as well as the built-for-speed, open-wheeled and winged Dallara IndyCars. But, also taking to the track will be members of the Ferrari Club of Las Vegas, who, with their own exotic vehicles, will participate in Sunday's prerace and on-track activities as part of the Ferrari Corral to benefit the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (www.samschmidt.org).
"We're geared up for this weekend's race and for our charity, the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation," said Ferrari Club of Las Vegas (www.ferraricluboflas vegas.com) President Paul Hesselgesser. "Everyone is especially looking forward to the prerace laps around the track and meeting some of the drivers."
The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation funds scientific research, medical treatment and rehabilitation through grants to organizations here in Las Vegas and throughout the country. The foundation's work benefits people with paralysis and other life challenges.
Sam Schmidt is a Henderson resident, former IndyCar driver and owner of Sam Schmidt Motorsports (www.sam schmidtmotorsports.com), which fields championship-winning Indy Lights teams and will co-enter two IndyCars in Sunday's race.
Schmidt won the IndyCar (then called the Indy Racing League) race at LVMS in 1997, but was hurt in a Florida practice crash in 2000 that caused a severe injury to his spinal cord. He was diagnosed as a quadriplegic. Undeterred by his injury, he formed the Sam Schmidt Foundation and later his successful race teams.
"I've come to understand why I'm here," Schmidt said. "We're spreading the message that you need to stay in shape and keep working hard because something is going to come. Frankly, I've come to the realization that I'm helping a lot more people now than I ever could as a driver."
And, the Ferrari Club of Las Vegas is behind Schmidt 100 percent having raised $10,000 for the foundation, according to event organizer and Ferrari Club member Bob Bruderman. Each member who signed up to participate chose a donation level that includes a designated parking area in the infield at the speedway, behind-the-scenes garage and pit passes, catered lunch, inclusion in the Ferrari on-track parade before the IndyCar race, reserved seating to watch the race and admission to the IndyCar after-party at House of Blues, Mandalay Bay.
For ticket information, go to www.lvms .com or call 702-644-4444.