Raceway Generates Nearly 100 Pints of Blood at High-Speed Blood Drive
Sonoma Raceway and its fans helped local blood banks hit the jackpot on Monday as more than 100 people donated blood at the raceway’s 13th annual High-Speed Blood Drive.
The raceway partnered with the American Red Cross and the Blood Centers of the Pacific on the drive, which generated 96 total pints of blood.
Since 2001, the High-Speed Blood Drive has generated nearly 1,200 pints of blood for the American Red Cross and area blood banks.
There was an extra treat for all donors on Monday: a high-speed lap around the 12-turn road course in a race-modified Toyota Camry with a professional instructor from the Simraceway Performance Driving Center.
“From all my years in the military, I’ve donated many, many pints of blood,” said Fairfield’s Robert Upton, a retired US Air Force Master Sergeant. “Usually I get a t-shirt, but today I got a hot lap, which was special. We come to a lot of races out here.”
The summer is typically a slow time for blood banks, but the need for blood is even higher than usual this year. Blood banks are currently facing a shortfall heading in to summer, leaving them with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year.
“I thought this was a lot of fun; I’d do it again,” said Petaluma’s Matt Walraven, who visited the raceway for the first time ever. “I usually donate to Blood Centers of the Pacific, and I saw this on the Petaluma Patch yesterday and thought I’d try it out and get a lap around the track. Great fun.”