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Ryan Blaney Foundation recognized as first quarter NMPA Spirit Award winner

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 18: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BodyArmor Ford, during driver introductions before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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The Ryan Blaney Foundation has been named the winner of the First Quarter National Motorsports Press Association’s Pocono Spirit Award.

Blaney, who competes for Team Penske in the Cup Series, is being recognized for commissioning Gateway Bronco in Hamel, Illinois, to build a one-of-a-kind 1974 Ford Bronco that will be sold at Barrett-Jackson’s 2020 Scottsdale Auction to support the Alzheimer’s Association.

The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.

“June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and I’ll be joining the Alzheimer’s Association in honoring my grandfather, Lou Blaney, who I lost to the disease,” Blaney said in a media release. “We want to encourage NASCAR fans to raise awareness for the disease by sharing their stories and who they are honoring during the month on social media using the hashtag #ENDALZ and tagging the Alzheimer’s Association.”

Other nominees receiving votes for the first quarter award were:

-- Chase Elliott’s DESI9N TO DRIVE Auction where drivers wore special shoes in Cup series competition at Atlanta Motor Speedway designed by patients of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

-- The Menard Family Foundation, which seek to enhance lives through medicine and medical research, education, music and the arts and also directs service to the poor and underserved.