NWMT Race Named Andy Blacksmith 100
To honor his legacy and help raise awareness of organ and tissue donations on his behalf, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced on Friday that the July 18 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race will be named the Andy Blacksmith 100 presented by Donate Life New England.
Blacksmith, the popular on-air personality for iHeartMEDIA's "Greg and the Morning Buzz" passed away on June 20 after a five-year battle with heart disease and waiting for a heart transplant.
"Andy was a big fan of NASCAR racing, especially here at his home track," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice-president and general manager of NHMS. “From making his weekly NASCAR fantasy racing picks to broadcasting live from the speedway each NASCAR weekend, his unique style and lovability resonated with listeners and NASCAR fans across New England.
“Our goal is honor his lasting legacy and help save lives through the organ and tissue transplant programs. I encourage “NASCAR Nation” to embrace this special cause and make Andy proud by becoming a donor now.”
Gappens has invited Andy's family, including his mother Barbara, and his radio family from “Greg and the Morning Buzz” to serve as Grand Marshal and in other honorary race capacities, including the command to “Start Your Engines.”
Greg Kretschmar, anchor host of the “Morning Buzz”, who worked with Andy for 17 years, knows how much this would mean to his friend.
“Andy loved racing, and loved New Hampshire Motor Speedway,” said Kretschmar. “He would be absolutely thrilled to have a race named in his honor and, more importantly, to help raise organ donation awareness through Donate Life New England. It’s a great way to honor his legacy.”
Donate Life New England is a joint project of multiple, federally-designed organ procurement organizations that serve New England - New England Organ Bank, LifeChoice Donor Services, the Center for Donation and Transplant, the Connecticut Eye Bank as well as Donate Life Connecticut.
These nonprofit organizations have come together to create a fast and easy way for citizens of New England, who are over the age of 18, to register as organ and tissue donors in a secure and confidential manner. For more information or to register, go to DonateLifeNewEngland.org.
Before joining the “Buzz” family in 2000, Blacksmith had already established an impressive foundation in radio. Beginning behind the scenes, Blacksmith began his radio career after working with legendary music manager Dee Anthony for eight years. Anthony is known for his influence in building the careers of rock greats such as Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker and Sammy Hagar.
Making the transition into the spotlight, Blacksmith landed nights on WHEB-FM before working at the legendary 98 Rock (WIYY) in Baltimore, Md., during the ’90s and winning a trade association award for Air Personality of the Year.
The Andy Blacksmith 100 will drop the green flag at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 18. The Andy Blacksmith 100 will be preceded by NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying for the Lakes Region 200 at 11:15 a.m. The Andy Blacksmith 100 will air on NBC Sports Network on Thursday, July 23 at 3:00 p.m.