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Corey LaJoie’s Inaugural Charity Kickball Klassic set for kickoff

Before drivers hit the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for a pair of NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series playoff races, they’ll be lacing up for a different kind of competition — on the diamond.

Corey LaJoie’s Inaugural Charity Kickball Klassic, featuring a star-studded cast of drivers and celebrities, makes its debut Wednesday at Atrium Health Ballpark, home of the Kannapolis (N.C.) Cannon Ballers. The Spire Motorsports driver-led charity event will see proceeds donated to the Kannapolis YMCA and LaJoie’s organization of choice, Samaritan’s Feet.

Two seasons ago, LaJoie put Samaritan’s Feet on his car at Watkins Glen International and donated a month’s salary to the organization. The group helps provide shoes and socks to those in need across the globe.

MORE: LaJoie waives month of salary for Samaritan’s Feet

“I’ve had this idea of a kickball tournament for years now. … I played with (Hendrick Motorsports crew chief) Cliff Daniels’ team in Huntersville (N.C.) for a couple years and just how much fun it is, but it is somewhat competitive. Everybody does a golf tournament but I wanted to do something a little bit different,” LaJoie said. ” … to be able to get a bunch of teams to raise that much more money for the Kannapolis YMCA as well as Samaritan’s Feet, which has pretty much been my charity that I use my platform to promote because if I were to build one it would be exactly what they do; to provide shoes to children and people worldwide. It’s going to raise over six figures, I don’t really know what the final number’s going to be. It was looking somewhere around $150,000.”

Each team will have a celebrity captain from a list of NASCAR drivers, professional athletes, or entertainment celebrities in attendance. Special guests include drivers Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Ty Gibbs, Matt DiBenedetto, Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, NBA player Marvin Williams, professional softball player Lauren Haeger and many others.

NASCAR will live stream the celebrity game at 6 p.m. ET on NASCAR’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The tournament is sponsored by Built Bar, which was recently named the Official Protein Bar of NASCAR.

“I just hit the ground and tried to sell the teams and round up some guys to play and it turned into a much bigger event than I anticipated and it’s going to be really fun to see everybody out there hanging out and to see NASCAR Productions and NASCAR Digital to show up and stream it on Facebook and their YouTube page,” he said.

“It really is a group effort and it’s really cool to see everybody come together and help me pull off this thing.”

The tournament starts at noon with 16 teams vying for the title. The top four teams after an afternoon of pool play will advance to the semifinals and the winners to the title game. Three kickball fields will be set up in the outfield at Atrium Health Ballpark and five will be located in the Kannapolis horseshoe.

Once a tournament champion is crowned, the celebrities will face off in a “just-for-fun” kickball contest of their own and will hold an autograph session for fans. There will also be a Family Fun Zone sponsored by GoPro Motorplex featuring bouncy houses and other kid-friendly activities, in addition to a post-tournament concert with opening act The Dryes and headliners Pryor & Lee. General admission tickets are $10, with children 3 and under free.

Full schedule of events

12 p.m.   Tournament begins
6 p.m.   Celebrity game (streamed live)
7:15 p.m.   Autograph session
8 p.m.  Post-tournament concert

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