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Volume 24 No. 160
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Names In The News

In Des Moines, Kyle Oppenhuizen profiled 28-year-old Iowa Speedway President JIMMY SMALL, who was named to the position in December after NASCAR purchased the track. Small said, "The fan experience in totality is what we are focusing on. From the moment they get their tickets or the moment they go to our website, every aspect is being scrutinized, is being looked at from a NASCAR standpoint, from a racetrack standpoint, from a business standpoint. We’ve got feedback on how we deliver tickets. We’ve got feedback on how fans are getting into the racetrack, parking, camping, seating, concessions, forms of entertainment. All of those different aspects of our business are being looked at closely" (, 7/4).

CHARITY STRIPE: NHL Kings G JONATHAN QUICK yesterday held a private Stanley Cup viewing fundraiser in Hamden, Conn., for Hamden Youth Hockey players and their families. The event "raised money for the Gabriella & Madelyn Education Fund," established for the daughters of late youth hockey coach JASON PAGNI, who died in a one-car crash in January. An estimated 2,000 people attended. The event raised $5,113 (HARTFORD COURANT, 7/7).

TRAVEL TALES: Bruins LW MILAN LUCIC was profiled in the BOSTON GLOBE's VIP Lounge feature. Lucic called the Bahamas his favorite vacation spot. He said that he "liked it so much that I chose to get married there." He said of where he would like to travel, "Bora Bora (an island in French Polynesia) -- but I’m finally going there this summer. I’m looking forward to it, especially since BRITTANY and I have been married for two years and haven’t really had a honeymoon" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/6).

AWARDS & HONORS: NASCAR on Friday announced that longtime Charlotte Observer reporter TOM HIGGINS was named the '15 recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. He was the first beat writer to cover every race on the NASCAR schedule, a role he held from '80-97, when he retired. He will be honored during NASCAR HOF induction ceremonies on Jan. 30 (NASCAR).

NAMES: Hundreds of Red Sox fans on Saturday lined up at Fenway Park to try on DH DAVID ORTIZ’ “diamond-encrusted '13 World Series ring as part of the Red Sox Foundation’s World Series Ring Raffle” (BOSTON HERALD, 7/6)....One of Spurs F TIM DUNCAN’s jerseys from the “infamous sweatbox that was Game 1 of the NBA Finals sold for nearly $21,000 in a recent auction" conducted on (, 7/3)....UFC President DANA WHITE on Friday ran the 5K “Ulti-Man” race put on by UFC in Las Vegas (, 7/4)….Celebrities in attendance for the gentlemen’s Wimbledon final on Sunday included DAVID BECKHAM, BRADLEY COOPER, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, SEAN CONNERY, HUGH JACKMAN and KATE WINSLET (, 7/6).