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IZOD IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson will join Jim and Monica Sexton of Z-Line Designs furniture and NASCAR driver Kyle Busch at an event in Miami on Nov. 19 to raise funds for Operation Helmet.

The event, which will be held at Nikki Beach Club on South Beach, is a fundraiser for Operation Helmet, which provides helmet upgrades for U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Jack Arute, a commentator for ESPN on ABC and VERSUS coverage of the IZOD IndyCar Series, will serve as emcee for the event, which includes a silent auction with scores of gift items including a private jet flight to Las Vegas with accommodations for two at Caesar's Palace and two tickets to a concert featuring Cher.

Also to be auctioned will be two Indy Racing Experience two-seater rides and two suite level tickets and hospitality at the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Wilson is also donating items from his 2009 season for the auction.

"I'm very excited to help out Operation Helmet," said Wilson, who finished ninth in IZOD IndyCar Series 2009 standings and claimed Dale Coyne Racing's first win. "I know my helmet is a very important piece of safety equipment and I want to make sure that the soldiers have what they need to be safe."

And the answer is

The Nov. 13 broadcast of "Jeopardy" featured the category "Young Athletes," and a video clue shot at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was included in the second of the two-day final for the Teen Tournament.

For $1,200: "I'm Danica Patrick. Long before I got into race cars, I was a 12-year-old winner of the Grand National Championship in this sport - if you're cool, you don't put the 'go' in front of it."

Of course, the contestant answered correctly. "What is karting?"

And the award goes to

Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti escorted his wife, Ashley Judd, to the Hollywood Hero Award Gala last week in Beverly Hills, Calif., where the actress was honored for her service since 2002 as a global ambassador for Population Service International's HIV education and prevention program YouthAIDS.

darioashly-inset-11162009The award, in its fourth year presented by USA Today, recognizes an exceptional entertainment industry humanitarian.

"I'm just the front woman," Judd said. "I was just lucky that this wonderful organization was put in my lap and I had the opportunity to be involved with them."

In 2004, she joined the board of directors of PSI, a global health organization with programs targeting malaria, child survival, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health.

And the winning bidder is

Want to own Marco Andretti's 2007 Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG? It's available on eBay, and he recently sweetened the deal by throwing in an extra set of Barbus tires and wheels valued at $12k for free.

Andretti recently purchased a 2010 Ferrari 458, so he's letting this option-laden ride go.

And we welcome

The Firestone Indy Lights paddock got a little bigger Nov. 12 when Patrick Ryan Crawford was born.

Patrick Ryan is the first child for Michael Crawford, general manager of HVM Racing's Firestone Indy Lights team and his wife Myra, the longtime assistant to Firestone Indy Lights team owner Sam Schmidt.


A year ago this week, the Indy Racing Experience opened its operations at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla. … Bobby Rahal will be the featured speaker at the inaugural Road Racing Drivers Club's Young Drivers Symposium, supported by a grant from the FIA Motor Sport Safety Development Fund, at the 22nd Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando on Dec. 11. Rahal is president of the organization, which seeks to assist young racing drivers, including those graduating from karts to cars, raise their awareness of safety by teaching them to effectively manage their racing vehicles and themselves. IndyCar.com

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