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Want to spend this Monday at IMS for free — and for a good cause?

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Want to experience what it’s like to be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway up close and personal – for free?

Just roll up your sleeves.

Verizon IndyCar Series star James Hinchcliffe has joined with Indiana Health and the American Red Cross to host the #HincliffeHundred blood drive this Monday at IMS (on Legends Row) from Noon to 6 p.m. ET.

All you have to do is go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter the code “HinchcliffeHundred” to take part.

More information can be found at https://rdcrss.org/2IbkEMw. The hashtag for the event is #HinchcliffeHundred.

The first 100 people to schedule an appointment to donate blood will receive a ticket and garage pass for the day.

Monday’s event is the kickoff for an even larger multi-year initiative involving Hinchcliffe. He will also host blood drives at several INDYCAR races in the future, including this season’s events at Iowa Speedway and the season finale at Sonoma Raceway.

Blood donation has become a major cause to Hinchcliffe, and understandably so. When he had his horrific crash while practicing for the 2015 Indy 500 at IMS that left him in critical condition, he underwent several blood transfusions.

While it was serious business back then, Hinchcliffe now looks back at the worst crash of his racing career – and resulting recovery – with a sense of humor.

He received a total of 22 units of blood during transfusions. The typical human body holds about 10 to 11 units of blood, prompting the Mayor of Hinchtown to joke he underwent “two full oil changes” during his treatment and recovery.

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Dean Wilson’s life as a privateer reconnects the rider to his roots

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One of the added benefits of subscribing to NBC Sports Gold is the in-depth interviews from each Saturday’s action. Last week between the first and second rounds of qualification for the Glendale Supercross race, a relaxed and confident Dean Wilson joined Race Day Live’s Daniel Blair and Jim Holley to review his fourth-place finish in the season opener and his mindset moving forward.

Losing factory support from Rockstar / Husqvarna at the end of 2018 was not exactly what Wilson had in mind, but after getting off to a great start in the first two races this season, it may well have been a blessing in disguise.

The life of a privateer is not exactly relaxed, but it affords a rider the opportunity to call his own shots. For Wilson, it is also a way to reconnect with the grassroots feel that attracted him to Supercross in the first place.

“I think that’s what I like,” Wilson said on Race Day Live. “I think that’s the environment and atmosphere I like – it’s just more low key. At Anaheim I, you would think I was local racing at Glen Helen. I had a Sprinter and I had another trailer just to chill in, do my spins. It was so cold I had a little propane heater to warm me up. But I like that. That’s what works for me.”

MORE: Dean Wilson’s Cinderella story at Anaheim 

The program Wilson was able to put together during the offseason produced back-to back top 10s – a much better start to the 2019 season than he experienced last year.

In 2018, Wilson did not score a top 10 until his fourth feature at San Diego. His first top five would not come until late March in Indianapolis.

This year Wilson got the hole shot and led 14 laps at Anaheim in the opener before finishing fourth. Last week in Glendale, he finished eighth.

“What was going through my head was ‘it’s about time; it’s about five years too late to lead some laps here,’ ” Wilson described his emotion as he led at Anaheim. “It was nice because I did a lot of work in the off-season and my starts were really good. The thing is I haven’t over-analyzed my starts and practice.”

At Anaheim I, Wilson struggled with visibility as his goggles began to get fouled by mud. A once comfortable lead was eroded by Justin Barcia. With pressure from behind, Wilson made a minor mistake that was then compounded by lapped traffic.

“I was leading my laps; I was just trying to hit my marks. I was doing really well until I made a couple of mistakes. I couldn’t hit that middle double, double … the rut was getting real chewed out, but I was already on the right side where you couldn’t double the middle part so you had to go roll, roll, roll – and Barcia was already on me.”

Wilson’s pair of top 10s was enough to keep him fifth in the standings, three points behind Glendale’s winner Blake Baggett.

For more, watch the video above.

Next Race: Anaheim II Jan. 19, 11 p.m., NBCSN

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