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Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Vidovich win would be windfall for homeless cats

Associated Press

Auggie Vidovich has a million reasons why he would like to win the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Busch Series race Friday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

If Vidovich can pull off an upset like David Gilliland did earlier this year, 9Lives cat food will donate $1 million to cat rescue shelters across the country as part of "Morris' Million Cat Rescue" project.

9Lives and Morris the Cat are sponsoring Vidovich and the Biage DenBeste team in the 300 to help raise awareness for the effort to rescue 1 million homeless cats.

"This is a great project, and we want to do everything we can to help Morris find homes for a million homeless cats," said the 25-year-old Vidovich, who won the NASCAR Southwest Elite Division championship in 2003.

So far this season, his first in Busch, he has started 16 races and has never finished higher than 15th. Vidovich has led just three laps all season.

But he points to Gilliland, who shocked the racing community with a Busch victory earlier this season at Kentucky. Gilliland never had finished better than 29th in six previous Busch starts before that victory.

"Everything has to fall into place, and it has to be a perfect night for the 9Lives team, but David proved that it can be done," Vidovich said. "We are going to do everything in our power to win the race."

Even if Vidovich does not pull off the upset, he will still present a check for $50,000 to be split between two animal shelters to be selected.

Also as part of this project, 9Lives is conducting a bus tour that will stop at 34 of the top markets in the country, raising awareness of this issue and facilitating cat adoptions in conjunction with the local shelters. The company is also partnering with 3,600 shelters to distribute Morris' Million Cat Rescue Welcome Home Kits that will educate consumers on proper care for their cats at home.