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Updated Feb 3, 2014 - 9:43 pm

NASCAR champion surprises Valley vets with race tickets

Veterans at the Phoenix VA Health Care System got a surprise visit from 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski on Monday.

Keselowski, 29, said he wanted to give back to the military heroes by handing out tickets to the 50th anniversary of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Phoenix International Raceway next month.

"Football's over, racing starts, it's kind of a nice little end of the winter transition and we're getting pumped for it, so kind of spreading the word," said Keselowski.

In 2010, Keselowski founded the Checkered Flag Foundation, supporting military personnel, veterans, first responders and their families.

"It's important for NASCAR, it's important for me personally," Keselowski said. "The Checkered Flag Foundation does things for servicemen, servicewomen and being able to give them some tickets to come out is hopefully our way of giving back a little bit," Keselowski said.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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