NASCAR champ joins whooping cough fight

Jeff Gordon, the NASCAR champion and spokesman of the Sounds of Pertussis awareness campaign, is sponsoring and promoting a song contest called Sound Off About Pertussis in an effort to spread the word about the fight against pertussis.

Gordon is asking adults, especially new parents, to learn about the highly contagious illness that has appeared at epidemic rates across the country this year. He hopes that voting for their favorite entry in the contest will promote the fight against the disease.

Sound Off About Pertussis was launched on August 5, 2010, during New York City’s pertussis awareness day. It sought fun and creative video submissions from throughout the country. Judges from the Sounds of Pertussis awareness campaign have narrowed the field to three finalists.

"We're excited about the song contest enthusiasm and participation so far and encourage everyone to log onto the contest website to watch the top finalists and vote for their favorite song," Gordon said. "People often don't realize that babies most likely catch pertussis, which is commonly known as whooping cough, from a family member. The finalist videos all share critical information about pertussis, and we hope everyone logs on to watch and vote."

The finalists are competing for a grand prize that includes a trip to the Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR Race Weekend in November and the opportunity to sing their pertussis song in front of a live audience on stage in Fort Worth, Texas. The winner will also be granted VIP access to the NASCAR race and have an opportunity to meet Gordon.

The voting begins on October 13 and the grand prize winner will be announced on November 5.