Sonoma Raceway will partner with Blood Centers of the Pacific to help save lives one ride at a time during the 15th annual verihealth High Speed Blood Drive on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Sonoma Raceway puts a non-traditional spin on blood drives by giving donors a chance to get their hearts pumping with a "hot lap" around the course prior to donating blood. Donors will ride along with a professional driving instructor in an official raceway Toyota Camry around the 12-turn road course. The popular event will run from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. at the raceway.

"From all my years in the military, I've donated many, many pints of blood," said Fairfield's Robert Upton, a retired US Air Force Master Sergeant and past donor. "Usually I get a t-shirt, but today I got a hot lap, which was special."

Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP) supplies blood to 50 hospitals throughout Northern California, and conducts medical research to improve blood safety. BCP needs to collect more than 450 pints of blood every day from volunteer blood donors to meet patient needs.  Since 2001, the High-Speed Blood Drive has generated nearly 1,300 pints of blood, and each pint can be used to save up to three lives. As a special promotion for the month of September, BCP is offering donors the chance to win a 2016 Toyota Prius. Anyone who makes a blood donation during the month of September is automatically entered into the drawing.

In addition, Donor Network West, which works to save and heal lives through organ and tissue donation, will be on site to provide information and encourage participants to become organ donors.

To make an appointment to donate blood at the raceway, go to www.bloodheroes.com (sponsor code “RaceSonoma”). All donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent) and bring a valid photo ID.  For more information, contact Laurence Lea at llea@racesonoma.com or 800-870-RACE (7223).