For Kevin Aube racing in the Legends Car Masters division of the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway is not only an opportunity to enjoy his favorite hobby, but also a chance to support a worthy cause.

Aube is a member of the United States Fire Department Racing Team. The team was started by long-time racing enthusiast Jim Board in an effort to promote awareness for the many volunteer fire departments that depend on donations to continue operating.

"The purpose of USFD Racing is to create awareness for volunteer fire departments and rescue squads," explained Aube. With the economy the way it is today, any kind of awareness we can get to communities about their local departments is helpful.

"Besides racing, we participate in fundraisers and community events to raise money for volunteer fire stations and to let people know how hard these volunteer firefighters work and how much time they spend away from their families."

USFD Racing consists of a collection of drivers that compete in different series, all promoting the awareness for volunteer stations. Along with the Summer Shootout Series, the team also has drivers competing in go-kart and power boat racing series.

Aube is originally from Burlington, Vt., where he served as a volunteer fireman with the Winooski Fire Department for eight years. He began racing in 1998 at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., before moving up through beginner divisions and eventually racing in the American Canadian Tour in a late model stock car.

In 2004 Aube moved to North Carolina to take a full-time position with the Kannapolis Fire Department. After taking a few years to settle into a new home and a new job, Aube began to look for a place to continue his racing career. He was immediately attracted to the Summer Shootout Series and eventually purchased a legends car.

"When I started checking into racing in the Summer Shootout, it didn't take me long to decide I wanted to do it," said Aube. "Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway is pretty good for someone like me. I get to come out here and race and can bring my family and spend time with them. They love it and that makes it even more fun for me."

As Aube prepared to race in the series on his own, a chance meeting with Board prior to the season led him to join the USFD Racing Team.

"He (Board) came to our fire station one day to take some pictures of our trucks and we just started talking about racing," explained Aube. "I gave him a business card and a picture of my car, and he decided it was a perfect fit for what he was trying to do. I love being a part of it. I get to race and promote a great cause at the same time."

For Board, Aube's efforts in the Summer Shootout Series have turned out to be a great tool for reaching the goal of the USFD Racing Team.

"Having Kevin join our program has been great for what we're trying to do," said Board. "Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway is a great way for us to spread awareness of a group of people that depend on community support. Volunteer firefighters sacrifice a lot to provide a service to us that we may not often recognize until we need it. This is just a small way we can give back."

The 16th annual Summer Shootout Series continues Tuesday night, July 28, with the return of wild-and-wacky school bus racing. Measuring 30 feet long, 112 inches tall and tipping the scales at nearly 13 tons each, these enormous racing machines will battle side-by-side and bumper-to-bumper on the tight quarter-mile oval.

In addition to the school bus race, a full slate of Legends Car and Bandolero action is scheduled. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with feature racing at 7:30 p.m.

Adult tickets are just $7 with children ages 6 to 12 admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free. For more information contact the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.