October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. You may be wondering why I would bring that up here on a motorsport website, but the reasons are pretty simple. For one, women make up a fairly large percentage of the race fan population. Secondly, more and more females are becoming active in the world of motorsport, both behind the wheel and behind the scenes. Besides, if the aforementioned reasons weren’t true, most of the men in the sport have women with whom they are close in their personal lives, be they wives, mothers, sisters or girlfriends.
Take NASCAR Nationwide Series championship points leader Elliott Sadler and his brother, former NASCAR driver and current NASCAR on SPEED personality Hermie Sadler, for example. Their mother, Bell Sadler, is a five-year breast cancer survivor, so breast cancer awareness is something that’s near and dear to their hearts. Maybe that’s why they were on hand at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this week, helping the track go pink in preparation for the Oct. 12-13 NASCAR race weekend at the track.
“We’re all competitors and we all race hard week in and week out, but when it comes time for any type of cause, any type of charity, it seems like the NASCAR family really pulls together and all gets on the same page,” Elliott Sadler said. “We’re seeing that again here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is a great kickoff for the whole entire month. Charlotte Motor Speedway was the first one to really take the initiative to turn everything pink – extra cars showing up pink, pit crew members doing things around the race track – really showing our support and our awareness of breast cancer throughout the month of October.”
CMS will be all decked out with a pink start/finish line and pink pace car for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series events that weekend. Even the logo for the Nationwide race, the Dollar General 300, has gone pink. Not to mention, the trophy that the winner of the Dollar General 300 will hoist in victory lane that Friday night will also be pink.
Several drivers in the Nationwide race, including Sadler, will drive cars donning pink paint schemes at Charlotte. Other drivers who’ll be behind the wheel of pink rides in the Charlotte Nationwide event inluce Justin Allgaier, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Eric McClure, Danica Patrick, Brian Scott and Cole Whitt.
But Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Nationwide Series aren’t the only segments of the NASCAR community latching on to the pink theme, and teams aren’t waiting until Charlotte, either. At least three drivers — Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth — will feature pink paint schemes on the Fords they’ll be driving in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Sprint Cup race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this upcoming Sunday.
Of course, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about much more than simply wearing pink. It’s about education. So, I’ll end this blog with some facts, courtesy of the folks at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
More than 225,000 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. But t he diagnosis isn’t a death sentence, especially if detected early. The survival rate for those diagnosed is 98 percent, that is if the diagnosis is made early. So, women, get checked. It could save your life.
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– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR