Talladega is one of only two racetracks on the Sprint Cup circuit where restrictor plates are used. A restrictor plate is a device installed at the air intake of an engine to limit its power in an effort to reduce speeds, increase safety and help provide an equal level of competition. The horsepower-restricted engines require drivers to draft together, side-by-side at speeds approaching 200 mph.
As a result, superspeedway events often produce wild, unpredictable racing. In turn, there is also the distinct possibility of the inevitable “big one” – a multicar accident that typically eliminates multitudes of drivers from the event.
One tool that can readily assist drivers in navigating their way around the “big one” at superspeedways is the early detection provided by their spotters. Perched high atop the grandstands, spotters have a prime view of the 2.66-mile racetrack and can help keep the drivers apprised of any looming danger throughout the 500-mile event.
That assistance will be key for Patrick as she looks to score a solid finish this weekend. While Patrick has set records at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway – the other restrictor-plate superspeedway on the Sprint Cup schedule – she’s yet to find the same level of success at Talladega. With five prior starts at the track, her career-best finish at Talladega is a19th-place effort she earned in last October’s event. In May, she finished 21st in the Geico 500.
As Patrick depends upon the advice of her spotter during Sunday’s race, her GoDaddy Chevrolet will be promoting the importance of another type of early detection. Once again this week, her normally green Chevrolet will be pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. The special paint scheme is part of a month-long program for Patrick and the No. 10 team in support of GoDaddy’s annual “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign.
The goal of GoDaddy’s program is to raise awareness and money and to help support the cause. GoDaddy is donating $50,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), inviting customers to “round up” purchases to the nearest dollar for the charity and matching individual employee contributions up to $500 each.
According to the NBCF, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The NBCF is recognized as one of the leading breast cancer organizations in the world. Its mission is to help women by inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. According to the organization, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. To help women, the NBCF offers the Early Detection Plan app, which is a personalized reminder system for monthly and yearly breast exams based on age and health history. It’s available in both English and Spanish at iTunes, Google Play, or www.EarlyDetectionPlan.org.
GoDaddy has promoted breast cancer awareness since 2010 and the objective of the “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” program is to inspire the millions of fans watching Sprint Cup races this month to donate and get regular check-ups.
Many GoDaddy employees and their family members have been impacted by the disease, including CEO Blake Irving. His mother, Patty Irving, holds the distinction as the longest-surviving breast cancer patient in New Mexico.
“She’s a testament to why awareness and early detection are so important,” Irving said. “My mom is a woman who not only survived, but is thriving as an active member of her community, due in large part to early detection and an amazing attitude. It’s inspiring.”
Patrick, spotter Brandon Benesch and the rest of the GoDaddy team hope they will be able to “round up” additional awareness to the NBCF and their early detection campaign by scoring a solid finish in the final restrictor-plate race of the 2015 season. At a track where anything can happen, perhaps Patrick can get the ultimate level of awareness by winning her first-ever Sprint Cup race on Sunday.