NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Elliott Sadler and his brother, motorsports analyst Hermie Sadler, joined breast cancer survivors from as far away as Ohio, to paint the start/finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway pink in preparation for next week’s Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race.
The Dollar General 300, scheduled for Oct. 12 at the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, will feature a pink color scheme in an effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and honor those fighting the disease.
“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.”
Sadler, whose mother is a five-year breast cancer survivor, said the Dollar General 300 is one of the races his family enjoys most all year long because of the message it sends about the importance of raising awareness of breast cancer.
“My mom’s favorite race and my mom’s favorite paint scheme is always the pink race car that we have here in October,” he said. “She will be here with me that night, and hopefully we’ll have a good night and get to Victory Lane to receive a pink trophy. That would be a great storybook ending.”
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 225,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. But with early detection, the survival rate for those affected is 98 percent.
For even the most diehard race fans impacted by cancer, the pink theme of the Dollar General 300 is a sign of solidarity and a touching tribute.
“I lived for every weekend. I put on my shirt, get up and watch the race. It gave me strength and hope,” said Brenda Erb, a breast cancer survivor who traveled from Ohio to take part in Monday’s event. “To be here and help paint the start/finish line with those cancer sisters means the world to me. I’m just in awe-struck wonder.”
Pink Pace Car, Trophy and More
Charlotte Motor Speedway and Dollar General are working together to pink-out the track with several elements to help bring awareness to the cause. In addition to the pink start/finish line, the pink Dollar General 300 event logo will be displayed on the infield grass. The official Toyota Camry pace car will also have a pink color scheme and the winner of the Dollar General 300 will go home with a one-of-a-kind pink trophy. In addition, the race tickets for the Dollar General 300 have a pink motif.
Three hundred breast cancer survivors will be recognized in a special “Ring of Survivors” during pre-race ceremonies. The survivors will wear pink shirts and hats and carry flags as they circle the stage on the frontstretch.
Speedway officials are also encouraging fans to show their support and wear pink clothing for the Friday night NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
To support the fight against breast cancer, Dollar General is donating $50,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Drivers Join the Cause
Several drivers will show their support during the Nationwide Series race by driving cars with special pink paint schemes. Justin Allgaier, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Eric McClure, Danica Patrick, Brian Scott, Cole Whitt and Elliott Sadler are among the drivers who will have pink on their cars. Sadler is even going a step further by sporting pink shoes along with his pink fire suit for the Friday night race. He and his pit crew will also wear pink helmets.
Series sponsor Nationwide is also joining the cause. The Nationwide windshield logo on each of the 43 cars starting the race will be pink.
Focused on a Cure
Kannapolis, N.C.-based non-profit organization Focused on a Cure will provide golf cart rides to race fans throughout the weekend. Fans are encouraged to give donations with proceeds going to Focused on a Cure and Speedway Children’s Charities. Focus on a Cure uses money raised to donate to local hospitals to help pay for mammograms.
Toyota Racing for Awareness at Bank of America 500
In addition to the Nationwide Series race, fans attending the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500 will also see some pink.For several weeks,Toyota has been running a highly competitive ladies T-shirt design contest with the wives, sisters, moms and girlfriends of Toyota Racing NASCAR drivers, and one female racer, to raise money to benefit breast cancer awareness.
Fans voted for their favorite design and the winner will be featured on a parade lap car prior to the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Oct. 13. The winning design will be produced and sold on toyotaracinggear.com, with all proceeds going to the Charlotte-based charity, Carolina Breast Friends. In addition, Toyota is donating $500 in the name of each of the participants who created a T-shirt to help bring awareness to breast cancer.