Saturday, October 17, 2009

Drivers Use TV To Deliver "Think Pink" Message

It's a message that is very close to the hearts of Elliott and Hermie Sadler. Their mother Bell is still with us after a brave battle. It's a cause that picked up steam with the reality that prevention can be relatively easy and directly save lives. NASCAR is set to make a statement this weekend. Here is the reason why:

Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. That concern for others continued even as Susan neared the end of her fight. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.

That promise is now Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1 billion since inception in 1982. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, they are working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, and generous contributions from our partners, sponsors and fellow supporters, we have become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

Five Sprint Cup Series cars are going with pink wrappers this weekend at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. Drivers running these pink paint schemes are Kyle Busch, Elliott Sadler, Bill Elliott, Michael Waltrip, and Bobby Labonte.

In the Friday night Nationwide Series race the three Braun Racing cars will also run pink schemes. Brian Vickers, Reed Sorenson and Jason Leffler will have new colors with the full support of their regular season sponsors.

Terri Miller is the Vice President of Marketing for Great Clips, the primary sponsor on the Leffler car. Her words really drive home the importance of this cause.

"We are so proud of Braun Racing for taking the opportunity to "go pink" and focus on this cause that affects so many people around the world," said Miller.

"Having been diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago personally gave me a new perspective on the importance of awareness and all the ways we can fight this disease and find a cure for our daughters. Great Clips is very happy to be a part of this effort and look forward to seeing the pink No. 38 on the race track."

Make no mistake, this is a grassroots effort that will bring millions of dollars in national TV exposure to this cause. The most impressive thing to remember is that these are completely separate NASCAR teams. Different businesses with different sponsors that have managed to all arrive at the same place at the same time for a good cause.

Here are some additional resources for those who are interested:

Click here for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure homepage.

Click here for the Passionately Pink homepage to get active in the cause.

Click here for the Circle of Promise homepage to educate young women about this disease.

Half of all NASCAR fans are female. They are our wives, mothers, daughters, relatives and friends. Thanks to all the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series teams that took one weekend out of this very long season to focus national attention on this deserving cause.

TDP welcomes your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, join us for a live blog of the Nationwide Series race on Friday night.


glenc1 said...

thank you, JD, for bringing attention to this topic. I totally enjoyed seeing the analysts in pink shirt, the drivers in pink cars, etc...other sports are on board as well, so it's nice to see NASCAR keeping up and doing their part. That Hermie & Elliot have a personal interest, as do many others, is awesome. Also, I appreciated that DJ was involved early on before it was so 'cool'.

Dot said...

I think it's great that the drivers go pink.

@ glenc1, ditto.

Photojosh said...

More power to these guys. Anyone who isn't man enough to "go pink" in support of this cause isn't much of a man.

To be fair, I'm guessing that it's the sponsors that we should really be thanking for being open minded about allowing their logos and paint schemes to be changed in honor of this. With it's strong legacy of family involvement on the racing and fan side, I can't imagine that there are too many drivers who wouldn't run a pink paint scheme if they were asked.

Anonymous said...

I like the sentiment, but I can't imagine anything more annoying than a bunch of cars all the same color (and pink, no less). UGH.

Unknown said...

Anon 2:46 -

How is a bunch of pink cars more annoying than a bunch of black, white, yellow, or red cars. Take a look at a normal week. There are usually multiple cars of those color in each race.

I applaud NASCAR and the sponsors for taking on this cause. As I was reminded by a story that I read this week, men can get breast cancer too. So all you men out there need to get checked too.

Jonathan said...

Yeah congrats to nascar for taking part in this! I was digging the driver suit on Kyle Busch!

Anonymous said...

Will every other cancer, disease, etc get the same attention? Not to belittle this one, but seems to me there are many others that would be just as worthy. I'm not entirely sure how this particular one managed to get to this level of attention.

I suspect that I'll either have my post deleted or I'll be told that I am heartless or something to that effect. But its simply a question I am asking.

Vicky D said...

I am pleased with the work that Susan's sister has done for this charity. It takes a lot of volunteers and there have been thousands out there doing walks, benefits things like that.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 6:15AM,

You must not be a NASCAR fan. Almost all the top drivers have foundations that handle multi-million dollar budgets.

These organizations, couple with the NASCAR Foundation and events like NASCAR Day provide funding for a wide variety of charities.

Hope that provided an answer, but you can Google NASCAR Foundation or look at the charities page for more info.


Anonymous said...

Anon 6:15--personally, I find it a legit question, but it's an easy answer. First, it's about awareness. Fewer people die if it's caught early, so these 'informational' pushes help with that. Plus, for many years most research was done on men for many things, including cancer and heart disease. Women's research didn't get the big dollars. And then people started realizing the numbers of women who get this type of's the 2nd leading type of cancer behind lung cancer for women (for men it's lung, then prostate.) I'm sure if a parent has a child with a rare cancer, it may be frustrating, but I also suspect that gains made in research & treatments help other types of disease as well.

Donna DeBoer said...

I too support cure reserach for all types of cancer but as displayed on CNN's page this morning, men also get breast cancer. I thank the sponsors for allowing the pink support, very visible indeed. When Kyle Busch said he wanted a "pinker" firesuit this year, they weren't kidding around! Looks very nice on him. I just hope, after all this time and with all this money coming in, some better cancer research results are discovered soon. My mom wasn't so fortunate, after being told that nothing could be done she passed earlier this year, she suffered an agonizing 2 years 8 months.

Colorado said...

I prefer the "glass half full" philosophy. Whether it's 'going pink" or other charitable contributions that all drivers and crews make, it doesn't hurt anyone to see one particular cause in the spotlight. Remember the Prelude to The Dream was for Military charities? Kyle Petty, etc. Remember, race fans, we hold the gold standard when it comes to caring about our fellow man. Just be thankful that we aren't in a dog fighting club,or shooting people in a night club. I am glad we do what we do. Hell, even Peter Criss of the rock band KISS was diagnosed with breast cancer. Lets keep things in perspective, people. Bless those who care.

Anonymous said...

The alarming stat on this is that 1 in 8 women are affected by breast cancer. That's huge! There will be 8 women walking around Lowe's Motor Speedway today and tomorrow showing casing this message....7 will be in pink and 1 will be in white. The one in white will represent the survivor who, through early detection, found the cancer early and got proper treatment. That's all it takes....feel your boobies and get your mammies grammed!

glenc1 said...

I forgot to mention, the past two summers at Watkins Glen they've had a fundraising booth with 'Save the Boobies' T shirts...very popular, lots of people buying/wearing, kids, men, everyone! I even saw some team members buying. It was very cool.

Anonymous said...

It is a good cause, but "awareness"? Give me a break. Who isn't aware of breast cancer? Screening is a multi-billion dollar business for the medical establishment, so they push it for all it's worth. And BTW, I am a woman, with two close relatives who are BC survivors and one who did not survive. I enjoy seeing the boys in pink becaue I like the color and I think only real men wear pink. Sissy men wear black.

peggyann said...

I agree that "awareness" probably isn't the right word anymore, but I think the annual attention paid to the cause is a good idea. Ford Racing sponsored a "Race to the Cure" for several years; I was sorry to see them drop it.

I have to share what happened where I live in Springfield, IL--the place where crazy Rod Blagojevich was impeached (altho he never lived in the Governor's Mansion here). Last Friday a city bus driver wore a pink necktie with his uniform in support of the cause, and he was docked a day's pay! This has been discussed on The View and has made a lot of people mad... and Springfield looks bad again! The 55 car with a pink "bra" is a lot better than what happened here.

Anonymous said...

Ford may have dropped the Race to the Cure promotion, but they are still involved. Bill Elliott is driving a special Ford Motor Company Warriors in Pink paint scheme at Lowes in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Good thing he made the race!

West Coast Diane said...

I think it is great. There have been other diseases that have been on various cars as well as the foundations of various drivers. Breast cancer happens to have a great "marketing" tool in using the color pink which works well with races cars. They are competing for research dollars and many of us only have a finite amount of money to donate to causes. If the teams choose to support this cause more power to them.

Most important is the "awareness" or reminder, if looking for a different word. There are women who ignore symptoms, or don't do self checks. Reminders are a good thing, especially in a sport where 50% of the fans are women.

My aunt died many, many years ago from breast cancer. Her daughter then was diagnosed a few years later at 21 yrs of age. Most unbelievably, 25 yrs later it was diagnosed in her other breast. She is a two time survior. No one else in our large extended Italian family, since then, has had breast cancer. My daughter-in-law's mother, who had "zero" risk factors, got the news a month ago, her cancer has returned and spread, just 1 year after the end of her first treatment.

So we all, men as well as women, are at risk and should be as vigilant as possible for this and all cancers.

red said...

jd: thank you so very much for this column. i'm typing thru misty eyes, as breast cancer runs strongly in my family: killed my mother and both grandmothers and now one sister is two years toward survivor status. i deal with the anxiety daily.

i appreciate nascar, teams, sponsors and drivers taking this step to increase awareness on the weekend of the 3-day walk. i am a grateful fan and proud of all professional sports for being visible supporters over this month.

i would ask the speed and espn booth teams to please remember their breast cancer pink pins this weekend, thanks.

Newracefan said...

I love the pink cars if it even makes 1 women finally get that mamogram done it was worth it. As a nurse who sees the results of late detection a push this big is fanatastic. I also like that Larry Mac is using it to promote awareness for all types of cancer. As the daughter dealing with her mothers battle with ovarian cancer I appreciate it all. Does anyone know of any other sport that goes this all out for different causes during the actual venue? I'm asking cause Nascar is the only sport I pay attention to.

itsonlyrockandroll said...

Pink Cars and Black Bikinis.And
expect you to take this post down..
because it is too full of the
OH good luck anyone sending e mail to Speed channel. They wont
answer you ever ever ever..
Scuse me I am go out an shop in
the pink and black dept.

itsonlyrockandroll said...

Whoppie they kept telling me how
fassst the track is. So far I have
heard almost no speed figures...
seen maybe 2 TRUE SPEED SHOTS...
Isn't time to just pay these guys
off ..send them away to do STate fair 100 lap " features" They are
a disgrace to the profession..and
getting worse.

itsonlyrockandroll said...

Attentioj announcers : Do you think it would be possible to simply sit there and say ...
seriously listen to what they are
blabbbbbering about....It is unreal
we can see the action .. do u get it ????
My nephew asks ...why do they talk too much ? I said because they
dont have the first clue ..
Scuse me while i get in trouble
for telling the truth

Anonymous said...

the curse of the Paint Scheme Change. Good nite Juan Pablo

Anonymous said...

Attention Grammar Police ...

to whom it may concern ..a doctor who fancies himself an announcer...

IT IS '''' SAT ON THE POLE """" NOT : S E T : on the pole ***
And then try to not say a word for
the rest of the nite...What a sad
pathetic i am
really gone this time **(******

itsonlyrockandroll said...

Espn puts somebody on their staff
in the garage area ...I wonder if they tell the guy...uh DONT ASK HORRID HIDEOUS QUESTIONS LIKE ...
to Denny Hamlin .." How much will your situation tonite ..
You want to know what I WOULD SAY.... I CANT TYPE IT HERE OR