Elliott Sadler's "Lady in Pink" Is a Personal Cause

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer ISeptember 4, 2009

BROOKLYN, MI - AUGUST 15:  Elliott Sadler driver of the #19 Stanley Tools Dodge, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Michigan 400 at Michigan Internetional Speedway on August 15, 2009 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Elliott Sadler, driver of the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 19 Dodge, announced a new partnership and it is a personal one.  Sadler and his sponsor Stanley are partnering with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

The new promotion, entitled "Lady in Pink," will honor a breast cancer survivor at the NASCAR race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 17.

Sadler fans are encouraged to go to www.stanleymotorsports.com and nominate someone they know with breast cancer to be the "Lady in Pink".  Fans simply have to write a 500-word essay about someone they know who is battling or has survived this disease.

"Lady in Pink" nominations will be taken through September 15.  At that time, Stanley will review all of the nominations and select the top four to be posted to their website.

Sadler fans will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite nominee from September 20 to September 25.  The "Lady in Pink" who receives the most votes will be the grand prize winner.

Sadler advised that the grand prize "Lady in Pink" will receive a VIP race package and will have her name prominently displayed on Sadler's pink car for the Banking 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October.

The first runner-up will receive a personal phone call from Elliott Sadler, as well as an autographed helmet visor, die cast, and photos.  The other two finalists will receive a variety of Stanley Racing products, including hats and photos of the special pink race car.

"This is such an important cause and one that's very close to my heart since my mother faced the disease," Sadler said.  "My family was very fortunate that my mother made it through her battle with breast cancer and has now been cancer free for almost two years."

Sadler acknowledged that his mother's treatment was not an easy road.  That is what inspired him to participate in the "Lady in Pink" promotion that spotlights other breast cancer survivors and their road to recovery.

"The folks at Stanley and I decided that it would be great to honor a special someone as our 'Lady in Pink' who has gone or is going through a similar battle right now," said Sadler.  "We want to give them a special experience on the race track."

Sadler is not the only one personally touched by the disease of breast cancer.  This disease affects so many women and, although the mortality rate has been decreasing with early detection, breast cancer can still claim the lives of many women, young and old.

Sadler's announcement touched me very personally, especially this week.  I would have nominated my sister-in-law to be a "Lady in Pink", as she had been valiantly battling breast cancer for over three years.

But my sister-in-law's battle ended this week, with the cancer spreading throughout her body and finally ending her life at age 43 years, leaving a wonderful husband, three children, and family and friends grieving in the disease's wake.

While many fans may feel that the racing is the only thing that matters, I would argue otherwise and I think that even Elliott Sadler would agree.  With his "Lady in Pink" promotion, what Sadler is doing off the track may be just as important as his racing, as he is literally helping to save lives.

Last year, Stanley donated more than $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure through a similar promotion and also raised funds through auctioning off Sadler's fire suit and the pink wheels from his car.

This year, Stanley has already committed a minimum of $50,000 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and hopes, with Sadler's help, to raise additional contributions until the October race weekend. 

Again, to nominate a "Lady in Pink" or to donate to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, visit either www.stanleymotorsports.com or www.elliottsadler.com.