NASCAR gives pink show of support for a cure
Real men do wear pink.
And real men drive pink race cars, too.
Jason Leffler would wear head-to-toe pink to raise breast cancer awareness if it meant one more family wouldn't have to endure what his experienced. Leffler was just 18 when his sister, Heather Lee, lost her battle with breast cancer in 1993.
"She was so young when she died," Leffler recalls. "She was the best big sister to me growing up. She was 26 or 27 when she was first diagnosed. When she went into remission, we thought the coast was clear. She was a newlywed. Her life was just getting started. Then the cancer came back.
"It was so tough on my mom and my dad. But my mom, she was just devastated."
For Leffler, 34, it took years to come to terms with the effect his sister's death had on the family. But on Friday night, Leffler will be racing with Heather Lee in mind.
Leffler, who drives the No. 38 Great Clips Toyota, will be one of three Braun Racing Camrys to sport pink paint schemes in support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Reed Sorenson and Brian Vickers will also carry pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"I can't say enough how proud I am of Braun Racing and their committed support of breast cancer awareness and the Susan G. Komen foundation," said Leffler, who qualified 36th. "Although awareness and research for a cure has come a long way since then, it's a battle that has to continue."
Sorenson, who qualified eighth in the No. 10 Dollar General Camry, is a repeat Komen supporter, having carried the colors on his Sprint Cup rides and donated winnings in the past. Sorenson will pledge 10 percent of his winnings from Friday night's race along with an additional $10,000 if he wins.
"Breast cancer hits home for a lot of us," Sorenson said. "My mom had four aunts that were diagnosed with breast cancer. Each fought hard and survived, but not everyone is as fortunate to have such that outcome.
"This weekend, I drive my pink Dollar General Toyota and proudly wear my pink fire suit to honor every person who has been affected by this disease. Hopefully, one day we'll beat this terrible cancer."
Sorenson's Sprint Cup teammate Elliott Sadler has been a strong advocate for the cure since his mother, Bell Sadler, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. For the second time this season, Sadler will run the pink paint scheme on the No. 19 Stanley Dodge.