With National Breast Cancer Awareness Month right around the corner, NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kurt Busch, Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace joined 60 breast cancer survivors and supporters, as well as officials from Charlotte Motor Speedway and Blue Cross NC in painting the famed race track’s pit wall pink on Tuesday. The event, which was also attended by NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Daniel Hemric, Carson Hocevar, Kyle Weatherman and Bayley Currey, serves as a prelude to the Oct. 7 running of the Xfinity Series’ Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross NC.
Now in its 11th year, Paint Pit Wall Pink has become an annual event to celebrate survivors, provide hope for those battling breast cancer and raise awareness of the importance of early detection.
"Every woman in North Carolina deserves the opportunity to be healthy. That's why education on early breast cancer detection is so critical," said Tammy Jones, VP of Brand and Demand Generation at Blue Cross NC. "Blue Cross NC is committed to increasing breast cancer awareness across the state through efforts like Paint the Wall Pink and Drive for the Cure 250."
Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter joined the survivors, drivers and volunteers in using 150 paint rollers and brushes and 50 gallons of paint courtesy of Sherwin Williams to cover much of the 4,000-square-foot pit road wall.
“This is one of the most memorable days of the year for us at Charlotte Motor Speedway because it’s about so much more than motorsports,” said Walter. “To see the faces of those who have fought their battles and won, to hear stories of perseverance and encouragement for those currently fighting, and to use our platform to raise awareness to truly a noble cause. We’re grateful for a tremendous partnership with Blue Cross NC, and the opportunity to be involved in such a meaningful and impactful event.”
The event also featured a special unveil of two Toyota pace car designs – inspired by the stories of breast cancer survivors Patrice Bidgood and Destiney Medlin – for the Drive for the Cure 250 race on Oct. 7. Fans can visit dftc250pacecar.com to vote for their favorite livery. The winning design will be displayed on the car during pace laps before the Drive for the Cure 250.
While Busch announced his retirement from Cup Series racing earlier this year, his “Window of Hope” program will continue on with LEGACY MOTOR CLUB driver Erik Jones and the Erik Jones Foundation leading the charge, the two announced during Tuesday’s event.
“From the very beginning, the NASCAR industry supported us, and I am thankful for their continued support as we enter year three,” said Busch. “This program has become something I look forward to every year and I am grateful for the opportunity to bring in the Erik Jones Foundation to help continue to give it life for years to come. After learning more about what motivates Erik’s foundation’s cancer efforts, I felt a partnership with him was a natural evolution of the program. I am thrilled about this partnership and confident Erik’s personal commitment to cancer detection and care will grow this program and positively impact his cancer efforts.”
Following the Oct. 8 Bank of America ROVAL™ 400, participating drivers will sign their window net to be auctioned through The Erik Jones Foundation, which will receive the proceeds to then be donated to multiple beneficiaries to support early cancer detection. The Erik Jones Foundation was established in part to encourage early cancer detection and care, a cause significant to Jones, who has had multiple family members battle cancer.
“I’m glad Kurt reached out and suggested my foundation continue this important effort,” said Jones. “Fighting cancer is a very personal issue for me and my foundation. Many folks know that my father died of cancer, but most don’t know my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Everyone involved in my foundation, including my mom, is excited to add a breast cancer component to our efforts. We look forward to building on the legacy Kurt has laid with this program.”