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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
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."