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Speedway's curbs turn pink
Martinsville track paints curbs for breast cancer awareness
Camping World Truck driver Cale Gale (far right) paints the curb of Turn 2 of Martinsville Speedway pink with breast cancer survivors on Thursday. (Bulletin photo by David Reynolds)
Friday, October 12, 2012
By DAVID REYNOLDS - Bulletin Sports Editor
As with any race at Martinsville Speedway, more than a few Sprint Cup drivers are going to be seeing red during the bump and grind of Oct. 28’s TUMS Fast Relief 500.
But for the second straight year, all of them will be seeing a lot of pink, too.
The curbs at Martinsville Speedway have been painted pink again and will remain that way for the entire month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“(The curbs) are so iconic. You can’t go anywhere without somebody talking about the curbs, whether it be the competitors, the media, the fans,” Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell said. “It’s just a part of Martinsville, just like the grandfather clock. That’s the way we figured we could bring awareness to this issue. Like I said time and time again, we all know somebody who’s been affected by breast cancer, and hopefully this will bring a lot more attention to it.”
Camping World Truck driver Cale Gale was in town to put the finishing touches on the curb Thursday, and several breast cancer awareness survivors also helped paint the final stretch of concrete around Turn 2.
The speedway’s curbs will remain pink for Oct. 21’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, Oct. 27’s Kroger 200 and the aforementioned Sprint Cup race.
“You can see them, that’s what I like. They’re out there.” Gale said of what the pink means from a driver’s perspective. “You’d see more curb hopping if they were green like that grass there because it would just blend in. But no, it’s cool. I think it’s really cool that they do that here. They did it last year with the pink curbs, and it gets a lot of TV time with these races.”
Gale will drive in the Kroger 200 in a truck with a black-and-pink paint scheme to raise awareness, and Kevin Harvick with also have his No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet sport black and pink colors for the race.
“I do know of a few people personally that have had to deal with it. None in my family, just friends I know,” Gale said. “I just think that’s it’s really cool to help raise the awareness, and especially with the Young Survival Coalition, to let people know that it can happen younger in your life, too.”
Five breast cancer survivors helped Gale turn the last section of curb from yellow to pink.
Amy Sharp, one of those five breast cancer survivors, said that while pink is prevalent almost everywhere in October, it still brings strong emotions to those affected by breast cancer.
“I guess it makes me happy to be alive,” Sharp said, “that I was one of the survivors and that I could be here in the month of October.”
According to youngsurvival.org, a website affiliated with the Young Survival Coalition, it is estimated that more than 250,000 women in the United States under the age of 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 13,000 young women will be diagnosed this year.
The speedway painted the curbs pink for the first time in 2011, and Campbell said the response then made doing it again this year a no-brainer.
“It was great. We got a lot of attention, a lot of comments about it, and that’s the whole goal, to get people’s attention when they see it,” Campbell said “Of course you can’t come in here without seeing the pink curbs, and everyone knows why they’re pink.