When October comes around, it is exciting for sports because of the baseball playoffs getting into gear, kids get extra charged up due to being able to dress up one day out of the year, just to get a bag full of candy.
But aside from seeing the orange and black Halloween colors, and also the fall season come into sight, the month of October has become a big deal as breast cancer awareness takes front-and-center as many organizations trade in their traditional colors for many different shades of pink.
NASCAR has become a big part in raising awareness for breast cancer over the last few years. Major sponsors have gotten on board and changed their looks to assist in raising awareness, and research, for organizations like Susan G. Komen and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Popular driver Danica Patrick is leading this fight this year as she is trading in her traditional green colors for GoDaddy.com, and instead is having her No. 10 Chevrolet draped in pink. Clint Bowyer is also joining the fight alongside sponsor 5-Hour Energy, as they are changing the red and black colors for the new deep pink hues of the newest flavor in the line of energy drinks, raspberry. A year ago, he did the same thing when 5-Hour Energy debuted their pink lemonade flavor.
Other drivers like Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and even Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have pink on their cars for the month of October, showing the reach of awareness throughout the garage.
It is very clear how big NASCAR is in this fight, as even sponsors that provide equipment for officials and team members also get involved in the fight.
Mechanix Gloves, and official provider for NASCAR, last year unveiled new pink and black gloves for the Charlotte race weekend, and likely will do the same again this year. Chase Authentics, the official clothing provider for NASCAR, has also worked with teams to produce pink tees and hats in honor of awareness, with portions of the sales going directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
NASCAR has even created their own slogan to remind women to have their checkups to be detected early, so that treatment can be successful. For the sport, it's important for it's female fans to be sure and "Check Your Headlights."
The Charlotte Motor Speedway has outdone everyone in this battle, as the Joe Gibbs team of Brian Vickers, Elliott Sadler and Matt Kenseth joined many breast cancer survivors to paint the start-finish line at the track pink, along with the name and pit road. Both Vickers and Kenseth will run special pink Dollar General Toyotas in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races.
Sure, the NFL can put out pink gloves and shoes, and put a logo on their footballs, but NASCAR seems to take it to the next level as their female fan base has grown in the last few years, and with that comes a bigger responsibility to reach out and assist in the fight.
For the month of October, NASCAR is going pink, and raising awareness. Every fan, male or female, is joining the fight. "Check Your Headlights," and get detected early so that much like when the checkered flag waves, you too can be a winner.