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'Race for the Cups' makes breast cancer statement

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         NASCAR NEWS - Thursday, October 25, 2007
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'Race for the Cups' makes breast cancer statement
By Raygan Swan, NASCAR.COM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Jenn Powell walked until her calves 
balled up like rocks inside her legs; she walked until 
blisters the size of quarters bubbled on the backs of 
her heels and tops of her toes, she walked herself right 
into the emergency room. 

"It was that important to me; important to make a strong 
statement," said Powell, who along with six other NASCAR 
women walked 39.3 miles in Charlotte, N.C., during the 
weekend to raise money for and promote awareness about 
breast cancer, a disease that plagues one woman every 
three minutes. 

"That means along our two-day walk, 182 women will be 
diagnosed," added Powell, as she and friend Heather Kincel 
examined the bottom of their feet and touted their blisters 
as symbols of victory. 

All bonded by their careers in NASCAR, some working within 
the sport's marketing arm while others directly with 
drivers, the crew of women appropriately dubbed "Race for 
the Cups" raised $26,385.00 for the cause. 

More than that, they raised female camaraderie amongst a 
male-dominated industry and gained admiration from their 
male peers. 

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Chip Ganassi Racing driver Reed Sorenson is one of them. 

"I was impressed at what they did, walking all that way," 
said Sorenson, who is running a pink paint scheme this 
weekend at Atlanta. Sorenson's mother, Becky, also is a 
big supporter of breast cancer awareness and pledged money 
to team Race for the Cups. 

"I know how hard that was, but their feet will heal," he 
added. "And at the end of the day they can say they 
achieved a major accomplishment for breast cancer aware-
ness, a cause that is really important to me and my team." 

So while the men of NASCAR battled on the track, these 
seven women of NASCAR battled for breast cancer alongside 
hundreds of other women, nationwide, directly and indirect-
ly affected by the disease. 

Together for two days, fueled by the loss of a loved one 
or inspired by a survivor's story, the women granted new 
meaning to the phrase "give until it hurts." 

Their journey began at 7 a.m. Saturday. Team Race for the 
Cups laced up their tennis shoes and donned pink crew shirt 
that read "Friends of Renee." 

"Renee," as in Renee Bua, works trackside in NASCAR's Cup 
hauler as a series coordinator and is a breast cancer 
survivor. 

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As a survivor, she has a greater appreciation for the 
simple things in life and the value of female friendship. 

"It's an incredible feeling," Bua said. "As far as my 
feeling for what Jenn and the girls are doing for the 
cause, I am so proud of them and thrilled to be able to 
call them my friends." 

In order to participate in the walk, each team member was 
required to raise a minimum of $1,800 and at the end of the 
event, team Race for the Cups placed sixth in the chase for 
the most funds raised out of 10 teams; Powell ranked 4th as 
one of the top fund-raisers. 

After the first day of walking, Nadine Rauer, 38, director 
of national accounts for Motorsports Authentics, was 
greeted by her husband and 4 year-old son Will. 

Both arrived at the event's makeshift tent city where the 
women walkers doubled up in tiny blue tents. 

At 7 a.m. Sunday, the team would complete the final leg of 
the 39.3-mile marathon. 

"I'm just so excited and proud of my friends who stuck it 
out [Sunday] after more than 26 miles, this has really 
brought us together for a good cause," said Rauer, as Tina 
Turner's Simply the Best played over the loud speaker in 
the tent city decorated by pink boas, bras and banners as 
tokens of cheer for the walkers and survivors. 

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Heather Kincel, public relations manager for Juan Montoya, 
said the women on the team all pushed one another to 
persevere through the pain both days. 

They sang Disney and 80s rocks songs, made up cheers, 
linked arms; whatever it took to keep them from giving up 
and crawling into the medical van that followed the pack. 

"I wanted to quit after my first blister popped, but one in 
every eight women has a chance of developing breast cancer 
and I was walking in a group of seven women," she said. "It 
was like walking in a missing man formation..." 

The walk, organized through Avon, raised an estimated 
$2.3 million and drew a crowd of nearly 1,100 walkers. 

Team Race for the Cups began training for the event 
12 weeks ago. The women would pair up at various NASCAR 
race weekends to walk when their schedules permitted. 

Toni Schermerhorn, human relations manager at Hall of Fame 
Racing, said she and Powell, NASCAR's public relations 
representative, walked a little more than 13 miles at the 
most recent race weekend in Talladega and also several 
miles before the race weekend in Charlotte. 

"I think we all surpassed our expectations in this, but we 
weren't surprised by the outpour of support from the NASCAR 
community," she said. 

"Everyone in the garage knew what we were doing and support-
ed us all the way, from drivers to members of the media and 
team owners and track officials, they made it possible for 
us to do this." 

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END OF NASCAR NEWS 
Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved.

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