(August 13, 2004) — WATKINS GLEN — Racing 101, Nextel Cup Series-style:
When there's a chance to pay special attention to fans and sponsors, you do it.
The Sirius at the Glen this weekend at Watkins Glen International is the closest the Cup series comes to Rochester, home of Eastman Kodak Co.
So Brendan Gaughan, who drives a Kodak-sponsored Dodge for the Penske-Jasper Racing Team, expects to see hundreds — if not thousands — of the company's employees cheering him on at the track this weekend.
“There's going to be a ton of Kodak folks,” said Gaughan, a Cup rookie who drives the No. 77 Dodge. “This week, we're pretty busy.
“To come to an area like this where so many people support the Kodak team it's going to be a lot of fun.”
Gaughan and teammate Rusty Wallace, a former Cup series champion, spent part of Thursday morning meeting employees and signing autographs at Frontier Field.
They also displayed the paint schemes for their cars this weekend at the Glen.
Gaughan will drive a “Kodak Mammography Film” -themed car in support of the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports' Breast Cancer Awareness initiative. The team will donate 10 percent of its winnings to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness and research.
Gaughan's grandmother, Margot Crow, was diagnosed with breast cancer 28 years ago, he said. She will be at the race.
“That was back in the day when there wasn't much awareness or much they could do about it,” Gaughan said. “She's still around kicking, a bigger firecracker than I am.
“It's affected the women in my family. Forty-three percent of NASCAR fans are female, so there's a lot of women out there watching racing.”
Wallace, in a rare move for him, has changed colors for a cup race. His No. 2 Dodge is red and yellow, Kodak's colors, instead of his usual blue and white or black.
“I hope it will mean a lot for Kodak,” Wallace said. “It will mean a lot for me if I win the race.
“When you look at the car, it looks pristine. It's perfect. Lightweight, it has a big engine in it. It's ready to go.”