NHRA Drivers Risk it on the Track, Not with Their Health

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ENNIS -- You gotta be a little crazy to drive a 10,000 horsepower funny car 300 miles per hour.

"It can blow up, explode, catch on fire," Traxxas Funny Car Driver Courtney Force said. "Anything can happen on any given day."

This month especially, though, drivers want to point out that big risks are only worth taking on the drag strip, not with their health.

"We all like to go fast and have fun and what not, but these are serious things," said Patron Funny Car Driver Alexis DeJoria. "One in eight women will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, so this is our way of giving back."

Drivers like Force decked their hot rods in pink for breast cancer awareness this month.

"This car is to bring awareness for breast cancer and really for all those who are fighting breast cancer and those who are survivors," Force said.

For fellow Funny Car driver, Alexis DeJoria, it meant a fourth straight year of bringing a Baylor Scott & White 'mammovan' to the Texas Motorplex, offering free mammograms to female fans.

"I felt that maybe the women would be a little bit embarrassed or nervous to do it at the races," DeJoria said, "but it's actually turned out to be really good."

By 'good' she means more than 300 mammograms performed in four years at the drag strips in Ennis and Las Vegas. That's certainly caught the eye of another group at the races,

"It's more than just the color pink," said Women Rock Cancer Advocate Janis Fletcher. "It's the emotional support we know is out there, and it's that they recognize that one in eight women, you never know if you'll be that one, but you can easily be that one."

So while DeJoria, Force, and the others try to be number one on the track, they continue to rep that one in eight with cancer.

"Really wanna get this thing in the winner's circle, most importantly for the people that are fighting breast cancer and the ones who have survived it," Force said.

Force and DeJoria were both eliminated in the Quarterfinals of this event, but the mammovan and both drivers' chances to put their special breast cancer awareness cars in the winner's circle move on to Las Vegas in two week.