There were some remarkable moments last Sunday during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Race Sonoma.
Sure, there was Clint Bowyer's victory celebration, Tony Stewart's late dash to finish on the podium and all the fun and festivities around the track.
There was something else, though: The heart of a racing community.
Nearly hidden behind all the corporate logos and colorful paint jobs are some important causes.
Bower publicly dedicated his win to 11-year-old Brady Bakken, who is fighting Stage 3 Lymphoma.
Jimmie Johnson, who finished fifth, gave $10,000 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County though his foundation. In fact, pretty much all the drivers support charitable foundations through racing.
Ryan Newman was fairly undistinguished with his 18th-place finish. He didn't have the fastest or the flashiest car. He didn't get into any big wrecks that would land him on the highlight reels. Still, it was an important race for his sponsors as the Children's Tumor Foundation made its NASCAR debut.
Newman is driving for a chance at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crown, but he's also campaigning to raise money through donations to www.fuelthecure.org for the Children's Tumor Foundation.
"It may sound cliché, but every little bit helps," Newman said.
The cause is especially important to Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans, which sponsors Newman's car. Gilbert's 15-year-old son Nick is fighting Neurofibromatosis. Dan Gilbert is the national ambassador for the Children's Tumor Foundation.
NF can affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves, skin, and other body systems. It can cause the growth of non-cancerous tumors on nerve tissue, producing skin discoloration and bone enlargement and deformation. NF1 affects approximately 1 in 3,000 children. The more severe forms, NF2 and Schwannomatosis, are also rarer.
"As a father … it really makes you stop and think about how precious health is and how, even with all the advances in medicine, things like NF are still out there," Newman said. "So, research is needed, and I am proud Quicken Loans is using my race car to help raise money for the charity."
Every little bit helps.
For more information on cancer and carcinoid cancer, consider these sites: