Fans give back to NASCAR's Sadler

RICHMOND, Va. (September 7, 2003) -- Two Elliott Sadler Fans fought for seven straight days in July. It wasn't a war using weapons or words but of dollars and cents. Angela Norris of North Carolina and Terry Ferguson of Virginia staged a heated ...

RICHMOND, Va. (September 7, 2003) -- Two Elliott Sadler Fans fought for seven straight days in July. It wasn't a war using weapons or words but of dollars and cents. Angela Norris of North Carolina and Terry Ferguson of Virginia staged a heated battle for Sadler's signed No. 38 M&M's Hoops for Hope jersey on eBay. Norris won the bidding war, and shelled out $565 for her favorite driver and for the Autism Society of America. Ferguson decided the cause was good enough to contribute and helped out her rival bidder with the cost.

It didn't end there though. Two women with the heart of gold felt Elliott Sadler did his share of 'giving' to the kids and autism research, so they wanted to give something back.

Norris had the jersey framed in a 3x3 shadowbox -- another costly venture -- but it was for another good cause, her favorite driver. She contacted Sadler's business manager and publicist questioning where and when would be the best way to present the gift to Sadler. Speed Channel and Trackside producer Mark Smith was kind enough to let Norris and Ferguson make a surprise cameo on the show to present the jersey to Sadler live from Richmond.

"I was floored," said Sadler. "I couldn't believe that Angela and Terry would come all that way, and do something this nice for me. It's going to look great in my office next to my Bristol win painting. I always knew I had the best fans in the whole world, but something like this proves it." Ferguson and Norris were nervous before heading onstage but were prepared with some kind words for their driver.

"This jersey is truly a gift from the heart and giving it to Elliott was something I will never forget," said Terry Ferguson. "The cool part came when I realized Elliott actually knew who I was.... from past encounters with him! That was a special gift for me!"

To add to Angela Norris' anxiety -- her rental car broke down on the way back to RIR from her hotel -- almost causing her to miss the surprise event completely. She explained her ordeal and thanks to the manager of Budget Rental car and a little sweet talking to some of the Henrico County police, Angela made it right on time.

"I was shaking the whole time," said Norris. "It was such a joy to see the surprised look on Elliott's face and his genuine joy of getting the jersey. Words are not enough to express how thankful I am to the guys on Trackside and their support staff -- they were all awesome. It was a real privilege to be able to represent the Sadler Fan Club in such a positive way."

-ryr-

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Series Charity , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler