Hermie Sadler to race for Autism at Bristol

Car will carry Autism "Puzzle" Ribbon on the hood as well as Autism Society of America's (ASA) Toll Free number, 1-800-3-AUTISM. Viewers can call ASA at 800.3.AUTISM, beginning Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd, to make a donation to fund autism ...

Car will carry Autism "Puzzle" Ribbon on the hood as well as Autism Society of America's (ASA) Toll Free number, 1-800-3-AUTISM. Viewers can call ASA at 800.3.AUTISM, beginning Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd, to make a donation to fund autism research.

Like any driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Hermie Sadler goes to the track with his mind set on winning. When the Emporia, Virginia native takes to the track this weekend in Bristol to race in the Food City 500, however, his mind will also be on something far more important to him than winning. Hermie will be also be thinking about Autism awareness and research.

Sadler and his family made it public last year that his three year old daughter, Halie Dru, was Autistic after initially keeping the diagnosis private while preparing her for therapy. Now, Sadler is on a mission to educate people about htis disease that affects 1 out of every 500 children born in America.

Joining Sadler on his efforts at Bristol is CAR-FRESHNER Corporation, makers of the popular "Little Trees" air fresheners. CAR-FRESHNER and Sadler will team up for some Busch Series racing and he is very happy to have them involved this weekend, as well. "CAR-FRESHNER Corporation is a first class company that makes first class products," states Sadler. "They have been a major part ofmy career, and I am proud to carry their colors during this special weekend."

The Virginia Lottery, who partenered with Sadler for a promotion in 2001, rejoins him as an associate sponsor for this Bristol event, leading into several more Winston Cup races for which they will partner together. "The Virginia Lottery, as always, has been heavily involved in education, and this promotion is all about educating people about Autism and how to deal with it as part of your daily life," says Sadler. "Everyone at the Virginia Lottery knows how special this race is to me and my family. Words cannot begin to describe how thankful I am they are supporting our efforts here at Bristol."

Also coming on board with Sadler for this event is RealEstateCirciut.com. Gina Clark, the owner of the internet based real estate company based in Range County, N.Y. contacted Sadler when she learned of the promotion at Bristol. RealEstateCircuit.com will be an associate on the car this weekend, and has also generously pledged 25% of the commissions generated by her company to the Autism Society - a gesture that really touched the Sadler family's heart. "I met Gina last year at Dover, and she is a class act," expains Sadler. "What she is doing says it all about what she believes in and that she sincerely wants to help us in our awareness efforts."

Another big player in this weekend's event for Sadler is Fox Sports - who will center the efforts of Sadler this weekend on their broadcast, and plans to run a feature during the race to raise awareness for Autism and the reserach that is needed. Artie Kempner, lead director for Fox Sports NASCAR events, also deals with Autism on a dialy basis. Kempner's 7 year old son, Ethan, is Autistic. "My family and I have gotten to know Hermie and his family through Autism. Me personally and Fox as a network want to help do our part in raising awareness," stated Kempner. "This is an exciting event for everyone touched by Autism."

In addition to the feature story this Sunday, Kempner and Sadler plan to offer an instructional video for special education teahcers across the country to help them better understand and relate to Autistic children.

Sadler is obvioulsy excited about the weekend. "IT feels really good when everybody comes together for good causes, which happens a lot in the NASCAR Community. This weekend will be a win-win for eveyone," says Sadler. "Since the news of this event started getting out, we have already recieved over 100 emails and meassges from all ofver the country and even Autralia - all from well wishers and families affects by autism. This is very special, indeed."

Qualifying for the Food City 500 will air live on Fox Sports (FSN) at 2 p.m. EST. this Friday, March 22. The Channellock 250 Busch Series race is Saturday at 12:30 p.m.EST on FSN, and the Food City 500 event airs Sunday, live at 12:30 p.m. EST.


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About this article
Series Charity , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Hermie Sadler