January 15, 2010
By Brenda Benedict
As I sit to write this week's column, I'm watching television news coverage out of the Caribbean country of Haiti. Last night Haiti experienced a 7.0 earthquake which has devastated the country. Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries even though it is only 600 miles off America's coast. This week's column was going to discuss the changes NASCAR is considering to the Car of Tomorrow but after seeing the devastation in the pictures out of Haiti, none of those changes seem so important right now.
Haitian government officials are estimating the death toll may reach the hundreds of thousands but it is still too early to get exact numbers. I can't help but be moved by these pictures. The magnitude of the death and destruction is beyond anything I have ever seen before and I can't help but wonder what we as Americans and especially as NASCAR fans can do for these suffering people.
The NASCAR Foundation is NASCAR's official charity. Their website states that "Thousands of NASCAR fans across the country came out to support The NASCAR Foundation throughout the year, enabling the Foundation to raise and contribute $1.8 million in program services to nonprofit of organizations across the country." This generosity is typical of the caring and loyal fans that NASCAR is known for and I'm sure this same generosity will be shown to these people in need.
The NASCAR community on Twitter is expressing their reactions to the Haitian disaster. Ryan McGee of ESPN stated, "In the midst of Kiffin, Palin, Simon, spoilers, wings, etc. please do what you can for the folks in Haiti at http://www.redcross.org/."
DeLana Harvick tweeted, "Watching the news & my heart goes out to the people of Haiti."
Marty Smith of ESPN wrote, "Pray for those poor folks in Haiti. Awful."
Right now the communications coming out of Haiti is very limited and so our information is sketchy but we're hearing the governments around the world are responding with aid. The official government is asking citizens to donate immediately to the Red Cross. You can donate to your local chapter of the American Red Cross or in a modern high tech version, just text "HAITI" to 90999 and $10 will be charged to your phone bill and the money will be forwarded to the Red Cross.
But personally, I think our NASCAR community should do something more than this. Something that would speak for the NASCAR fans and our care and concern for others. Right now, I don't know how we would organize this effort but I would like to hear your ideas. What do you think would be the best way to reach out and help these poor people? I would appreciate hearing ideas from the fans themselves-you. Please send me ideas for
By the way, while you are at it, how do you feel about the proposed change that NASCAR is considering for the Car of Tomorrow by eliminating the rear wing and returning to the more traditional spoiler? It's exciting that NASCAR is listening to fans, drivers and teams and actually considering making the changes in the near future. Feel free to talk to me about the proposed change as well as sending me your ideas about aid to Haiti.
You can follow me at Twitter @nascarfaithful
The thoughts and ideas expressed by this writer or any other writer on Insider Racing News, are not necessarily the views of the staff and/or management of IRN.