Coleman Launches into Top 10 at Watkins Glen
Driver rebounds from huge wreck to drive Lupus Awareness into top finish
(Watkins Glen, NY) August 11, 2008 – Brad Coleman knew he was taking the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation to new heights by having them featured on his No. 27 Carino’s Italian Grill Ford Fusion this weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen, but he didn’t know exactly how high it would be.
“We were coming to the green on lap 15 and as I was going through the gears getting up to speed, I saw the two cars in front of me split to either side,” Coleman commented. “Before I could blink I was 10 feet in the air and seeing nothing but the blue sky. I instantly felt disappointment for potentially ruining a chance to raise awareness for Lupus, but with the quick work from my crew, we were able to race to a hard-earned top 10. My crew guys helped me earn this one by thinking quick on their feet and getting me back in the race.”
Chris Paradysz, board member for the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and father of a daughter with Lupus, was on hand to help Brad spread the word about America’s least recognized disease and to take in the action on the track.
“What an amazing day for Lupus and Brad Coleman’s career,” Paradysz expressed. “My daughter and I met many people touched by Lupus today. People in the NASCAR world, people outside of it, standing at the fence chatting it up with the drivers and even with sponsors like us. For those of you out there today, thank you, thank you! You inspired my daughter, son and me all day so we could take the Lupus message to a bigger audience.”
“Brad had a wonderful run, even after getting popped into the air and being blinded by a piece of tape used to repair the damage he was able to bring it back to the front. I am pleased he was able to manage the twists and turns of Watkins Glen even with the challenges. Kind of like Lupus…one lap at a time! Not even the “Life without Lupus” logos had a scratch on them!”
During the race Shawn Parker, Coleman’s crew chief announced he would be leaving the team effective immediately after the race.
“It’s tough to see Shawn go but he did what he needed to do,” said Coleman. “He is a top-notch crew chief and individual of integrity. I will miss him greatly.”