Major General Thomas Sadler Named Grand Marshal for Better Half Dash; Kelley Earnhardt to be Honorary Starter

David Ragan's better half, Jacquelyn Butler, climbs into practice
for the Better Half Dash.  Credit: CMS Photo 

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2011) –Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas Sadler will serve as Grand Marshal and Kelley Earnhardt will serve as Honorary Starter for the inaugural Better Half Dash at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on Saturday, Oct. 15.

“Being the Grand Marshal is something that I’m just really excited to be a part of,” said Sadler, who is the executive director of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC). “I think this is just way above and beyond anything I’ve ever done before, and I’m honored to do it. It’s going to be a delight.”

Earnhardt, who is currently pregnant with her third child, will wave the green flag to start the Better Half Dash; something that she is looking forward to since she isn’t able to compete.

“Obviously as a former race car driver, I would love to be participating with the other ladies in this event,” said Earnhardt, co-owner and general manager of JR Motorsports. “But with a baby on the way, I am thankful they found a home for me as the honorary starter to be a part of the fun.

“It is fulfilling to be doing something positive while raising awareness and funds for Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) and Speedway Children’s Charities.  MRO is a staple to our sport and NASCAR family and SCC has done so much for our community.”

The Better Half Dash, which will take place prior to the start of the Bank of America 500, is a charity race supporting SCC and MRO. The race will pit the women of NASCAR against each other as they battle on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval.

Drivers expected to compete in the Better Half Dash are Ashley Allgaier, Jacqueline Butler (David Ragan), Patricia Driscoll (Kurt Busch), Michelle Gilliland, Shannon Koch, Jami McDowell, Trisha Mears, Melanie Self (MRO), Angie Skinner, Sabrina Simpson (Joey Logano), Wendy Venturini (SPEED), Kristen Yeley (JJ Yeley) and Nan Zipadelli.

The race will start at approximately 2:30 p.m. and will be 25 laps in length, with a competition caution set for Lap 15. There will be two chances at a green-white-checkered finish. Starting order will be determined by random draw prior to the race. The women will race in equally prepared Bandolero cars provided by U.S. Legend Cars International.

The purse for the Better Half Dash will be paid to the driver's charity of choice, with $5,000 going to the winner's charity, $3,000 for the second-place finisher and $2,000 for third. Fans will also have the opportunity to donate $10 to MRO and SCC through the completion of the Bank of America 500 by texting "MOTOR" to 20222.

SPEED will carry Better Half Dash highlights on "NASCAR RaceDay," at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Oct. 15, prior to the Bank of America 500.

Fans with a ticket to the Bank of America 500 will be able to watch the Better Half Dash as part of pre-race festivities. Tickets are just $34.75 a person with the purchase of a Bank of America Four Pack.

Tickets for the Bank of America 500 can be obtained by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at

For daily updates on October race activities, connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at or become a Facebook fan at

For more information on the Better Half Dash or to make a donation, visit the MRO website at
Major General Thomas Sadler Named Grand Marshal for Better Half Dash; Kelley Earnhardt to be Honorary Starter Major General Thomas Sadler Named Grand Marshal for Better Half Dash; Kelley Earnhardt to be Honorary Starter Reviewed by Admin on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 Rating: 5