Wednesday, July 26, 2006

News From the Racing World

Auto racer Benny Parsons has lung cancer
By JENNA FRYER, AP Auto Racing Writer
Wed Jul 26, 11:38 AM ET

Former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons has been diagnosed with lung cancer and began chemotherapy treatments Wednesday.

Parsons, the 1973 Cup champion and currently a NASCAR commentator on NBC and TNT, was diagnosed two weeks ago after he had trouble breathing.

"Needless to say this was a huge shock," Parsons said. "The first thing everyone asks me is, 'Are you a smoker?' The answer is that I smoked my last cigarette way back in 1978, and since then I've hated being around smoking.

"I don't even allow anyone in my foursome to smoke on the golf course."

The 65-year-old Parsons will undergo chemotherapy three days a week for three weeks, and also will receive radiation five days a week. He's seeing Dr. Steven Limenpani, who treated NASCAR car owner Rick Hendrick during his battle with leukemia in the early 1990s.

"I'm determined to pull through this and I appreciate everyone's concerns and prayers during this time," Parsons said. "Everyone I work with has been gracious and accommodating. I plan to keep on talking about racing for as long as I can."

Parsons plans to remain in the booth during his treatments.