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July 14, 2016

Chase’s Dream – Weekend of Nascar

Our son Chase has been obsessed with Nascar since the age of three.  My husband and I had never watched it before, but on a sunday afternoon flipping through channels my husband Chris paused on a race.  Chase loved Disney Cars so we thought he might like to watch it for a minute.  That minute turned into the whole race, then into watching races on youtube.  At the time Chase was non verbal for the most part, but we knew he loved it.

When he finally did begin speaking we were so blessed just to hear his little voice, but also amazed at everything he knew.  It didn’t take us long to learn that he knew every driver, car number and sponsor.  He knew the speedways and where they are located and so much more.

Some children dream of being an Astronaut, or to swim with the dolphins, or to go to Disney World. Chase’s dream was to see a Nascar race.  We are beyond grateful that our friend Luke and his friend Gary made that dream possible for Chase in a way we could have never imagined.  Chase was given the ultimate Nascar experience all because of these two men.  It was absolutely amazing for us to see his dream come true at the age of five.

We left for the Dover International Speedway on May 13th and the next morning headed to the races to explore.  Chase was in love the moment he held his passes, which included a garage and pit pass, pass to the grand stands, the Autism day event and the infield.  We were incredibly excited for him to experience this. He knew that those passes were what got him to see NASCAR so despite us repeatedly telling him he can let them go he held them all the time. If you look through the images below you will see him just holding onto his pass.

Saturday, May 14th we walked around the entire speedway, the infield and pit.  He was able to meet Austin Dillon and knew who he was right away. We explored the kids zone, saw the Monster Monument that stands 46-feet-tall and made a stop at the enormous NASCAR store.  He left with a basket full of die cast and a Kyle Busch hat.  We spent the remainder of the day watching the race from the grand stands.

He put up a fight when leaving the track, but we promised we would be back the next day.  We were back bright and early at 7:30am.  Our first stop was touring the garage.  Chase was completely amazed.  The sounds of hustle and bustle of the garage had his full attention.  He was taking it all in and loving every minute.  Everyone there was so kind, however Team Penske of the Pennzoil Oil car made Chase’s day.  They took him over to where they were working on the car, sat him down and explained everything to him. He watched intently as they changed the tires and pointed out what they were doing.  When they were finished they gave Chase a few lug nuts.  Just after that he was able to see Kyle Bush’s car and get up close with the Freaky Friday Jimmy Johnson car.  He was also given lug nuts from each of those.  He grasped them in his tiny hands for a bit then secured them snuggly in his coat pockets.

After that we attended the Autism Awareness Event.  It was absolutely amazing.  It was such a great event for children with Autism. Everything was planned perfectly and all of the children were having so much fun.  Chase built a wood NASCAR, played with play dough and ran around viewing all of the toys and activities around him.  He was able to wait in line, which he actually did very patiently surprisingly to meet some of the drivers.  I can honestly say I have never seen him so excited. He was jumping around dancing with the biggest smile on his face.  Everyone around us commented that he was making their day with how happy he was.  His smile in the pictures I got says it all.

After that we went back to watching the race and shortly after watching indoors Chase requested to go to the pit.  He watched the remainder of the race there.  Usually noise bothers him. He even wears ear protection in the movies.  This though was his ultimate dream and I guess no matter what he wanted to be up close and in the action.

We are so thankful that he was able to have this experience.  It is something that all of us will remember forever!

 

 

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