The world of motorsports has been making a lot noise to raise awareness and help us Light It Up Blue during Autism Awareness Month. We’ve seen everything from awesome Autism Speaks paint schemes to car crushing monster trucks sporting our puzzle piece logo to racing teams and fans alike rallying support for our cause. We also joined forces with NASCAR to co-host “Speeding for a Cure,” an event last month at the Metropolitan Museum Art in New York that raised funds for the autism community. All of this racing-inspired activity will culminate June 2 at Dover International Speedway during the annual “FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR race. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s recap some of the action that has taken place recently on racetracks around country.
First off, a big thank you goes out to Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) and driver Kyle Larson who took home the checkered flag at this past weekend’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Rockingham Speedway. To raise awareness during Autism Awareness Month, TSM designed a special Autism Speaks paint scheme for the No. 30 Silverado driven by Kyle during the April 14 race. The truck also featured the name of five-year-old Gray Owens, who is affected by autism and is the son of Kyle’s crew chief, Trent Owens. Congratulations to everyone at TSM for the victory!
We also want to thank our wonderful partner Dollar General. In addition to raising funds for the autism community at its stores throughout April, Dollar General and Joe Gibbs Racing are recognizing Autism Awareness Month by sporting the Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo on their Dollar General Toyotas, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 20 car driven by Matt Kenseth and the NASCAR Nationwide Series No. 20 car driven by Brian Vickers. Be sure to root on Matt and Brian in the remaining races this April.
BIGFOOT 4X4 got in on the action and showed its support for the autism community by bringing its inimitable brand of excitement to the University of Phoenix Stadium parking lot for a Light It Up Blue themed car crushing event on April 9. Attendees were able to come to an early “pit party” to see the trucks up close and take pictures with the BIGFOOT drivers and crew. Once the sun set, an Autism Speaks themed BIGFOOT monster-truck lit up blue and shined across the desert.
Next up on agenda is the “FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks” Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. This is the third year FedEx has sponsored the race and the seventh year of Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway’s partnership. For the second straight year, the Autism Speaks Day at the Races event will be part of the June 2 race. Last year, this was the first-ever opportunity for those on the autism spectrum and their families to attend a NASCAR race, with a special ticket package set in a sensory friendly area within the air-conditioned grandstands at the Monster Mile. The seating area offers a great view of the race along the backstretch of the track, with pre-race features including appearances from NASCAR drivers and personalities; brief presentations by educational speakers in the morning; food and drink; and much more. Tickets for the Autism Speaks Day at the Races cost $88 for adults and $20 for children ages 14 and younger. To purchase tickets to Autism Speaks Day at the Races, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
In addition, The NASCAR Unites Track Walk , benefiting Autism Speaks and The NASCAR Foundation, will follow the Saturday, June 1 “5-hour ENERGY 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Fans will have the opportunity to walk a lap around the one-mile, concrete oval where the top drivers in the sport do battle all weekend long. The Autism Speaks Day at the Races and NASCAR Unites Track Walk events are just another part of an ever-growing partnership between NASCAR, FedEx, Dover International Speedway and Autism Speaks.