Attending a race weekend is a special experience for any NASCAR fan, but for children like Carter, it is a wish come true.
Eight-year-old Carter from Columbus is battling a brain tumor. When approached by Make-A-Wish, he immediately knew what his most heartfelt wish would be: to attend a NASCAR race weekend at Michigan International Speedway. In 2017, everything was set, but for medical reasons, Carter had to be helicoptered home mid-wish. Despite trying again last season, Carter was unfortunately not cleared for travel, leaving his wish left to be granted. This year, we thought we would give it another try.
With everything set medically, Carter and his family headed up to Michigan for what they thought was to just see a NASCAR race, but we had some other ideas in mind.
After the family was settled in their pit road suite, we decided to take the family on a tour of the NASCAR Cup Series Garage. Garage tours are always the coolest part of the experience – with the sights and sounds of the cars creating an awesome environment for kids especially if they’ve never been to a race before. However, the best part is you never know who you’re going to see walking around the garage.
As we were geared up to enter the garage, our good friend Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Corey La Joie happened to walk by. After spending a couple minutes with Carter, Corey decided to join us on the garage tour and provide a first-hand view of all that happens to get race ready.
Carter saw Corey’s garage, where his team works on his race car to get it competition ready. He also got to experience how Corey’s car gets certified by NASCAR when Corey’s team allowed Carter to go with the car through technical inspection.
Of course, no trip to the track would be complete without a few souvenirs to take home to remember the trip. Corey presented Carter with a signed hero card and hat, which he put on instantly.
It’s moments like these that show that its more than racing. Together, we work to make sure everyone that comes to a NASCAR race truly has an incredible experience. Interactions with drivers like Corey La Joie created an experience for Carter he will never forget.
The NASCAR Foundation partners with Make-A-Wish America and NASCAR tracks like Michigan International Speedway to arrange ‘wish’ experiences for children with critical illnesses. To learn more about Make-A-Wish and find out how you can get involved, visit wish.org.