This guest post is by Autism Speaks Blog contributor Kerry Magro. Kerry, an adult who has autism, is a junior at Seton Hall University, majoring in Sports Management. He is currently working at Autism Speaks as a writer.
Sometimes you don’t have the words to express your amazement at a series of events. That was me after witnessing the Autism Speaks 400 on Sunday, May 16. But luckily for the readers, I’ve come back to earth and I’m ready to blog. Enjoy!
Sunday was another great day for driver Kyle Busch. Busch dominated the weekend. Almost winning Friday’s Camping Truck Series race, then winning Saturday‘s Heluva Good 200 Nationwide Series race. On Sunday he completed his great weekend by winning the Sprint Cup Series Autism Speaks 400 Race. What made Kyle so special this weekend was his aggressive, winning attitude. I had the opportunity to watch Kyle accept his trophy in victory lane. That positive, winning mentality was evidenced by the smile on Kyle’s face as he accepted his award. His confident winning manner is well known on the NASCAR circuit and indicates he will continue his winning ways.
Although many had Kyle winning before the race had even started, driver Jimmie Johnson was competed closely with Kyle all day long. However, after 365 laps, Johnson had a disastrous pit stop. He received a passing penalty, which put him a lap down to Busch, ruining his chances to win. This led to Jimmie Johnson finishing in 16th place.
Two of Sunday’s best stories came from driver Jamie McMurray and FOX Sports Senior Executive and Autism Speaks Board Member Artie Kempner. Both of these gentlemen have done amazing work for NASCAR and also for Autism Speaks. Jamie spent several minutes talking to fans along with giving me an interview. Artie Kempner said it best, “Jamie does more than just drive a race car”. Jamie has a passion for helping others and his family has been touched by Autism. When asked about the race, Jamie said “This is a really cool weekend. Awareness is something unique to our sport. To have a race, not named after a bank or a product, it’s something very special. The race is something very special to me because my niece is autistic.” Jamie, during the time with the fans signed several autographs and made a lot of people’s days just like mine; special.
As a final note of the day I would just like to thank Jamie, Artie Kempner and the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority for volunteering at three Autism Speaks booths outside of the race way. The Sorority sold Autism Speaks memorabilia to help in the fight against autism. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone at Autism Speaks, NASCAR, and HERSHEY’S Milk & Milkshakes for such a great weekend.
I’m already looking forward to the race next year and am hoping you enjoyed the blog the past couple of days. As a bonus for our readers, below are several photos from this weekend’s events. Thank you all!