With the NASCAR Whelan series already in full swing, you never know who will show up to race at your local short track on a Saturday night.
This past Saturday night at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, the fans were treated to a special guest when none other than Lightning McQueen, driver of the No. 95 Rust-eze sponsored late model, made the journey from Radiator Springs.
McQueen came out to do battle with some of the speedway's finest drivers, and to also help the speedway promote “Kids Against Cancer Night,” which was presented by Toyota, in association with the Americas Baby Cancer Association.
There were hundreds of pediatric cancer patients, who were present with their family members to take part in the evening’s festivities.
All this along with the racing action, which included a 40-lap late model main event in which McQueen finished seventh.
There was also a jet dragster named "Terminal Velocity," which was powered by a Pratt & Whitney J-60 jet engine.
The jet dragster torched an old Chevy Astro van with flames from his jet exhaust, at the center of the Figure Eight intersection.
Even with a total of six classes of racing action, the night belonged to the kids and their families who are suffering from this gut-wrenching disease.
The speedway handed out t-shirts to all the kids who were in attendance with the slogan “Even though I have cancer, my eyes still seem to smile,” which was written by Carla V...a beautiful little girl battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Track announcer Gordon “Lugg Nutzz” Stewart received an award for his part in helping kids who have cancer, by bringing them to the track along with taking them to other sporting events, which also includes getting the chance to meet and spend time with some of sports' biggest stars.
This is only one of many reasons why we as fans need to support the short tracks around America. If we don’t, one day they may not be around for the younger generation to enjoy.
Think back to your first short track experience, and the impact it had while keeping you coming back for more.
Special thanks goes out to Tim Huddleston from High Point Racing, for making Lightning McQueen a reality to all the kids and adults on this very special night of racing.
Photo Credit; Midvalleysports.com