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Austin's wish to be a racecar driver

Austin and Tommy Johnson

“ If I could put on a suit and win a race for a team, you would make my wish come true ”

Seventeen-year-old Austin has all the spunk of your typical teenager. While his Cerebral Atrophy keeps him in a wheelchair and affects his brain function, Austin never misses a beat. When his wish granters asked him what his one true wish would be, he told stories of wishing he could drive . . . he wanted to go fast . . . and he wanted to win a real race. Austin wanted to escape his wheelchair and drive a race car. He told his wish granters, “If I could put on a suit and win a race for a team, you would make my wish come true.”

With the help of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), Austin’s wish was set up at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the 2014 Series Season. Since driving a race car requires lower body function, extra special accommodations were made to alter a car that would allow Austin to Drive. Safety controls were installed, a custom race suit was designed and fans were ready to help make Austin’s wish a reality.

When it was time to drive, Austin was strapped into the driver’s seat in full uniform including a customized helmet. His favorite driver was by his side, competitors were lined up, and tens of thousands of fans were screaming in support. The flag waved and Austin was off! He won the race and traveled at 147 mph! After he got out, the crowd went wild. RVs were honking their horns from the center of the racetrack, thousands of people were on their feet giving him a standing ovation and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. “I feel like a million bucks,” Austin told ESPN’s camera crew with a grin from ear to ear while displaying his Wally trophy.

  • Austin in gear

  • Austin and Terry

  • Austin and Tommy Johnson

  • Make-A-Wish car

  • Austin getting her gear

  • Austin with trophy

If I could put on a suit and win a race for a team, you would make my wish come true ”

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