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A little effort goes a long ways

Russell Aaron at Nascar 2018 with jake and his special needs

I love racing. I was little when my father took me to professional drag racing in Sonoma California. That’s where I fell in love with horsepower and speed, mixed with a liberal dose of adrenaline and nitromethane. If you’ve never seen a race car fly past you at 330 miles an hour, you’re sorely missing out. File that under special needs. Now that I live in Las Vegas, I get to see two NASCAR races and Two Drag races yearly. NASCAR also celebrate’s championship week in Las Vegas. It’s not the mecca of auto racing, yet. The price for the season tickets would indicate otherwise. Honestly it’s a small price to pay for something I love so dearly. Jill and I even moved to be closer to her job. Our new place is close to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It’s a perk. That’s for sure.

I’ve bought tickets before. But I’ve never had tickets to anything for longer than a single event. A concert is a great example. When I was working at the mortgage company, I started to make a little bit of money. That’s when I decided to upgrade my NASCAR tickets. I had pretty decent seats but I could do better. For NASCAR there’s a lot of incentives when it comes to renewing your tickets early. You never know what they’re going to hand out. The sponsor of our NASCAR race was Kobalt Tools. If you renewed your tickets a year in advance they gave you the newest tool coming out for the year. I have two tickets so I received two tools. They would also give you Neon garage passes. That used to be the perk for me.

Kobalt Tools Gift

Kobalt Tools gift in 2017 when I renewed my tickets for 2018.

I’ve been to many racing series events where season ticket holders get nothing for renewing. We are totally spoiled here in Las Vegas. Jill has been to two NASCAR races with me now and she refuses to let me get rid of my seats. The only way we get rid of them is to upgrade them. Which is a possibility.

Kyle Busch Swag

I am a big fan of the number 18 M&M’s Toyota driven by Las Vegas native Kyle Busch. The very first race I attended in Las Vegas, Kyle Busch won. From that day he’s been my favorite driver. To be fair all of the drivers are really good. That’s why they’re professionals.

If you have been to a WordPress or WordCamp event with me you know that I like to show off all of my swag. If I get a new WordPress t-shirt I’m going to wear it. I’m the same way with NASCAR. I promise you could spot me in the middle of a crowd. It has even gone as far as asking for Kyle Busch stuff during Christmas. I’m the biggest Kyle Busch fan. I will scream and holler and hopefully that will help Kyle win the race. It wasn’t until 2018 that I realized there was a bigger Kyle Busch fan than myself.

Kyle Busch Sprint Cup Series Car- Championship Week 2015

Kyle Busch Sprint Cup Series Car- Championship Week 2015

That’s where I meant Jake.

NASCAR made some changes in 2018. One of the biggest changes was that Las Vegas will be getting two NASCAR races a year. That means six days of racing. I forgot to mention NASCAR travels around with two other racing series. The Camping World Truck series race is on Friday Night. The Xfinity series race on Saturday Afternoon.The big names you know race on Sunday.

I went to the races on Friday and Saturday and had a wonderful time. There were people sitting behind me. Really cool people as I got to know them. We realized that we have had season tickets together for years. We just have never talked. But that’s because Jake was to young to bring to Nascar.

On Saturday there was a special needs child sat behind us. His name is Jake. Jake is about seven to eight years old. He is the little boy making the funny face in the featured image. Jake is the bigger Kyle Busch fan. When my dad and I got to the races on Saturday, the little boy was already in his seat. He had all his Kyle Busch merchandise ironed out and looking sharp. A guy 5 or 6 seats down from Jake turned and ask him a playful question. “You don’t happen to like Kyle Busch do you”? Without hesitation Jake replied “as a matter of fact I do like Kyle Busch. He’s my favorite driver”. That was a good answer. Why couldn’t I come up with an answer like that?

We rent audio scanners when we attend races. That way we can hear all the drivers and teams talking to each other. There’s also a channel where you can listen to the TV broadcast. For the rest of the race I became really good friends with Jake. Every time Kyle Busch would come into the pits, I would notify Jake. Throughout the race I would check Kyle Busch’s scanner. Just so I could keep him up to date. Every time I told Jake something he got excited. He’s a passionate fan and a special needs child at same time.

Good job, Kyle Busch

On Sunday Jill and I got to our seats. The night before I had told her all about Jake. I told her about all his funny sayings and how excited he was to be around. Jill got to meet Jake in person the following day. Jill is not the biggest Nascar fan. She goes with me because I asked her. She also knows that I am such a fan. I can answer almost any question she has. I think that makes it fun to go for her. In 2018, she hardly watched the race. Jill was watching me interact with Jake all day. She got a glimpse into the future of what I’m going to be like with our son. We believe it was one of our top 5 days of all time.

The best part of the entire weekend was that anytime Kyle Busch did something, Jake would cheer. He would scream very loud and jump around. I turned once around and told Jake to notice Kyle Busch was in third place. Jake takes a big deep breath and screams “Good Job Kyle Busch”. He had so much enthusiasm and passion behind what he was saying. It even got to the point to where he thought if he screamed loud enough, Kyle Busch could hear him in the car.

Jake and his special needs

When we first got to our seats Jake was a little hyperactive. I gave him a high-five I told him that we’re going to have a fun day. I told him something that I shouldn’t have. It’s not because it was illegal or wrong. It’s because Jake has special needs. I only know this because his grandparents told me. That’s who took him to the race. His grandmother told us that they give him half of a Gatorade and the kid is bouncing off the walls. It made sense to me. I told him something that got him very hyperactive and they had to deal with it. Because of that I made it my mission for the rest of the day to make up for what I’ve done.

I went out of my way to make sure that regardless of the situation, Jake was going to have a good day and cheer on his favorite driver. His grandfather was a little drunk. His grandmother didn’t know anything about racing. That’s a deadly combination for a special needs kid. The grandparents wanted Jake to be calm. But yet you took him to a NASCAR race. I didn’t want to calm him down. If there’s one place on earth where you can cheer for your favorite race car driver, it’s at a NASCAR race. I can understand if you don’t appreciate auto racing. But somebody who does should have taken him. I don’t know the living situation. Jake can have amazing parents. Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet them.

All I know is that it takes a little bit of effort to make somebody’s day. Regardless of Jake’s favorite driver, I was going to do anything I could that day to make sure he had a good day. Because I used to have amazing days when I went with my parents. You have to relate to people. You can’t just assume they’re going to be interested in what you like and vice versa. There’s some give-and-take involved. Especially when it comes to a special needs kid. There’s more take than there is give. All I know is Jake is pretty awesome and we had a wonderful day. Because of him I had a wonderful weekend.

The spring NASCAR race truly was the best experience I’ve had in auto racing. Ever. I can’t wait to see Jake in the fall. We are going to scream louder and harder than anybody else at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That I can promise.

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Russell Aaron

Hey. I'm Russell Aaron. I'm a WordPress enthusiast. I work at WebDevStudios. I'm Lead Organizer of the WordPress Vegas Meetup Group and WordCamp Las Vegas. I simply blog about anything that comes into my mind. You've been warned.

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