Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 7 Nikko RC/Toy State Chevrolet, had a special request of the children. "Drivers are the ones who always get asked to sign things, but today I asked the kids for their autographs on my race helmet so they could ride along with me in three races at the end of the season in my Sprint Cup car," he said. "We want the kids to get well and have something to look forward to," Bowman added. In exchange for their autographs, Bowman gave each child a small piece of his racecar to keep as a reminder of the big days ahead where they will be riding co-pilot with him.
The kids will be 'riding' with Bowman and TBR in the Toy State-sponsored NASCAR races held in Texas, Phoenix and Homestead on November 8th, 15th and 22nd respectively. It is expected that more than 100 children in six cities will sign the carbon fiber helmet painted by BEAM Designs. In addition to the children, Bowman, the yet unknown 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, and Betty Jane France, founder of The NASCAR Foundation, will also sign the helmet. It will ultimately become part of an online auction following the season-ending November 22 race, with proceeds benefiting The NASCAR Foundation.
Andy Friess, president of Toy State, was on hand to witness all of the excitement. "Simply put, it was a perfect day," said Friess. "Toy State's mission is to bring smiles to children and families worldwide. Based on what I saw today, this was accomplished with flying colors through our visit with the patients at Boston Children's Hospital!"
In addition to signing the helmet, the children were able to see the racecar up close, talk with Bowman, and they received autographed driver-hero cards. Finally, as a goodbye gift, Toy State provided Nikko™ RC and Road Rippers® cars for the children to enjoy as they continue their recovery.