CORNELIUS, N.C. — David Ragan says the Special Olympics changes people lives.
He’s seen it firsthand.
Ragan’s brother Adam earned more than 20 medals in Special Olympics competition in a variety of sports at state-level events in Georgia.
“I’ve seen how it gave Adam confidence to work hard, be competitive and enjoy success,” said Ragan describing older brother Adam who has Down Syndrome. “I also saw that it taught Adam that sometimes things don’t work out like you hope and you finish second or third. That’s not always bad.”
Ragan said Adam is his number one fan and has attended countless races since his career began.
“The Special Olympics were a chance for us as a family to return the support he’s given us over the years.”
Given their support over the years, the Ragans plan to tune in to ESPN this week when 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries gather in Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
The event will include 25 sports at venues throughout Los Angeles. It also marks the first time in 16 years the World Games will held in America.
“If it were on the East Coast I think we’d go watch some of the events,” said David. But with the racing schedule the way it is I think we’ll have to watch on television.”
Ragan isn’t the only member of the Michael Waltrip Racing family to support next month’s games. Toyota is the official automotive sponsor and has been a Special Olympics partner for almost 30 years. The company has donated vehicles in the past, sponsored events as well as had associates volunteer their time.
Toyota’s dealer network will be helping Special Olympics USA athletes and their coaches by raising funds to support their journey to Los Angeles. Fans can go to www.la2015.org for information on volunteering, attending the Games and fundraising.
Ragan asked that race fans check out the World Special Olympics on ESPN as it airs this week.
“I’d encourage anyone to give it a try. There are some pretty remarkable people taking part.”
NEW WORLD RECORD BID:
WATCH DAVID RAGAN ATTEMPT MORE WORLD RECORDS: Last week David fell short of a world record when he tried to crack 32 eggs with one hand as well as eat Jell-O with chopsticks. The bid to eat 10 crackers in a minute didn’t work out well either. So, Ragan is back this week in pursuit of world records. He tries to blow up a balloon until it pops in less than 13 seconds, walk 10 meters foot-to-toe in less than 11 seconds and stick 60 sticky notes on his face in less than a minute. Find out how all this turns out by going to Michael Waltrip Racing’s YouTube page! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW9DhznRIoc
· No. 55 CREW CHIEF BRIAN PATTIE: Pattie, 40, joined MWR in 2012 when it formed the No. 15 team-leading driver Clint Bowyer to three victories and a second-place finish in the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Zephyrhills, Fla., native began crew chief duties in the XFINITY Series for Joe Nemechek’s NEMCO Motorsports in 1997 before moving to a similar role at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2004. In May 2008, he moved to the Sprint Cup Series with driver Juan Montoya. The duo earned a berth in the 2009 Chase and a win at Watkins Glen in 2010. Pattie owns four Sprint Cup and 10 XFINITY Series victories as a crew chief. The father of four is an avid golfer and supporter of the Florida State Seminoles. In June 2015, MWR paired Pattie with David Ragan on its No. 55 team.
- 55 CREW:
- CAREER STATISTICS:
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· FANTERN: MWR is offering fans a chance to become an official MWR Fantern. This person will get the opportunity to be an “intern” on race day with MWR; duties including helping the pit crews with set-up activities, attending driver appearances and getting full access to the pit and garage areas. Fans can write in a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org or share a video on our social channels explaining why they should be the Fantern at the race of their choosing during the 2015 season.
Friday, July 31
11:00 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, August 1
9 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBC Sports Network
11:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBC Sports Network
Sunday, August 2
11 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 2
Noon, NASCAR America Sunday, NBC Sports Network
1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Countdown to Green, NBC Sports Network
1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono, NBC Sports Network
5:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Post-Race Show, NBC Sports Network
11 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBC Sports Network