For Brian

DOVER, DE. - - Every now and then you hear about something that makes you proud to be a fan of motorsports. Brian, a race fan from New Jersey, was recently paralyzed and is unable to attend the Dover race. His friend Dawn contacted Hendrick, DuPont, Quaker State, and Pepsi hoping that Jeff Gordon could sign a banner for Brian's hospital room. Dawn sent the following recap to Mike after receiving a call that Jeff would be able to sign the banner.

Jeff's schedule on race weekends is usually packed to capacity. If there's a free moment in it, he's usually in the car. When DuPont and the Hendrick organization can pull some strings for a few fans, it makes you appreciate the people involved with NASCAR racing even more.

Below is the letter that Dawn wrote to Mike.

A few months back, I was lucky enough to get 4 tickets to the September Dover race. Knowing my friend Jenn and her husband Brian were Nascar fans like myself and my husband, as well as Jeff Gordon fans, like we are, we offered them our two remaining tickets. They purchased the tickets from us, and we were in the final stages of making plans for our trip from NJ down to Dover.

Saturday morning, Sept. 12, I received a phone call from Jenn's mom saying that Jenn had asked her to call me. Brian was seriously injured in a work related accident. He had been working on the new construction of a mall here in NJ, was about 25 feet above the ground, and fell. He broke his back. He was airlifted to a local trauma center, underwent 7 1/2 hours of surgery, and is now paralyzed.

I spoke to my friend Jenn Saturday night. I told her that we would make sure we picked up a hat and t-shirt for Brian. She mentioned that she wanted me to get a banner for him to hang in his hospital room. He is going to be there for quite some time. Wanting to do more, I set out on a mission.

Monday morning, I sat down at my desk and typed a letter to Hendrick Motorsports. I was looking for help in getting the banner signed by Jeff Gordon for Brian. I faxed it over to Hendrick. Then I decided that I could do better than that. I faxed copies of that letter to DuPont, Quaker State and Pepsi. Additionally, I posted a note on Rec.Autos.Sports.Nascar. I received a few responses...Someone named Richie said he might be able to help me, and that I should also contact Daytona Mike to see if he could help out.

Turned out, I didn't need their very helpful assistance after all. While speaking with both Richie and Mike, my phone rang. It was someone from DuPont Automotive Finishes. He said my fax ended up on his desk, and that he would be more than happy to help me out. He told me where I could meet him at the track this Sunday to drop off the banner, and that if he couldn't have it signed on Sunday, he would make sure it got to Jeff and be sent back to me.

I thanked him endlessly and hung up the phone. A few minutes later, as I was e-mailing Mike and Richie the great news, he called me back again. He informed me that he had just gotten off the phone with Jeff's people at Hendrick and that I should meet him as planned at the track, and I would be brought into the hospitality tent to meet Jeff and get the banner signed. It was more than I was asking for, but I couldn't have been happier.

My plans for right now are to get to the track, get that banner signed and go to the hospital on Monday to give Brian that banner. I'm certainly hoping that this will make his recovery a bit more cheerful. Bringing along the video and still cameras....maybe I can even get Jeff to wish him well on tape!

I'll let you know on Tuesday how things turned out. A big thanks to Richie and Mike for helping me out. And a huge thanks to that person at DuPont...he knows who he is...for helping me make Brian's recovery a bit brighter.


Jeff Gordon Online

Copyright 1998 Jeff Gordon Online.
All rights reserved.
Letter was used by permission
Thanks Mike!