Gragson’s Nationwide Paint Scheme for Kentucky Champions Children’s Hospital

Ron Lemasters | 7/10/2019

Kentucky Nationwide Children's Hospital News Noah Gragson

It's a special weekend and a special paint scheme at Kentucky Speedway for Noah Gragson as Nationwide Children's Hospital rides on his No. 9 Chevy.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 10, 2019) – Noah Gragson’s No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will feature a special paint scheme on Friday night at Kentucky Speedway to call attention to a very worthwhile effort from The Dale Jr. Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The light blue scheme Gragson will show under the lights is in addition to the TDJF’s annual Driven to Give Gloves program, which will see 55 drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as well as the NASCAR Cup Series sport pairs of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s signature skeleton driving gloves this weekend at Kentucky. Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman will also have a similar special paint scheme on his No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet in Saturday’s Cup Series event.

“I think the paint scheme looks really good,” said Gragson of his ride for the weekend. “I really like how the stripes are on it, and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital theme. There are going to be some Patient Champions and their families there this weekend to see it, and I think it’s really special for me and for them and for everybody involved with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to see it run in person.

“I’m excited to be able to carry these colors, and the driver’s suit looks good...you know what they say: when you feel good, you race that way, and hopefully that will be the case this weekend.”

At the conclusion of the weekend’s events, the race-worn gloves will be signed by each participating driver and Earnhardt Jr. and placed on The NASCAR Foundation’s auction site. Funds raised from the auction will be directed to the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund, which champions the cause of pediatric injury rehabilitation, research and prevention. During the past three seasons, the Driven to Give Gloves program has raised more than $150,000 for Nationwide Children’s and the fund.

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is very important to The Dale Jr. Foundation, and both Amy and I are extremely proud that our fund at the hospital has raised more than $1.3M in less than 2 years,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Last year, we expanded the Driven to Give gloves program to more than 30 drivers, and this year we’ll nearly double that thanks to all the support we have received from the drivers and teams. Helping Nationwide Children’s Hospital in its quest to offer fantastic, cutting-edge care and treatment to chronically ill children is a very worthy cause and one we plan to support for many years to come.”

Three members of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Champion Program and their families will be in attendance at the NASCAR weekend at Kentucky to help cheer on Gragson and Bowman.

The three Patient Champions are:

Austin Warren, age 17: Austin loves building and restoring custom trucks. He was driving his vintage 1952 International pickup, which he and his father had built, on July 21, 2018 when he was involved in an accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. He spent six nights in a local hospital (two in an induced coma) and then 12 more nights at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Less than a year after his accident, Austin has made nearly a complete recovery. He still enjoys building trucks and going to car shows, NASCAR, racing go-karts and woodworking, for which he has won multiple state fair awards. In 4-H water sports, the young man built a custom hydroplane boat and enjoys water skiing and going to Daytona Beach. Entering his senior year, Austin will graduate with honors from both high school and the Automotive Technology Program at the Apollo Career Center. He has applied to the University of Northern Ohio’s High Performance Motorsports program to continue his education.

Brooklyn Malone, age 7:  Brooklyn was diagnosed with a heart murmur and a slow heartbeat during her six-month checkup as an infant, and she and her family were sent to Nationwide Children’s Hospital that same afternoon. After being monitored every six months, doctors at Nationwide Children’s decided to implant a pacemaker to treat her AV Block Type 2 in December 2014. Since that procedure, Brooklyn has healed wonderfully and emerged with just one scar, which she calls her “princess scar.” She was dressed as Princess Tiana from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” on the day of her surgery. Brooklyn loves animals, her church, school, soccer, reading and challenging herself.

Emma Grace Belcher, age 11: Emma Grace contracted bronchitis at eight months old and ended up in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, beginning a four-year journey in and out of the hospital. She suffered from recurrent pneumonia and was placed on antibiotics for two years. As she began kindergarten, she was diagnosed with Asthmatic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affects all of her body’s systems, and began physical therapy, including aquatics and yoga. Nicknamed Emoji, Emma Grace enjoys all types of arts and crafts, is in the ORFF ensemble and plays the trumpet in school. She attends youth group, is a cheerleader and loves playing softball.

 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • July 27 05:00 PM ET
    U.S. Cellular 250Iowa Speedway
  • August 3 03:00 PM ET
    Zippo 200Watkins Glen International
  • August 10 03:00 PM ET
    B&L Transport 170 at Mid-OhioMid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • August 16 07:30 PM ET
    Food City 300Bristol Motor Speedway
  • August 24 03:00 PM ET
    CTECH Manufacturing 180Road America

XFINITY Series Standings

After ROXOR 200

New Hampshire Motor Speedway | 7/20/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick8120
2Christopher Bell756-56
3Cole Custer736-76
4Justin Allgaier666-146
5Austin Cindric649-163
6Noah Gragson #596-216
7Chase Briscoe #568-244
8Michael Annett567-245