- Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE
Robert Richardson Jr, isn’t the most famous of NASCAR driver’s, nor does he have top notch equipment like some of the other drivers he races against. But, his family-owned R3 Motorsports Nationwide Series team has designed a special program for a special young boy.
Several weeks ago, a young boy and his mother went to the R3 Motorsports shop in China Grove, NC. Originally, they went for a “shop tour” which Richardson does on a normal basis for fans. But, this wasn’t just any shop tour.
“The boy had cancer and we became good friends. I told him that we can do a special paint scheme for the car,” Richardson said. “I got to talk to his mother and they are a part of a pretty big organization and we thought it would be a great idea to invite a lot of other kids with cancer and have them come up to the race shop and dip their hands in paint and put their handprints on the car and write their name so they know that it’s their part of the car.”
The boy Richardson mentioned is 11 year old Bryson Smith. Bryson was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2011, he was just four years old when he was diagnosed with the disease. Doctors say his treatment will last three and a half years as long as everything goes well, according to the Smith’s website, brysonsfuel.org which is a 501C3 organization supporting children with cancer.
The two sides came up with an idea to field a different type of car for a race later in the year. Eventually, it was decided that Richardson would run a special scheme in the October 12 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“At least 20-25 kids have signed up so far, but next week all of the kids are going to come to the race shop and take part in painting the car,” Richardson said as more kids have been signing up through the Smith’s foundation.
In the past, Richardson has donated to several charities including St. Jude’s Children’s hospital as well as a local children’s hospital in his native Dallas area.
Richardson’s car will sport a bright orange look with the addition of the hand prints of each of the children within the program.
Cancer hits close to home for the 30 year old Mckinney, Texas native. His late grandmother passed away from Breast Cancer several years ago.
“ I feel that every kid deserves an opportunity at life and when children pass away from cancer, they don’t have the opportunity to live a full, healthy life,” Richardson said as he described the effect Bryson has had on his life.
The children’s cancer car should have a sporty look to it. Even if it may not be a winning car on the track, off the track it is and that’s what counts.
As for next season, Richardson has no definite plans. He hopes to run a few races and hopefully have Jamie Dick to return on a part-time or even full-time basis with his team.
But, worrying about next year didn’t seem to worry Richardson in an interview over the phone. He seemed more concerned about helping Bryson and his family more than anything, even as he sat on his tractor on his land.
For more information about Bryson and his partnership with R3 Motorsports, visit brysonsfuel.org.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.