SONOMA, Calif. (Friday, June 16) -- Matt Reilly hopes the use of a 3,000-pound NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series stock car will increase awareness in the search for a missing Vallejo girl.
Reilly, who lives in Rohnert Park, will drive in the Snap-On Tools/AAA 200 at Sears Point Raceway with a picture of Xiana Fairchild on the back of his #50 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which is sponsored by Groeniger and Company, Christy Concrete Products and U.S. Pipe.
Fairchild, a 7-year-old girl, has been missing since December 9, 1999, when she mysteriously disappeared from a bus stop near her home.
The race will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and Reilly hopes this exposure will help in finding the missing girl. Reilly has worked closely with the Polly Klaas Foundation on this project.
"It just kills you," Reilly said. "As a parent I can't imagine having to go through the pain of not knowing where my child is."
"By putting her picture on my car I am hoping to generate new interest," Reilly said of Xiana, who has been missing for more than six months. "If I can open people's eyes and get them to volunteer to search for this girl then I will really feel like I've accomplished something."
Reilly, a Sonoma Valley High School graduate who also works for the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School at Sears Point Raceway, is expected to be one of the top drivers in the Southwest Series race on Saturday.
"Sears Point is in my backyard. With family and friends in the stands it is very easy for me to get pumped up for this race," Reilly said.
In addition to placing Fairchild's picture on his car, Reilly will also hand out fliers throughout the weekend to promote the Polly Klaas Foundation, which is leading the search for Xiana.
"You can't give up hope on finding this young girl," Reilly said. "As long as there is hope, you can't give up."
For more information on volunteering in the search for Xiana Fairchild, please call the Polly Klaas Foundation at (707) 769-1334 or visit www.mattreilly.com.