HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 2 Â With its elevators; wheelchair-friendly sidewalks, curbing and rest rooms; handicapped sections in parking lots and in both the lower and upper grandstands, Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of the most...
HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 2 With its elevators; wheelchair-friendly sidewalks, curbing and rest rooms; handicapped sections in parking lots and in both the lower and upper grandstands, Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of the most progressive facilities in all of motorsports.
Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa., one of the drivers of the #7 BMW M3 fielded by Genesis Racing and the president of one of the largest independent insurance agencies in the nation, is very aware of how important it is for companies and individuals to try to help those faced with special challenges. He invites disadvantaged children and adults to be his guest for a behind-the-scenes look at the sport at various venues throughout the season. For the Nextel 250 he worked through Miami's Center for Independent Living, which suggested that he invite Theresa Cobb, who has cerebral palsy; Brenda Rosari, who is deaf; and Raquel Nunez, who has a spinal cord injury. The ladies plan to spend a memorable day at the races tomorrow watching Gleason and Marc Bunting drive Genesis Racing's #7 BMW M3. The car will start sixth in the GT class in the Nextel 250.
Gleason is doing double-duty here this weekend, as he's also one of the drivers of The Spirit of Miami's Acura Integra #90 in today's Grand-Am Cup race, which is one of 16 entries in the Sport Touring (ST) class out of 72 total entries. Gleason qualified that car second in its class this morning.
Gleason was also one of five drivers competing at Homestead this weekend who visited the children's ward of Homestead Hospital on Thursday evening.
Gleason, Genesis Racing owner Rick Fairbanks, Bill Auberlen and Chris Miller finished a fabulous sixth in class and ninth overall out of 80 entries at the recent Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. They were in Genesis Racing's #10 BMW M3 for that race, which is sponsored by National Paintball Supply and Yokohama.
- Linda Mansfield