Chris Baxter, 17, couldn’t help smiling after taking a ride in a two-seater hobby stock owned by Brian and Michelle Thorp, of Spring Creek, Nevada. The two are raffling off chances for “Rides for Ryder” — where winners sit in the passenger seat of a hobby stock during 10-lap exhibition races at Summit Raceway in Elko, Nevada. Proceeds from raffle go toward the medical expenses of Ryder Clair, a three-year-old battling leukemia. The rides attempt to turn a sad situation into a happier one for everyone involved.
“[Chris] got out of the car and asked, ‘Can I have one?’” Baxter’s mother, Sara, said. “I had no idea who the raffle was for at first. Now that I learned about Ryder, I’ll be buying more raffle tickets — and I’ll think about buying a hobby stock, too.”
Ryder’s parents, Cindy and Cale Clair, are regulars at Summit Raceway. Cale races in the hobby stock and modified mini classes. Cindy recently sold her dwarf car to offset Ryder’s medical expenses.
“Ryder was at the races since he was born — it was his favorite place to be,” said Cindy, of Spring Creek, Nevada. “On January 2, I noticed a bruise on his tongue. He was tested and found to have leukemia.”
The Clairs take Ryder to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, for treatment. There, he’s taking part of a clinical drug trial with blinatumomab, more commonly known as Blincyto.
In addition to the support from the racing community, Spring Creek, Nevada’s businesses also rallied for Ryder’s cause. They raffled off products to raise funds for the Clairs travel and lodging expenses in Salt Lake City.
The Thorps plan to continue to offer raffles for “Rides for Ryder” in their hobby stock two-seater. You can also contribute to helping cover Ryder’s treatment expenses by visiting the GoFundMe page here.
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.