A young businessman from Sanger, Texas who has Down Syndrome, will have his snow cone business alongside Fortune 500 companies in the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. At the age of 20 years-old, Blake Pyron became the youngest business owner in Sanger, Texas when he opened Blake’s Snow Shack in early May of this year. Blake made national headlines and has been featured on ABC News, Huffington Post and USA Today.
“I am honestly speechless,” Mary Ann Pyron, mother of Blake Pyron, told NBC DFW upon learning her son’s logo will be featured on the No. 95 car during Sunday’s Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400 at Pocono Raceway.
According to their press release, Blake’s story reached the desk of Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing team owner Bob Leavine, who calls Tyler, Texas home, along with his wife, Sharon and daughter, Melynda both of whom hold roles with the race team. The Leavine family connected with the story not only due to their Texas roots, but also on a much more personal level.
“We learned about this great young man from Sanger, Texas and his family and his story really related to us,” explained Leavine.
“Tanner, our grandson, is autistic. He is 21 and after graduating high school in 2015 he is now looking to that next step in his life – similar to Blake and his story.”
The Leavine family created a new paint scheme for the No. 95 Chevrolet at Pocono that will elevate their stories.
“These are great stories that people need to be aware of and we had an opportunity to do that on our Pocono car,” said Bob Leavine. “We wanted to put it on the car so we could make a statement and say, ‘hey we are behind this.’ We need to help our special kids because it takes a lot of resources. People need to know about this because they can help.”
Blake’s mother was thrilled when she received the call with the opportunity to showcase Blake’s Snow Shack on a NASCAR race car. “The Leavine family – they touched our hearts,” said Mary Ann Pyron.
“We have tried to show other people that you can believe in yourself and your child can do anything that they want to. There is no limit for my child. And I feel that the Leavine family reaching out and for them to share us with ‘NASCAR Nation’ is great. We feel beyond blessed!”
Blake and his father will attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Pocono on Sunday, June 5. The No. 95 crew will wear purple Blake’s Snow Shack t-shirts during the race weekend – the same t-shirts that Blake wears for his business.
Melynda Leavine Hensley and her son Tanner will also attend the Pocono race. “People with special needs are not that much different than the rest of us. They have the same wants, needs and desires as we do,” said Melynda Hensley. “They only need a little more accommodation and understanding. I would love to encourage everyone to find an opportunity to support people with special needs in their hometowns.”
The AXALTA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway will take place on Sunday, June 5 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Ty Dillon will pilot the No. 95 Chevrolet for Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing at this event.