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Racing Champion

Every parent wants their child to find their "thing".
It's what we dream about and work towards for our kids.

When your child has special needs it's often a little more difficult.
A father - son duo that find themselves "right on track."

It's a championship that began with a bribe or should we say, an incentive.
"Give us a good report card, we'll get the truck.  He held up his end of the bargain, we bought the truck."
   
Which led to a car,  weekends at the track, tons of father-son bonding time.

"This out here, this remote control racing has really made him come out of that little shell of socializing."
Sixteen year old Austin Wright is severely autistic.

 Just six months ago, he fell in love with remote control competitive racing.
"At first, they kind of treated him, you know, well, he's autistic.  Lets take it easy on him and then when they seen that he was serious they haven't, they treat him as an equal."))
   
Donnie Wright is Austin's dad and his crew chief.
He says focus and concentration have been weak points for Austin out here, he uses both to shine.
   
He's led most of the points season in the "Run what you brung" series.
Veteran racer Scott Pierce is mentoring the teen.
"I'm the mechanic, he's the driver."

Pierce says early on Austin had rage issues, if another car crashed into his, he'd be ready to fight.
   
Now, he understands that's just part of it.
Pierce says Austin's grown into a good sport, and asks for take tips and pointers.

"I tell him straight up, come on, tighten up.  Get to it.  I know you can do better than that.  Let's go,  he clicks."

"My dad told me one time, one day, he'll find his niche.  And he's found it."
When he's not racing, Austin's a spotter.
He flips cars when they crash keeping his fellow drivers on track.
   
Donnie says that sense of camaraderie and community has boosted Austin's self esteem and confidence.

Austin just won his series title, in his rookie season no less.
A trophy that meant a lot to everyone, but it's the acceptance and friendships that endure for dad.

"If he breaks down, they'll snatch it up and they'll run up in one of the trailers and do what they got to do to get him back on track, to me that mean everything."

The Hobby Central racing series takes place the first and third Sundays of every month.
The track is in the parking lot of the Trade Winds Shopping Plaza off of Davis Highway in Pensacola.