Patients at Niswonger Children’s Hospital help design car for race weekend


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- NASCAR driver Erik Jones will have a new paint scheme on his car when he takes to the track this weekend at Bristol, and it’s all thanks to the design of a few special helpers.

A few patients at Niswonger Children’s Hospital were instrumental in creating the design that was revealed to the public on Thursday.

“They did a great job designing it,” said Jones. “It’s really bright so you’re going to be able to see it out on the track.”

Jones will hit the track on Sunday for the Food City 500 and if he wins, Craftsman will help donate $1 million to the Children’s Miracle Network through the ACE Hardware Foundation.

The four patients who had a hand in designing the car will also attend the race Sunday.

Thursday they got to meet Jones for the first time.

“I didn’t expect to see him eye to eye,” said Patiance Gardner, one of the patients that helped create the design for the car, “so I was like, ‘oh wow, he’s two feet away from me.'”

On Thursday the ACE Hardware Foundation donated $25,000 to Niswonger Children’s Hospital and $100,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The four children are now looking forward to watching their car race for $1 million.

“We’re pulling for Erik,” said Lisa Carter, CEO of Niswonger Children’s Hospital, “really, really hoping he brings home the first place finish.” 

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