Ask 14-year-old Johnathon Ousley about what his biggest wish would be, and he’d want to find a way to combine camping, fishing and meeting his favorite NASCAR driver, Jeff Gordon.
The Prestonsburg, Ky., teenager’s wish actually came true this weekend through the teamwork of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, Bristol Motor Speedway and Pepsi MAX Maximum Moments.
Ousley and his family traveled to Bristol, Tenn., for an unforgettable weekend of activity in association with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Jeff Byrd 500 race. His wish began Friday with a private meet-and-greet with Gordon at Bristol Motor Speedway. They also participated in media activities and a Q-&-A session with fans that night.
On Sunday, Ousley rejoined Gordon at the track for the pre-race driver introductions and ceremonial lap around the track. The family then watched Gordon race for the checkered flag in the No. 24 Pepsi MAX car from a private suite.
To relax away from the wish excitement at Bristol Motor Speedway, the Ousleys spent the weekend at a nearby mountain cabin and enjoyed a day of fishing Saturday on an area lake.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, organized Johnathon’s wish to help the Ousleys spend some time together as he copes with brain cancer.
Gordon granted his first wish with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 1995. Since then, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has granted more than 230 wishes, making him among the most-requested celebrity wish granters in the Foundation’s 30-year history.
“It is always inspiring for me to grant a child’s wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Gordon says. “Johnathon is a special kid and I am so happy to be a part of the amazing weekend planned for him.”
Pepsi MAX is joining in Johnathon’s wish to make this a memorable experience for him and his family. His wish will kick off the Pepsi MAX Maximum Moments sweepstakes, in which fans can enter for a chance to win one of five ultimate racing experiences based on fan submissions. Beginning March 20, 2011, fans can enter for a chance to win the first of five Maximum Moments at PepsiMAX.com/MaximumMoments. Fans can come back weekly to see the next Maximum Moment revealed and will be able to enter for a chance to win during each entry period. The winner will be announced on PepsiMAX.com/MaximumMoments at the end of each entry period.