Health Care Sports and Entertainment

Honoring Cancer Heroes at Kansas Speedway

AdventHealth and FedEx NASCAR cars next each other while racing at Kansas Speedway.

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For the third consecutive year, AdventHealth has teamed up with the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation (MTJF) and The NASCAR Foundation to honor cancer heroes. NASCAR fans bid in an online auction to have their cancer hero’s name placed on the signature panel of their favorite driver’s car.

Names will be featured on the race cars during the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at Kansas Speedway during September in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Proceeds from the online auction benefit the MTJF and the NASCAR Foundation, two organizations that are dedicated to championing health and well-being. Since 2020, the auction has raised more than $300,000.

Sam Huenergardt, CEO of AdventHealth’s Mid-America Region, says, “AdventHealth is proud to support the Honor a Cancer Hero program. While many of us and our loved ones have unfortunately been impacted by cancer, we are also inspired by the health care providers, researchers, family members and cancer survivors who are relentless in the fight against this disease.”

Cancer heroes Judi Carlson and Corbett Bohanan John names on NASCAR cars.

Meet the Cancer Heroes Riding with Trackhouse Racing

Here are the stories behind the names that you’ll see on two NASCAR Cup Series cars, as told by the people who nominated them. Trackhouse Racing, another AdventHealth partner, will have two NASCAR Cup Series cars at Kansas Speedway, including the Number 1 car driven by Ross Chastain, and the Number 99 car driven by Daniel Suárez.

Corbett John

Nominated by Kyle and Brandi John

Corbett John standing outside in a field.

Kyle and Brandi: Corbett was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was two months old. For the past two years, Corbett has undergone intense chemotherapy, immunotherapy and will undergo a stem cell transplant this fall. Corbett is a fighter through and through. He’s always in high spirits and his favorite activity is to “go fast!” Whether that’s running through the hospital hallways or driving his four-wheeler on the ranch, he wants to go fast. Corbett is resilient, kind and will always be our hero!

It’s been two years of battling and working with Melon1 and Ross’ family they are just amazing human beings — always supportive, prayerful and just truly salt of the earth people. And Ross shows that as well. He never forgets where he comes from and the importance of family.

Ross has a special place in our hearts, and we’ve been Ross Chastain fans from day one. We have watched him grow up. He always promotes American farmers and embodies the American dream. Eat more watermelon!

Corbett Family standing outside in a field.

Corbett’s mom, Brandi, worked with Ross as a watermelon industry ambassador back in 2014 when Ross drove the watermelon truck in the Camping World Truck Series.

Judi Carlson

Nominated by Becky Lekos

Cancer hero Judi Carlson standing in front of a NASCAR garage.

Becky: My mother was born on May 11, 1948; she left us on October 5, 2019, after two years of suffering with metastatic breast cancer. But her story didn’t start there. Her cancer journey began on September 11, 2001, giving that date double meaning for our family.

For nearly the next 20 years, she fought this terrible disease before it metastasized and took her life. She never let it get her down and didn’t want sympathy; for all those years, you would have never known the internal battle she went through.

She not only inspired me with my own cancer battle, but many others who are still fighting today, with her strong and positive outlook on life. With her family by her side, we talked, held hands and said goodbye on October 5, 2019.

One of my mom’s favorite pastimes was racing, from Indy cars in the 1980s to NASCAR in the 90s and beyond. She watched racing on TV every weekend and went to live races a few times a year.

For as long as I can remember, Las Vegas was an annual tradition. She loved the whole experience — parking the RV in the infield on turn 4; spending the race weekend trying to meet as many drivers as possible; walking through the garages; attending the drivers’ meeting; and enjoying the races on the RV rooftop with headsets, listening to her favorites.

Over the years she attended races in Sonoma and Phoenix as well. The race weekend in Phoenix in 2016 piqued our interest as Daniel won his first truck race. Not only did he dominate the Xfinity series that year, but he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship. He became “her guy” to watch and root for, hoping to eventually see him in the Cup Series. And she did in 2017/2018, but missed seeing him win at Sonoma in June, 2022. She would have been so proud. I can see her now, screaming with excitement and jumping up and down.

Judi Carlson at a NASCAR event.

Everyone in our family is a huge NASCAR fan, and getting this opportunity to honor my mom with her name on Daniel’s window — along with all of you and NASCAR supporting the cure for cancer — is nothing short of amazing, especially on a weekend that has so much meaning.

We picked Daniel to represent her because he has become one of our favorite drivers. We all have a lot of respect for him and the Trackhouse racing team.

So, Daniel and team, go win one for Judi, for us, for fighting cancer and for all your amigos!

Honor Your Cancer Hero Today

Do you have a cancer hero in mind who you’d like to nominate? Donate $25 or more to feature your cancer hero’s name on our Virtual Honor Wall on NASCAR.com as part of the NASCAR Foundation and Martin Truex Jr. Foundation’s Honor a Cancer Hero program, presented by AdventHealth.

Click here to learn more.

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