Tulsa, OK – Nascar Racer and Chilli Bowl Champ Bryan Clauson and race car owner Joe Dooling hosted an autism benefit. The benefit was called Racers for Autism was held in Cain’s ballroom.
“I have a close friend with autism and has been part of my racing over the years,” Clauson told news outlet Tulsa World. “He means a lot to us so when we started talking about this it was a natural fit to do a benefit for the autism society.”
“Bryan’s friend, Ben (Hodgin), is 22 years old and is autistic,” Dooling told Tulsa World. “He is one of the greatest fans of racing I have ever seen. He came to the last two Chili Bowls.”
Other benefit attendees from NASCAR include 2014 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the year Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse. While they don’t know Hodgkin as well as their racing colleague, it’s clear he and the cause of autism is vary special to them.
“My crew chief, when I ran my first Nationwide Series, his kid was autistic. We were able to run an autism awareness truck at Rockingham and I was able to win with that. That was pretty special to me,” Larson said, adding that Hodgin was a great kid.
Stenhouse agrees, “I am good friends with Bryan and Ben is a good friend of my,” Stenhouse said. “He comes to Indy all the time and he is always wearing my shirts. I have a special connection to him.”
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead