Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Design Is 'Dream Come True'; Ragan's Car Has Special Message, Thanks to Teen Who's Been Helped by Shriners

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Design Is 'Dream Come True'; Ragan's Car Has Special Message, Thanks to Teen Who's Been Helped by Shriners

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Coble

Most of Hailey Randall's young life has been spent at two places: The dirt tracks that make up the WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series and the Shriners Hospital for Children-Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

The 16-year-old combined those experiences to win a national contest to design David Ragan's Toyota for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Randall of Kyle, S.D., was at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday for the official unveiling of her car design. After that, she went to Daytona Beach to be part of Ragan's BK Racing team during this weekend's race.

"I grew up at the track, but this will be my first NASCAR race," Randall said. "When my mom [Lavonne Randall] told me about the contest, I started working on it."

Her design, "Love to the Rescue," is simple. But the message is strong.

"I designed the car that I would want to drive myself," she said. "So it's a dream come true to see it in real life and on the racetrack. I can't believe I will have a car at Daytona.

"I'm so happy that my design was selected to represent how Shriners Hospitals send love to the rescue every day to kids just like me."

Ragan, who has a special-needs brother, was eager to embrace the project. Car owners Ron Devine, Wayne Press, Mike Wheeler and Anthony Marlowe and the Shriners collaborated to move the idea from the drawing board to the race track.

"I'm a Shriner, and I'm fortunate to be a part of BK Racing, where we got this opportunity to remind everyone of the incredible work the Shriners do," Ragan said. "We run 22 hospitals, and it's not cheap. No child ever has to pay. Putting the Hospital for Children on the car this week, especially at a big race like Daytona, is a great way to deliver that message."

Ragan won the 2011 Coke Zero 400. He said the unpredictability of restrictor-plate racing provides a strong opportunity for another upset - and a bigger stage for Randall's design. …

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