NASCAR Race Car Features Down Syndrome Man’s Small Business

Lauretta Brown | June 6, 2016 | 3:21pm EDT
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(AP Photo)

( – Blake Pyron, a 20-year-old business owner with Down Syndrome from Sanger, Texas, will have the logo of his small town business, Blake’s Snow Shack, featured on the No. 95 Chevrolet of Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.

Blake’s Snow Shack opened for business recently in May. Blake is the youngest business owner in his town and the first business owner with Down Syndrome.

The inspiration for the snow cone shack came after Blake worked at a barbecue restaurant that closed shortly after his high school graduation.

"He deeply missed his customers. He wanted a job," Blake’s mother, Mary Ann Pyron told ABC13. "In our small town, jobs are limited, especially for people with special needs."

Blake’s parents are co-owners in the snow cone shack, and his 15-year-old neighbor Tanner Maples was hired as his first employee. The business opened to a massive crowd on Mother’s Day, to celebrate the mothers in the community.

The story of Blake’s Snow Shack reached the desk of Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing team who “connected with the story not only due to their Texas roots, but also on a much more personal level.”  

"We learned about this great young man from Sanger, Texas and his family and his story really related to us," explained team owner, Bob Leavine.  "Tanner, our grandson, is autistic.  He is 21 and after graduating high school in 2015 he is now looking to that next step in his life – similar to Blake and his story."

Blake’s business logo will be featured on their No. 95 race car along with that of Breckenridge Village of Tyler, a community for adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.

"These are great stories that people need to be aware of and we had an opportunity to do that on our Pocono car," said Leavine. "We wanted to put it on the car so we could make a statement and say, ‘hey we are behind this.' We need to help our special kids because it takes a lot of resources. People need to know about this because they can help. Breckenridge takes donations for support. They have financial aid for those that need monetary help to attend there."

"The Leavine family – they touched our hearts," Blake’s mother said. "We have tried to show other people that you can believe in yourself and your child can do anything that they want to. There is no limit for my child. And I feel that the Leavine family reaching out and for them to share us with 'NASCAR Nation' is great. We feel beyond blessed!"  

Blake and his father planned to attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Pocono originally on Sunday, June 5, but the race was rained out and will take place Monday. The business’ Facebook page features a shot of Blake wearing his purple Blake's Snow Shack t-shirt in front of the race car with the driver.

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