CONCORD, N.C. – Sixteen-year-old Jacob Entrekin and his family drove all the way from small town Sumner, Georgia to take part in the All-Star Race festivities last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Entrekin, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, says Saturday was the best day of his life. Entrekin and his family got their wish granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Carolina.
The day started with a tour of driver Marcos Ambrose's hauler. Ambrose is Entrekin's favorite driver. Next, Jacob made his way to the Champions parking lot, where he met NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty.
Petty is Jacob's idol, after the teen heard of the King's recovery from a serious accident in 1962. The owner of Richard Petty Motor Sports signed a diecast replica of his 43 STP and even posed for pictures with Entrekin and his family.
Petty said, "It just makes you feel good to see a little impact and influence that you've had on other people's lives. When you have a kid like this come in and want to be part of your family, basically, there's no better feeling than that."
Just when Entrekin couldn't possibly think the day could get any better, RPM officials told Jacob he'd get to watch the race from the pit stall of his favorite driver, Marcos Ambrose. Entrekin, mom Shanna, dad Tony and little brother Aaron made their way to pit road. When they arrived, Ambrose came over and talked pre-race strategies with Jacob and little brother.
Entrekin also was presented with a special set of lug nuts and when the race was red flagged due to rain; he and Ambrose got their shot at National TV, when a SPEED reporter spoke to both during the All-Star Race broadcast.
Entrekin says the whole experience was "awesome!"
He went on to add, "Why would I want to be anywhere else? It's Mr. Petty, the King of NASCAR, who doesn't like the King of NASCAR? I was nervous my heart was beating ninety to nothing."
Tony Entrekin spoke of his son's experience, saying that watching his son's wish come true was like having his entire family's wish come true.
He added, "When you have a child that has a terminal illness, you look for joy where ever you can find it… He does struggle a lot, maybe a different kind of struggle, it's not driving a race car, but it's driving his life and I want him to do good and finish good."