Brian Scott and Ty Dillon on the front row at Chicagoland
See the Nationwide Series drivers that are running at Chicagoland
From Danica Patrick’s mid-race crash to Matt Kenseth passing Kevin Harvick for the win, check out the best scanner sounds from the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Standing on stage holding his arms high above his head giving double peace signs, 10-year old Elijah Aschbrenner looked like a rock star – bright red hair, high wattage smile and unmistakable attitude. A year after being diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer, Epithelioid Sarcoma, Elijah struck the pose after joining NASCAR stars such as Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Danica Patrick walking the runway as part of the Martin Truex Jr . Foundation's "Catwalk for a Cause" pediatric cancer fundraiser this past May. Predictably, Earnhardt and Patrick got rousing cheers, but Elijah clearly stole the show -- afterwards be-bopping around the Mooresville, N.C., venue shaking hands with donors, grabbing snacks with his little brother Sam, 9, and posing for photos with the race car drivers. It was difficult to tell who was the celebrity and who was the cause célèbre. That was only five months ago. Unfortunately, a recent CT-scan revealed that despite the chemotherapy and the radiation and the surgeries -- despite great courage and faith -- Elijah's cancer has spread. And after a brief and hopeful time participating in a clinical trial in Atlanta last month, doctors have decided there is no further treatment to prescribe. A hospice nurse visits Elijah every Tuesday at his home outside Charlotte making sure he is comfortable. A hospice social worker also stops by regularly to counsel Sam and Elijah's friends, whom his mom, Becky Hughes, says "are having a real tough time with this." Though Elijah would much rather be riding a Ripstik outside with his brother and friends, he mostly spends his days in a wheelchair building elaborate Lego creations or watching television -- "Wheel of Fortune" is one of his favorites. "My mom and I are really good at it," he says. He loves the occasional trips to Target or Toys "R" Us, and the steady stream of visitors who bring prayers and love. The cancer has taken a real toll on Elijah's young body. His voice is softer and strained, his stamina greatly diminished, but cancer has not sapped his incredible spirit or lessened his intense resolve. "There are so many days I could just cry and let myself get buried in that, but I can't," his mom explained. "Elijah is strong and Sam is strong, always there to make us laugh and smile. "I have prayed to God to just give me this tumor. I would do that in a heartbeat. The worst pain in the world is seeing your child going through something like this, and you can't fix it, you can't do anything. "I could be an emotional wreck, but Elijah only allows me three minutes of crying a day. Some days I don't need it, but if I start to, he'll say, "Three minutes, Mom." Hughes has worked in the racing industry for years both as a driver public relations representative and now with sponsor Great Clips. She has been buoyed by the outpouring of support from the NASCAR community but not surprised. This weekend Elijah and his family will be guests of Ann and Ken Schrader at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . After some souvenir shopping -- his favorite part of the day -- Elijah is looking forward to stopping in the garage area and seeing his "friends" from the Catwalk event. So many of them have provided help to Elijah and his family. Drivers have lent their private airplanes to transport Elijah to various doctors around the Southeast. They have donated money to cover the escalating medical bills and sent messages of support using the hashtag #prayersforelijah on social media. More significantly, they have given their time and attention. Truex and his girlfiend, Sherry Pollex, herself undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, are essentially on speed dial with the family and have been constant support for Elijah. Pollex organizes the Catwalk event and had been raising money ($ 300 ,000 this year) for childhood cancer long before she was affected personally by the disease. Team Penske put Elijah's name over the door of both of its Sprint Cup Series Chase contending cars last week. And 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski devoted one of the entries on his popular blogs to remind people about "perspective" in life. He used Elijah as a shining example. Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Childress Racing are among the organizations to publicly offer good wishes -- the entire team from shop foremen to drivers posing with a "Prayers for Elijah" sign. And while it is all a bit overwhelming and "very cool," Elijah joked this week that it does cause a minor problem when it comes to picking a driver to cheer for. "That's the hard part," Elijah said. "They are all so good to me. "The fact they know me is outstanding, I don't know how a kid like me would get that lucky to meet them. Just knowing them means a lot to me." His mother begins to cry when trying to explain the impact of those relationships. "He really looks up to Martin (Truex) and Dale Junior and Kasey (Kahne) and Jeff Gordon and feels like they are all his buddies because they have done events with him," Hughes said. "After the Catwalk, he'll talk about how Dale Junior is his buddy. During a race, he'll ask me to call Dale Jr. and get him to do this or that. I'll laugh. It shows how great these guys have been to Elijah. "Even if they were just with him for half an hour it made such an impact on him and made him feel comfortable and like a friend.That means everything to me. To see how happy he gets thinking he has all these buddies in all these different avenues of sports." Taking the cue from NASCAR's best, other sports have rallied about Elijah, too. WWE wrestling star Titus O'Neil changed a flight to detour to Charlotte and pay a visit to Elijah. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton surprised Elijah at a block party in his honor -- a Halloween theme because that's Elijah's favorite holiday. News outlets from People Magazine to "The Today Show" shared the story. "I'm in disbelief. Every day we'll hear of another athlete doing something for him, last night someone sent us a picture of Kirk Cameron holding up a sign saying 'Prayers for Elijah,' " Hughes said. "It's just amazing to me, the outreach and the people that have been impacted throughout all this, from NASCAR, to WWE to the Panthers. Everyone's just put their arms around us and are supporting us. "He is definitely a loved little boy, and I am so blessed that God chose me to be his mom. He is the bravest little boy I know and I just pray for many, many more years to watch him grow up." It's not just famous people who have recognized and rallied for Elijah. Classmates from school visit him. The community organized a golf tournament fundraiser, and even local restaurants designated certain nights to donate funds. In some ways, "Prayers for Elijah" has grown from a sentimental hashtag or well wish into a movement. It is a plea for more funding and research into childhood cancers, which currently receive a very small portion of the overall funds. It is an inspiration reminding us if a 10-year-old boy can be this strong and positive despite all he's going through, then we should have great courage and a better attitude, too. It is a lesson in living in the present each day. As a breast cancer patient myself, I feel a special connection to Elijah. I was diagnosed a couple months after him and our chemotherapy treatments and surgeries often coincided. In fact, I had radiation treatment the morning I flew from Florida to Charlotte to attend May's Catwalk event. And I had to leave early the next morning to be back in the cancer center for my next round. That evening I asked Elijah what advice he had for other cancer patients. "Keep fighting," he said. "And breathe." His mom considers that evening a gift -- a time of pure happiness and excitement. How proud to know her son was an inspiration to every soul in the room. And still is. "He was amazing, he just shined that night," Hughes recalled. "It was like, 'Here I am and I'm not going to let cancer get the best of me.' And he's had that attitude from Day 1. "There have been many days when my faith is down and I’m scared and worried and he'll look at me and say, 'Mama, we're going to get through this.' So never once has his faith been in question. A few months ago he coined the phrase, 'Faith and believing are your cure.' And he really means it. "He is amazing and he gives me strength every day." He does the same for all of us.
Miss Coors Light, Amanda Mertz, catches up with Carl Edwards the Coors Light Pole Award winner for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Catch up quickly before Saturday's running of the EnjoyIllinois.com 300
Chase Elliott holds off Trevor Bayne to earn his third NNS win of the season in the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 .
RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Monday, Oct. 5 6 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 8 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 2:30 p.m., NASCAR 120, NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS12 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Thursday, Oct. 8 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBCSN 4 p.m., NASCAR K&N Series East: Dover International Speedway (tape), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 5:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN 7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN Friday, Oct. 9 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour: Stafford Motor Speedway (tape), NBCSN 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN 7:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 8 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive for the Cure 300 Presented by Blue Cross , NBCSN Saturday, Oct. 10 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), NBCSN 4 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS2 5 p.m., NASCAR America Saturday, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 , NBC 11 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Post-Race, NBCSN 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN 12:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1 Sunday, Oct. 11 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (tape), NBCSN &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
RELATED: Full race results from Dover " Updated Series standings DOVER, Del. -- Already dressed in street clothes, a disappointed Ty Dillon stood near the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing hauler, huddled with his crew following a tough 28th-place result in the XFINITY Series' Hisense 300 at Dover International Speedway . The finish dropped Dillon from second to fourth in the championship standings, 39 points behind leader Chris Buescher . Dillon's grandfather and team owner Richard Childress stopped by to console his grandson with a few words and a pat on the back. "I ain't finishing fourth." Dillon told Childress. Dillon's unfortunate day began when he blew a tire at Lap 25, taking his Chevrolet off the race track and into the garage for repairs. He returned to the track around Lap 88, finishing the race 85 laps down. "Well, it started with a bang," Dillon said after the race. "Kind of putting things together, I heard that -- sounded like a car exploded, a brake rotor and the 43 might have ran over it and then we were one of the cars to come through. "Because I had no warning -- the car was still handling great. Then all of a sudden I heard a 'pow' into the wall." The XFINITY Series hit the track Saturday for the 200-mile race without any practice or qualifying time due to inclement weather. And the lack of practice time, Dillon said, may have affected the way many of the cars were running. "You can't blame it on anybody," Dillon said. "When you don't have practice, some of these back marker cars, they aren't able to prepare the race car from week to week like most teams are. It's a bummer, it happens." With five races remaining on the XFINITY Series season, Dillon's once-bright outlook for the championship title appears significantly dimmer. In addition to leader Buescher, Dillon's No. 3 sits behind JR Motorsports' Chase Elliott and Regan Smith , who won Saturday's event at Dover. Nonetheless, Dillon remains optimistic, siting the his team's jump from 43 points down after Daytona in July to 20 points down four races later after Iowa. "I'm proud of my guys -- we've had some awesome race cars lately," Dillon said. "… I know in my heart I can win some of these races and get back in this thing. We're not going to give up, that's for sure."