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Ryan Newman Hosts Fans Who Honored Memory of Their Son with a Commemorative Brick

Source: Motorsport.com  

February 11, 2009

For Minnesota race fans Steve and Christine Deuker, dealing with the loss of their son was traumatic, but when defending Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman walked onto the NASCAR scene in 2002 he unknowingly delivered comfort to their aching hearts. Newman reminded them of their son, and became their hero keeping his memory alive.

In their eyes, he deserved a place in NASCAR's Hall of Fame and it was the facility's Commemorative Brick Program that allowed them the opportunity to give him the honor immediately. They recently purchased a commemorative brick for the Ceremonial Plaza at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte, N.C. with the following inscription:

TO RYAN NEWMAN:
YOUR DEMEANOR
REFLECTS A SOUL
U NEVER MET. IN
YOU WE SEE OUR
SON, JOSEPH HELD.

When NASCAR Hall of Fame officials shared the Deukers' story with Newman, he was so touched that he offered to host the couple at their trip to the racetrack. So, the NASCAR Hall of Fame decided to provide the couple an opportunity to meet their hero in person - at the Daytona 500. They will arrive in Daytona Beach on Feb. 13 and on the eve of the Daytona 500 will meet the race's defending champion. They also will be his guest on race day.

"The NASCAR Hall of Fame is all about celebrating special memories, whether they were made at certain races, tracks or with friends and family," NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley said. "This was such a special story that we wanted to provide the Deukers a chance to meet Ryan in person and attend their very first Daytona 500."

In the letter sent to the Hall of Fame, Steve Deuker wrote that Newman helped "us to heal and continue to claw forward." He continued, "To us, Ryan is a Hall of Famer for how he has touched us and the best way we could think to thank him was to make sure he would be represented at the NASCAR Hall of Fame."

"When I found out about the brick and the Deuker's story, I was really touched," said Ryan Newman. "As drivers, I don't think that we truly ever realize the impact that we have on our fans. When you hear these personal stories from fans, you can't help but me moved. I'm excited that the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Daytona International Speedway were able to bring the Deukers to the track for the weekend, and I'm looking forward to meeting them on Saturday. I'm lucky to have such incredible fans." A state-of-the-art facility, the Hall of Fame will honor the history and heritage of NASCAR, serve as an educational platform of the tremendous impact NASCAR has had on American culture and provide an enduring tribute to those who have impacted the sport in the past, present and yet to come. The NHOF will be owned by the City of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Commemorative Brick Program offers an affordable way for fans to mark their place in the history of the sport, and the bricks are priced in line with other collectible and commemorative merchandise. The 4x8 bricks are $150 and the replica brick with the customized inscription is available for $65. The 8x8 bricks are $300 with customized text and $325 with drivers' logo/likeness. The replica 8x8 bricks are $125 and $150, respectively.

A portion of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Commemorative Brick Program purchase is tax-deductible. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Commemorative Bricks can be purchased with most major credit cards. A payment plan is also available with three equal monthly installments.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Commemorative Brick Program is managed by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Foundation, which provides it 501(c)3 tax exempt status.