Pennsylvania Great Outdoors: Racing Community Builds Wheelchair Platform

REYNOLDSVILLE, Pa. – It is no secret that dirt track drivers, race teams, and fans have huge hearts.

For over three decades, I have been announcing motorsports, and time after time, I have seen the racing community come together to help others in need. This is even more so the case at the little family-owned Hummingbird Speedway, and this story of how two special visits to the track brought the racing community together to open the experience of a night at the races to fans in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.

Draven-at-the-BirdIn August of 2020, Angela McMillen Stewart posted a very touching story about a life-changing visit to the Speedway with her son Draven.

In the story, she recounts the heart-touching story and the fears and difficulties of getting Draven into the speedway grandstands in his “easyrider.” Her story touched the hearts of so many race fans.

“Was it pretty? Oh heck no! Some stared with a puzzled look. Others offered their help as they watched Mommy struggle to get Draven to their family on the grandstands.”

(Read more:

During the 2021 racing season, I hosted the members of the DuBois Senior Challenger League Legends team as my guests for a night at the track.

Like Angela, I, too, was worried about how the players would respond and how people would respond to them. After about 5 minutes, my worries melted away as the drivers and fans welcomed the Legends team with open arms. The players and their parents/guardians had an absolute blast. The players loved it when I called their names at intermission in front of the crowd and the crowd responding with thunderous applause.

Everyone involved that night thought it would be a great idea to try to have all the teams in the Challenger League teams visit Hummingbird during 2022 racing season. I was so fired up and couldn’t wait to start planning how we could make it happen…maybe Junior League on one night and the Senior Challenger teams on another night?

Then, the story of Angela struggling as she pushed Draven across the gravel in the grandstands came to mind. I realized that some of the Challenger League players also had mobility issues and we needed a wheelchair-accessible viewing platform at the speedway.

I posted my idea on Facebook and asked for donations for building materials. Within 24 hours, more than $3,000.00 in pledges from local businesses and race fans were made. Lee and Holly Srock offered to donate the labor and the project was underway. Early this spring the project was completed and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on opening night.

The track is owned by legendary race promoter Louie Caltagarone with the racing surface manicured by legendary track preparation expert Harry Confer. This year will mark the 58th season for racing action “The Bird”.

Every Saturday night it is one huge family atmosphere. Now with the new wheelchair viewing platform, those with mobility issues can be part of racing excitement. Planning is under way for Challenger League nights later this year.

Find more things to do, see, and experience in Cook Forest and the entire Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region online at

Copyright © 2023 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Comments are temporarily closed. A new and improved comments section will be added soon.