With less than a week remaining before the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Ryan Ellis is making a last-ditch effort to field a car for the race. Just $3,000 away from his goal to start in the Xfinity Series race, Ellis reached out to the NASCAR community for help.
The response? Well, let’s just say it was overwhelming for Ellis.
A Twitter account called Sponsor a Driver and even Bristol Motor Speedway tweeted out a link to the GoFundMe page for support. By early Monday morning, Ellis had already reached half of his goal.
— Sponsor a Driver (@Sponsor_Drivers) August 17, 2015
— BristolMotorSpeedway (@BMSupdates) August 17, 2015
Ellis has reached his initial goal of $3,000 for Bristol, but is still accepting donations for those who wish to help. Any extra funds raised will be contributed to fulfilling his ultimate dream of competing at the Sprint Cup level, as he explained in the post.
Thank you so much. I can not put into words how much this personally means to me, nor my family and supporters.I am so blessed and lucky to have friends and fans like this. Anything we raise over this $3,000 will go directly into buying my NASCAR Sprint Cup Series license which is around $5,000. That license goes a long ways towards getting opportunities in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series so it would be amazing to keep digging. Thanks so much fans, I can’t thank you enough, truly.
Ellis has started 22 races over the last four years in the Xfinity Series while clearly carving out a devoted fan base. While he hasn’t been able to find a consistent ride, Ellis still pulled off a 22nd-place finish earlier this year at Watkins Glen.
The GoFundMe page earned some mixed reviews from NASCAR fans, but Ellis shared his own thoughts on the situation.
Can’t thank @Sponsor_Drivers enough for all of their promotion and help with sponsors this week. Aiming to do some double duty this weekend!
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) August 16, 2015
I don’t think people realize, no one feels worse/dirtier for asking for help than me. It sucks. https://t.co/RIh4WmQ7Ur
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) August 17, 2015
Here’s the thing: There is no reason to belittle or chastise a person for chasing their dream. No one should have to feel ashamed of asking for financial support to get there, either.
In this case, Ellis is simply looking to continue his mission toward becoming a mainstay on the NASCAR circuit. Thanks to the help of others, he is slowly getting there.