Mike Harmon: Driving for Marrissa in Iowa

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
Inspiration is around every corner, whether you are looking or not, it is there. For Mike Harmon his latest inspiration came from Twitter of all places.

Harmon connected with a young race fan, Marrissa Bishop, who is facing some rough challenges in life. She deals with a medical condition called acromegaly.

Acromegaly is a rare disease that affects about 50-70 out of every million people in the U.S. The term "acromegaly" comes from the Greek words "acro" (extremities) and "megaly" (enlargement). As the name suggests, acromegaly can be recognized by abnormal growth of the hands and feet, as well as other signs such as enlargement of the facial features. However, acromegaly also involves changes in the way the body functions.

Despite her challenges, Marrissa doesn’t let the condition hold her back. After tweeting (@LilMarrissa) with Mr. Mike, as she calls Harmon, and seeing him have to start and park from lack of sponsors an idea popped into the ten-year-old's head. Mr. Mike needs a fan sponsored twitter car. Marrissa said she approached Harmon and said, “hey Mr. Mike how bout letting your fans sponsor a twitter car and you put all our names on it.”

That was all it took for Harmon to say yes! Harmon said “It’s about her, not us” when I spoke to him about the fan car idea. This is outside the realm of any other fan car ever seen in NASCAR, at the heart of it is little Marrissa. IMG_1445Although he has never met his young fan, Harmon will do what it takes to make her dream become a reality. He has been working his Twitter @hrmn8ter feverishly trying to get the word out on the idea.

The goal is to run the twitter car at Iowa, in less then 2 and a half weeks, so time is crucial. Harmon knows it may be tough, but is not doing to disappoint his biggest fan.

Marrissa shares the passion of most race fans. She recalled her maw-maw taking her to Talladega when she was four and being able to walk on the track. With her medical condition, keeping up with NASCAR is an outlet for her and she enjoys tweeting with her favorite drivers. In reference to Mr. Mike she said, “there's something special about him. We share the same kind of love for racing. He is a lot like me. No matter how bad it gets, he gets right back on the track, kind of like me in everyday life.”

Marrissa is bubbling with excitement and gratefulness to Harmon for allowing her to pursue her idea. She said “I love Mr. Mike for letting me do this. I think people are really going to be surprised in Mr. Mike on the track. He has a winning spirit! And my name is going to be on his car.”

Marrissa concluded with just one thing to say to Mr. Mike himself: “If I could say just one thing to Mr. Mike it would be go get them in our Twitter car. Put my name in the wind and I love you Mr. Mike, thank you for caring.”

Please help make Marrissa’s dream a reality and send any donations to:
Mike Harmon Racing
6652 Denver Industrial Park Road
Denver NC 28037
Be sure to include your Twitter name or your name to include on the car.

Update: Mike has established a PayPal account for donations. Go to paypal via this link.

NASCAR By the Numbers and In the Rearview Mirror (looking back at NASCAR's history) are Amanda's two weekly columns with Skirts and Scuffs, but as an Associate Editor her duties are limitless. Amanda also strives to provide exclusive interviews for the readers of Skirts and Scuffs. To read her past columns and interviews click here. Feel free to contact Amanda viaTwitter. 
Mike Harmon: Driving for Marrissa in Iowa Mike Harmon: Driving for Marrissa in Iowa Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, July 18, 2011 Rating: 5