A group of stars headed to the golf course on Thursday for the annual Drive for Autism charity event. Mike Joy, Jamie Little, and Adam Alexander all represented Fox Sports’ NASCAR team while JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson joined them for the special outing. Though he said that the “rental clubs” were to blame for his struggles on the course.
Little posted multiple photos on Twitter Friday showcasing her time at the Drive for Autism event. She showed off her form and then interviewed Gragson about his “excuses” about painters only being as good as their brushes. Little also revealed that the group had helped raise more than $230,000 for Autism Delaware, a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 to help people and families affected by autism.
“It’s for a great cause. We’re raising a lot of money, having a lot of fun,” Gragson said during the event. “Ultimately, it’s for Autism Delaware. Man, I’m just excited to be out here having fun. It’s a bonus that we get to play golf [and] everything else. It’s a good time. Spending time with great people making memories is what it’s all about.”
Multiple other sports figures took part in the event
Along with key NASCAR representatives, there were competitors from other professional sports. Former NFL players Mike Mamula and Jim Bundren showed their support, as did former MLB players BJ Surhoff and Tommy Greene. Bundren, in particular, showed off his fashion sense with a Clemson polo shirt and a yellow and black pair of striped pants.
“I’m out here to support Artie [Kempner]’s charity,” Greene explained on Thursday. “Artie’s such a great guy. Artie for autism, and that’s what it’s about. Come out here and enjoy this beautiful day of golf and all the people out here playing. My group is unbelievable. I’m having a great time.”
Kempner, the parent of a child with autism, helped establish Autism Delaware more than 20 years ago. He has since helped raise millions of dollars to help out families affected by autism, doing so through charity golf tournaments and the Track Walk at the Monster Mile, which is where families walk around the one-mile oval track with NASCAR celebrities. Kempner also helped organize Autism Day at the Races, an event providing opportunities for people with autism to enjoy a race weekend at Dover International Speedway in a sensory-friendly environment.
Some prominent NASCAR celebrities have attended past events
The Drive for Autism event has been going for more than 20 years while featuring some of racing’s biggest names. There are several key figures that showed up at past events to lend their support. Xfinity Series driver Justin Allgaier, Cup Series driver Austin Dillon, and current Fox Sports analyst Clint Bowyer are only some of the names involved.
For example, the 2016 Drive for Autism event was a star-studded event. Michael Waltrip headed to The Dupont Country Club and served as the on-course reporter. He interviewed Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Darrell Waltrip, Kyle Larson, and Danica Patrick among others about their skills on the golf course and the importance of the nonprofit organization.
“It’s cool meeting all of the kids,” Larson said during the event. “They’re always extremely happy, and it puts a smile on everybody’s face.” Fellow driver Aric Almirola added that the work Autism Delaware does actually gives the kids a career after school.
With the 2021 Drive for Autism event over, the NASCAR on Fox crew will head to Dover International Speedway for a weekend of racing. The Xfinity Series will headline Saturday as Gragson tries to win the Drydene 200, as well as his fourth Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus of the season. The Cup Series will cap off the weekend with the Drydene 400 on FS1.