This week at Kentucky Speedway, 23-year-old Aaron Grosskopf will have an experience that would be a mere dream to most race fans.
Grosskopf, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age 1 but works today to help the disabled get behind a wheel and race, has been named the grand marshal for Friday’s ZLOOPTM 150 at Kentucky Speedway.
In the past year, Grosskopf has struck a friendship with ARCA rookie and ZLOOPTM Racing competitor Justin Boston, leading to Friday’s opportunity in Kentucky.
Raised in Morehead City, N.C., Grosskopf recently moved to the Charlotte area to begin in earnest his work as the founder of DisabledRacers.com. The site aims to build awareness for the needs of disabled people who wish to get involved in simulated racing, and to provide a place where those racers can communicate and work together to find resources for equipment.
“When somebody like me wants to start sim racing, they’re going to search for equipment and there’s no affordable, disabled-ready wheel out there,” said Grosskopf. “There’s not a whole lot of equipment with the hand controls where you can be competitive. When I started, there was no way I could do it and race all day.
“I’m trying to get companies to realize that they’re leaving disabled people out of sim racing. The way I think about it, there are people my age coming back from war, losing limbs, and they’re just as bored as I am. If not for video games, I’m not sure I’d be here right now. I’d go crazy.”