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June 20, 2024

Recently debuted NASCAR Mobility Pit Box offers crew chief’s view for all fans


NASCAR has taken a significant stride toward at-track inclusivity with the introduction of the NASCAR Mobility Pit Box. Developed in collaboration with Toyota, this innovative pit box offers a fully functional experience tailored for individuals with mobility challenges.

The NASCAR Mobility Pit Box was designed to ensure that all fans, regardless of physical abilities, can enjoy the excitement of race-day action up close.

The inspiration for the pit box came from former BMX racing cyclist and NASCAR fan Sam Willoughby. Willoughby suffered a career-ending injury in 2016, four weeks after the Rio Olympics. The injury left him with tetraplegia — a paralysis that can affect the arms and legs.

Willoughby attended the 2020 Daytona 500 with Toyota and was asked what could be done to improve his experience at the race track. “About the only thing I didn’t get to do was go in a pit box,” Willoughby said. From there, NASCAR and Toyota went to work.

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A pivotal component of the pit box is its integrated ramp and lift system, facilitating smooth and safe entry for guests using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. The pit box offers ample room for maneuverability, ensuring guests can comfortably navigate and enjoy the race from a prime viewing location.

Designed to accommodate three guests in mobility devices along with their companions, the pit box incorporates state-of-the-art features aimed at enhancing comfort and accessibility, including climate assist.

“This setup is absolutely unbelievable,” said JD Holland, who experienced the pit box at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600 weekend. “I hate to be in the condition to have to use it, but the effort everyone has put in to provide this opportunity for an ADA (American with Disabilities Act) recipient, this is absolutely great.”

JD’s father, Melvin, was honored at this year’s Coca-Cola 600 and featured on Pace Car 1 for his sacrifice while serving in the United States Air Force.

“I hope that everybody that gets the opportunity to be up here enjoys it as much as we did,” Holland added. “The assistance everybody has provided with getting us around, wheelchairs, ADA golf carts, elevators instead of stairs, just that whole hospitality from Day 1 when we got here. It’s absolutely wonderful.”

The NASCAR Mobility Pit Box represents a shift in the accessibility landscape within motorsports. Combining cutting-edge technology with a commitment to inclusivity sets a precedent for future innovations aimed at enhancing the fan experience for individuals of all abilities.

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