Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mike Harmon, Marrissa Bishop, and the Twitter Car

Credit to Mike Harmon Racing

Everyone has a dream in life, and for eleven-year-old Marrissa Bishop, it’s no different.  I recently saw on Twitter that Marrissa has acromegaly and it’s her dream to have her name on a NASCAR racecar.  “As you know I am 11 years old and I have acromegaly.  It makes my body out-grow my brain.  It also causes my feet and hands to swell and hurt.  In my case, it’s because of a brain tumor.” Besides having acromegaly, Marrissa is a huge NASCAR and Brad Keselowski fan and had the privilege of meeting him.  When I asked her how it felt to meet Brad, she said, “Meeting Mr. Brad Keselowski was so awesome.  He really takes time with his fans and really cares about them.  He checks on me often to find out how I’m doing.  I call him my Superhero!”  “My favorite part of NASCAR is the sound of the engines when they start them up…and seeing my favorite driver in Victory Lane!”  Marrissa told me how Twitter affects her, “I would like people to know I talk a lot on Twitter, but I am really so shy and if you talk to me face to face, you will see.  Twitter is like an outlet for me.  I can talk without people seeing me and that’s pretty cool!”

Credit to Mike Harmon Racing
About a month ago, Marrissa was tweeting with “Mr. Mike,” as she likes to call Mike Harmon, who has been racing for thirty-two years, driver of the No. 74 car in the Nationwide Series.  “Marrissa is a fan.  She was tweeting back and forth with me and she knew about the lack of sponsorship, so she came up with the idea of having people’s Twitter names [or regular names] on the car for Atlanta.  This is her dream, and I want to see it happen,” Mike explained.  They have gained the support from many people who are more than willing to help out with this car and media who are helping to get the word out there about the car.  “To donate to the car, go to www.mikeharmonracing.com and we have a link from there for a PayPal account which is just for the Twitter car, or mail the donation to Mike Harmon Racing.” (For shop address check below.)

Marrissa is as passionate about her idea as Mike is, “A lot of cars start and park and people say bad things about them.  I knew the No. 74 of Mr. Harmon was doing start and parks because he needed sponsors so one day I was talking to him and said, ‘Hey, Mr. Mike, how about doing a Twitter car and letting people sponsor it and put everyone’s name on it?  It just blew up from there! Everyone went to tweeting saying that they wanted to do it.  I plan on doing everything I can to see this happen.  I tell everyone I see about it on Twitter and in my hometown.” 
Credit to Mike Harmon Racing

Mike Harmon has been driving sporadically in the Nationwide Series since 1996.  In 2001, he drove fourteen races for Mixon Motorsports in the No. 44.  During the 2002 season at Bristol Motor Speedway, Mike had a horrible crash (to view video, click here) where he hit the wall during practice and Johnny Sauter crashed into him and split the car in half.  Miraculously, he escaped the crash unscathed.   In 2005, Harmon ran the first four races in the No. 21 for Innovative Motorsports, before deciding to focus on ARCA.  During the 2007 season, Harmon returned to NASCAR, piloting the No. 44/No. 48 car for Richardson-Netzloff Racing for a few races, before letting Jenifer Jo Cobb take his seat.  This season, Mike is driving his No. 74 Chevrolet with sponsorship from Riverside Café and IPT Pellet Grills in the Nationwide Series. His favorite part of racing?  “The unknown, the competition, and believe it or not, the danger aspect.” 

“I think what Mr. Mike is doing is awesome.  I’ve always wanted my name on a NASCAR racecar and he is making my dream come true and I love him for that! I know he is going to put that Twitter car in the wind!!”
Credit to Mike Harmon Racing

To follow Mike or Marrissa on Twitter:

Mike’s website: click here

To donate to the Twitter car: click here

Or send donation to the shop:  Mike Harmon Racing 
                                           6652 Denver Industrial Park Road 
                                           Denver NC 28037

To learn more about Acromegaly: click here

 Thank you to Mike and Marrissa for taking the time to be interviewed!

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