John Bassler shares his Pocono Raceway wish experience with WFMZ News Reporter, Melissa Fullerton.
'Pedal to the Metal' Wish Come True
Riding in a real stock car has always been a dream of John's...
by Melissa Fullerton, WFMZ
Posted August 11, 2010
-- A dream, decades in the making, has finally come true for a Lehigh Valley man.
Today, he got to put the pedal to the metal in the Poconos.
It takes a daring kind of driver to tangle with the Tricky Triangle. Denny Hamlin's done it. So has Greg Biffle.
Now you can add 85-year-old John Bassler to that list.
Wednesday morning, he was put in the pole position at Pocono Raceway, riding shotgun in number 98.
Riding in a real stock car has always been a dream of John's.
Enter his caregiver at Moravian Hall Square in Nazareth, Northampton County and the "Never Too Late" foundation, which specializes in granting the wishes of senior citizens.
"Every time I would visit him in his room he would have NASCAR on or some sort of racing thing," said Laurie Brunstetter of Moravian Hall Square. "I sat down at the computer and entered him in and they called me three hours later.
Just don't mistake John for a novice speedster.
"At Dorney Park, I used to run midgets," said John.
"He has talked about racing for years," said John's daughter-in-law, Donna Bassler.
After three laps around the track, John's stint in stock car racing was over.
"I think he felt very comfortable," Donna said. "Even at his age in there and his limitations, it was like being at home for him."
All that was left for John to do was take his spot in victory lane.
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