Nightly News | October 31, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Finally here tonight a follow-up to a story we first told you about on this broadcast last Monday night. We heard from a lot of you who were inspired by a remarkable boy who's racing, as in really racing, to raise money for kids with cancer. Turns out one of his heroes was also watching, saw our story, and now the two of them have joined forces. Our MAKING A DIFFERENCE follow-up report tonight from NBC 's Anne Thompson .
ANNE THOMPSON reporting: As fast as he can, seven-year-old Mini Tyrrell runs to his vision of heaven, the NASCAR pit at the Martinsville , Virginia , Speedway .
Mr. TIMMY TYRRELL: Wow.
THOMPSON: And an invitation to meet Jeff Gordon .
Mr. JEFF GORDON: You must be Mini .
Mr. TYRRELL: Hi, Mr. Gordon . Yes.
THOMPSON: All because of Mini 's mission, racing Go-Karts to raise money for children with cancer.
Mr. GORDON: What you did...
Mr. TYRRELL: Mm-hmm.
Mr. GORDON: ...was the most incredible thing I've ever heard of.
Mr. TYRRELL: Thank you very much .
THOMPSON: Gordon was touched by Mini 's story last week on NIGHTLY NEWS ...
WILLIAMS: When the going gets tough, the tough get going, all the way around the track at breakneck speeds.
THOMPSON: ...about how Mini wanted to help his friend Ella .
Mr. TYRRELL: It's a bad cancer that I want to take away and just like throw it in the trash can.
THOMPSON: Gordon has raised millions of dollars for children with cancer, but thought he could learn from Mini .
Mr. GORDON: I have a four-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son, and the things that -- and values that I want to instill in them is to be like Mini .
THOMPSON: To inspire Mini , Gordon matched the $7,000 Mini raised.
Mr. GORDON: Who's your favorite NASCAR driver? And you don't have to say me because I'm standing here.
Mr. TYRRELL: I like Denny Hamlin . Of course I like you.
THOMPSON: They traded racing souvenirs.
Mr. GORDON: Burn rubber to help another.
Ms. TYRRELL: Yeah......yeah, that's fun. And you go to my Facebook page and it'll be right there.
Mr. GORDON: I'll tune in to your Facebook page.
THOMPSON: Mini fits right in.
Mr. GORDON: All I can say is you look fast.
Mr. TYRRELL: Thank you.
THOMPSON: At home, in Gordon 's car.
Mr. GORDON: You're going to have to be a little taller, but that's all right.
THOMPSON: The two drivers shared what each already knows, that while winning is great the real victory comes in giving. Do you feel like you and Jeff Gordon are sort of friends? How would you describe him?
Mr. TYRRELL: Yes, we're -- I think we're best friends now.
THOMPSON: Inspiring each other to do their best in the race of life.
Mr. GORDON: I think you're pretty cool, Mini , thank you.
THOMPSON: Anne Thompson , NBC News, Martinsville, Virginia.
WILLIAMS: How about that? And for all those wishing to join the effort, we've put more information on our website, nbcnightlynews.com.