He had one chance, one shot to win, in what was likely the only race he would probably be able to run. One opportunity to show everyone what he already knew inside, that he could win. At heart, he is a race car driver. He is Quinten Moore and this is his story.
Moore grew up in a family of racers. His grandfather, father and even his sister have raced. Late NASCAR driver Bobby Hamilton helped Moore’s sister with her car, offering to help if needed. Moore and Hamilton became friends and Moore would visit his race shop which was located near his home.
Moore became an avid NASCAR fan even entering a coloring contest where he placed third which allowed him to meet Jeff Gordon. Gordon was just one of the many drivers Moore had the pleasure to meet. Out of the drivers that Moore has met one driver would become a big inspiration. Many drivers may come to mind when you think of who inspires us, Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Tony Stewart are two which would probably come to mind. However, the driver that made the biggest impression on Moore is none other than veteran racer Morgan Shepherd.
You see 20-year-old Moore has Spina Bifida and is in a wheelchair. Moore has had 33 surgeries and 51 kidney stones, earning the nickname “Stone Man” by the hospital staff. At one point they thought that Moore would lose his left kidney. He also had a shunt put in to drain spinal fluid but was able to have it disconnected in September 2012. Some of the other issues stemming from Spina Bifida are seizures and epilepsy. Some of the grand mal seizures may last up to a few seconds leaving Moore dizzy with blurred vision. It’s because of the seizures that he is unable to be cleared to race as it is too dangerous for Moore as well as the other competitors.
It was during some of these hard times that Moore turned to his faith for guidance. As he was going through all of this that he believes God put Morgan Shepherd in his path. As he was recovering from back surgery in 2012 he received a surprise phone call from his idol. To his shock, Shepherd called to see how he was doing. From then on the two became friends, and they stay in contact still today keeping tabs on one another talking about faith and racing. Moore spent part of his graduation trip at Shepherds race shop, ending up spending the day chatting with him and watching him work.
It was from Shepherd that Moore got the inspiration to see if he could find a way to race.
“I looked at Morgan,” he said, “who hasn’t let anything or anyone stop him from racing, especially not his age. I thought to myself that if he could do it then so can I.”
Moore knew it just wasn’t possible to race full-time with his disability. He thought if he could race just once he could show everyone that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. He wanted to show others that even if you’re disabled you should not give up on your dreams.
He actually has a funny quote he likes to say for laughs, “I’m not disabled, I just really like wheelchairs.”
Putting his ideas into action, he and his dad got the go-cart that his sister had used to race and tricked it out with hand controls so that Moore would be able to use it. Finally, In 2013 at the Wilson County Fair in Tennessee, Moore had his chance to race.
It was everything coming together from his roots in racing to inspiration from Shepherd and learning from Hamilton. It was his chance to prove that even with Spina Bifida he could race. Not only could he race, but he could win… which he did!
Some people may look at it as if it’s not much of a big deal, but to Moore it was huge. It was so much more than a race; it was something that he will carry with him in all that he will face now and in the future. It’s lifted him up in ways few will understand.
He hopes that anyone facing struggles or who thinks that they can’t fulfill a dream will be inspired by his story, to at least try. On his journey, Moore has found a lifelong friend and he hopes to continue to help Shepherd on and off the track. Most important, he wanted to race and win so that he could inspire others.
What Moore doesn’t realize is that he has been an inspiration long before he entered that race. He’s yet to see that he has been in a different race his entire life and true to form, he’s winning that race too.