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For a moment, just stop and smell the roses.....

  Jake Bernstein (R) and one of his buddies, Devlin. Sometimes a day at the NASCAR race track becomes emotional in unexpected ways....(Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   KANSAS CITY, Kansas
   Sometimes, when you least expect it, a piece of this sport will suddenly make you stop and catch your breath.
   Yes, NASCAR is in the middle of the championship playoffs, with TV ratings and pink slips and lost sponsorships and new asphalt and tires and gas mileage and all that swirling around the Cup garage.
   But Sunday morning, for a few amazing moments, all that stuff went by the wayside, when four very ordinary, yet very extraordinary, people stopped by Kansas Speedway…not to talk about Jeff Gordon versus Carl Edwards, or what Kurt and Jimmie might do next, or what Kyle and Kevin really have up their sleeves. But rather to accept nominations for this sport's newest community service/charity award, the 'Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award,' the most recent spinoff of her 'Speediactrics' racing-themed unit for kids at Daytona's Halifax Medical Center.

   Yes, it is easy to get jaded about things in this sport at times, particularly when we're eight months into the endless season with another seven races yet to run, and drivers and crew chiefs are griping about this or that, and the next temper-tantrum is coming soon.
   So take a deep breath and check out these video shorts about these four very ordinary people: 17-year-old Jake Bernstein, 83-year-old Robert 'the ice cream man' Weaver, Patty Aber, and Brenda Doner.




   One of those – heck, why not all four – will win the award, and $100,000 for the charity of choice, to be announced at the NASCAR awards banquet in Las Vegas Dec. 2.



  Robert 'the ice cream man' Weaver, still at it at 83 (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


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