DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The race for the checkered flag begins in the garage, where every car has its own story.
"We're here to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association, but we're also here to raise awareness for the disease," End Alzheimer's Racing founder, Bill Slupski, said.
Slupski is member of the Stoner Car Care Racing team, which is fielded by Automatic Racing. Slupski's son, Alex, has done video work for the Stoner Car Care team in the past. When Automatic Racing team manager, David Russell, learned about the Slupski's End Alzheimer's Racing team, he wanted to bring Bill onto the team and represent his cause.
"It's something that the team has been wanting to do is to align with something special. It's special to Bill so therefor it's special to us," Russell said.
The No. 09 car will also represent the Alzheimer's Association's Longest Day Effort, which encourages people to take any hobby or activity that they enjoy and turn it into a fundraiser.
For Slupski, having the organization showcased during the Rolex 24 weekend, which features a 24 hour race, is what the Longest Day Effort is all about.
"The days are long here, but it's nothing compared to what the families go through caring for loved ones that have Alzheimer's," Slupski said.
Time is endless for those dealing with Alzheimer's. It's like grains of sand in an hourglass that form a loose pile of ancient memories.
A draining cycle Slupski's family has endured. Bill's father in law passed away from Alzheimer's a few years ago.
"It was hard to tell if he really recognized who we were who the family members were shocking for me for my wife for my kids to see their grandfather in that condition. Like I said he did rapidly go down hill until he passed in early January."
Bill's father in-law's fight inspired him and his son Alex to start his End Alzheimer's racing team three years ago.
On a national stage this weekend, the No, 09 car will carve the Slupski's and millions of peoples stories into the Daytona pavement.
"I'm always thinking about it to some level and it's impact on my wife and her brother and sister and unfortunately my mother-in-law passed away last year but thinking of what it meant to her when we started doing it as well. It's kind of the reflection on my wife and her family and it has the most meaning to it," Slupski said.
The Stoner Car Care No. 09 car will race in the BMW M Endurance Challenge. The race starts at 1:35 p.m. and will be livestreamed on Peacock.