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Eau Claire student gifted custom racecar

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Second grader Dylan Snyder had been waiting for this moment for a long time.

Dylan and Bart Steffen had bonded over the past few years after working on individualized phy-ed lessons and sharing a love of racing. After learning that Mr. Bart builds racecars of his own, Dylan asked for one.

Originally, Mr. Bart had made him one made of cardboard, but it fell apart over time. So, Dylan asked for a real racecar.

"I really got to work a week before school because I knew he'd be asking about it," said Mr. Bart. "And sure enough, first day of school. 'You got my race car?!' he says."

Finally, Friday was his lucky day as the school gathered to watch the big reveal: Dylan's custom made pedal-powered race car complete with a replica paint job of Dylan's favorite NASCAR driver's car, Kevin Harvick, who personally sent a video message to Dylan.

"Hey Dylan, just wanted to say it was an honor meeting you last year at Chicagoland Speedway and I got to say, your new car looks freaky fast," Harvick said in his message.

"For him to take time out of his schedule, it just tells you what a class act Kevin Harvick is and I'm just so thankful he was able to do that," said Mr. Bart.

The day was also special for another reason. Valentine's Day marked the end of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, and the gift highlights Dylan's brave fight of living with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which has left him in and out of the hospital for a majority of his life.

"Knowing what he's been through to make it to this day, [I'm] pretty proud of him," said Mr. Bart.

However, Dylan doesn't dwell on the past. He's already got some plans for his new whip to take it on some laps in the gym…

"Or a real race!" he said.

That is, if it can keep up on the track.

"Well, it's not really motorized," he admitted.

In the meantime, Mr. Bart's ready to for him to cruise around school.

"I think I know what we'll be doing for our next several phy-ed meetings that we have," said Mr. Bart.

And for that, Dylan is pretty thankful.

Mary Pautsch

Mary came to News 18 in July 2019 from Sioux City, Iowa where she graduated from Morningside College with a BA in Spanish after attending Iowa State University for 3 years.

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