Teen Racecar Driver, Maddox, Revs Up Awareness About COPD

Posted on June 28, 2024   |   

This article was written by Tara Shedor, MA.

The COPD Foundation recently spoke with Maddox, a high school senior from Cedar Rapids, IA who races his FWD 4-cylinder Hornet at Hawkeye Downs Speedway. Maddox has added the COPD Foundation logo to his car and has become a brand ambassador for the COPD Foundation. Read on to learn more about Maddox and his passion to spread awareness of COPD.


Maddox stands next to his car with COPD Foundation logo

How long have you been racing and how did you get involved?

This is my second year racing, and my first with a full schedule. Last year I took part in various events, but this year it's more structured. I've always been around cars since my dad's a mechanic and my uncles raced. Last year, my uncle had a spare car that he was willing to sell to me so that I could start racing with my own car.

How long are the races, and how often do you race?

Right now, I'm racing weekly. I run a heat race which is about 8 laps and a feature which is 15 laps. I also do some one-off events where it's 200 laps or what they call "enduro races."

What inspired you to raise awareness for COPD?

There was a guy who worked for my dad named Harold Walton. I was close to him; he was more like family than just my dad's work friend. He always came around, and we talked a lot. Unfortunately, he passed away, and that really affected me. We had a memorial for him on my car and it sparked the idea of raising awareness about COPD.

Did you know that he had health problems before he passed?

Yeah, Harold was a smoker and had a pacemaker. He must have come down with something before he passed because I was planning to have breakfast with him one morning and he canceled. He said he wasn't feeling well and that we could go when he felt better. Unfortunately, we never got to do that. I still have the last text message he sent me.

How do you believe that race car driving can serve as a platform to raise awareness?

Honestly, I feel like any platform can be used effectively to raise awareness, depending on how you use it. Many athletes use their platforms to highlight important causes. For example, NASCAR driver Joey Gase raises awareness about organ donation. Before this personal experience, I hadn't heard much about COPD. Now, I hope to raise awareness and see how far we can go with it, making it a bigger cause.

What do you think the average race car attendee knows about COPD?

I'd say they probably don't know a lot. It's not a widely discussed topic, so many people may not be aware of it.

What kind of message do you hope to get across to people that don't know about COPD?

I hope to raise awareness and let people know that COPD is an issue that many are dealing with. We are one big country, and we need to support each other and work together. If someone is out there struggling with COPD, we should be doing our best to support them and advance research to help those affected and their families.

Our thanks go to Maddox for his dedication to raising awareness about COPD. If you live in the Cedar Rapids area and want to catch Maddox at a race, you can find him racing at the Hawkeye Downs racetrack. You can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

The COPD Foundation is committed to research aimed at finding a cure for COPD and providing support and resources for patients and their families. To donate, visit https://copdf.co/give.


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  • You are awesome Maddox!! Thank you so very much for your campaign to raise awareness - and best of luck in your racing career!! Maybe one day I'll get to see you at The Daytona 500?
  • Thanks Maddox and Good Luck.......UR the Best!!!