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We interviewed Chris Furches about his racing this year. Chris is the reigning indoor champion that just clinched his second title with a 61 point lead over second place and he won 9 out of the 12 rounds. Many of the races had full gates, so it was very challenging. He just got a Hybrid 450 to begin his practice toward racing it. That involves learning to shift, and control the power on it, and it’s something Chris is both frustrated by, and loves. Racing has had such a profound effect on Chris. It truly is his therapy (read parts 1 or 2 here and here). Autism can have symptoms like sensitivity to sound, noise, or the way something looks or feels. Chris had a terrible time with both noise and being dirty or wet. He used to wear ear plugs and his helmet at the track to deaden the sound of the engines. Not only does he not have to wear earplugs any more, he has learned to cope with mud and water through racing. At the track is where Chris shines (though he is getting excellent grades in school). He can socialize with other racers, he can do what he love, and all the while, learning new things to help him outside of racing. ” We are so proud of him,” said his mom, Stephanie, “He made my day yesterday. He looked up into the stands searched with his eyes to find me, then waved. That has never happened!”
While Autism is still being researched, and there’s a lot left to be known, it is certain that people afflicted with it are special. They are caring, they are smart, they are dedicated to what appeals to them, and while they have their struggles they certainly have their victories too. Here’s what Chris had to say about his racing (with a little interpretation in brackets by mom):
Can you tell us what it feels like when you are on the line, waiting for the gate to drop?
Do you like riding the 450? How is it different than your mini quad?
What’s the best part about going racing?