NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (NGROTS) driver Codie Rohrbaugh is asking the NASCAR community to show their support for an eight-year-old West Virginia native recovering from a near-fatal kayak accident five weeks ago.
On May 17, 2020, eight-year-old Joshua Shirk was kayaking with family in rural West Virginia.
While on the water, the kayak capsized and Shirk became trapped under the water in debris.
When family was finally able to pull him to safety, the young boy had no pulse. Quick work by medical workers at a local hospital were able to revive him but he remained in critical condition.
Since then, Shirk was transported to WVU hospital in Morganton, West Virginia where he has made vast improvements but still needs the love, prayer and support of many.
Within the past week, Shirk has been able to come off a breathing machine and has started intense physical rehabilitations.
Rohrbaugh’s primary partner Grant County Mulch has given up their space for Saturday afternoon’s Pocono Organics 150 to place pictures of Shirk asking those to join the CR7 Motorsports team in strength and the power of prayer.
"This is really important to me," said Rohrbaugh. "I’ve been heartbroken for a couple weeks now and even though Joshua is making strides, he still has a long road to recovery. I am asking the NASCAR community to support him by offering their thoughts and prayers to his family. It really means a lot to me."
Shirk’s family and friends have created a Facebook page (Facebook.com/FightingandBelieving) and slogan, "He’s Fighting, We’re Believing!"
Rohrbaugh will make his NGROTS debut at the 2.5-mile triangle on Saturday and he is fired up to race hard and bring national exposure to his mission.
"I have a young son, so as a parent I am absolutely gutted for Joshua’s parents. However, they have remained strong and upbeat and have done so because of the love and prayers shown to them from family, friends and strangers. I want the NASCAR community and race fans from across the country to do the same.
"Hopefully, we can have a good run on Saturday and give them some national television exposure too."
— CR7 Motorsports —