March 11, 2016, will be the day that Talmadge Matthews ultimate wish came true! The 82-year-old resident of PruittHealth – Moultrie had always wanted to be a race car driver. In his early 20’s he joined the United States Army and served for 24 years. He put his dream on hold to dedicated his life to our country. After Mr. Matthews was honorably discharged from the army, he worked in a factory to still be able to provide for his family, again his dreams were left on the back burner. Mr. Matthews then was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and now he resides at PruittHealth – Moultrie.
When we asked Mr. Matthews what is something he would’ve loved to do if he was able to again, his response was “I have always loved fast cars! I remember when I was young we would race our cars on the street!” his eyes filled with joy and excitement to just relive that part of his life. We were able to make his dream come true. South Georgia Motorsport Park in Cecil, GA was having an event, PDRA 2017 Southern Extreme Nationals. We talked to Jimmy Owen, the SGMP dragstrip manager, and Chris Davis, SGMP Team Member, and setup a Lap of a Lifetime. When we got to the race track, Mr. Owen walked around with us introducing us to some of the pit crews and the racers. We met Justin Kirk, Larry O’ Brien, TT. Jones, just to name a few. O Racing, owner/driver: Richard Orwell Made the PH-Moultrie team their honorary pit crew. They also honored Mr. Matthews with a “Wounded Warrior Project” shirt! They did an amazing job of making him feel special. He was showered with shirts, hats, and autographed pictures. When the races started, he was filled with enthusiasm hearing the motors roar and watching the tires burnout. we were at the starting line watching the cars race, while Mr. Owen took the time to explain how they prepare the track for the race and what all goes into getting it ready after every race.
On the way home, Mr. Matthews was laughing and talking about what a wonderful day he had. He felt like everyone was there to meet him because everybody was so welcoming and gracious toward us. He will never forget the day his dream came true and all the people that made it happen for him. We would like to thank Second Wind Dreams and PruittHealth for giving us the privilege of seeing a smile on his face every time we talk about the Lap of a Lifetime.