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Keen Parts Races for Autism Awareness at Michigan

MOORESVILLE, N.C- (August 3rd, 2022) – Tom and TJ Keen of Keen Parts ( are proud to announce that they will run a special Autism Awareness paint scheme in this Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway with driver Ryan Ellis and Alpha Prime Racing. The scheme was designed by the children of former NHL Player and Stanley Cup Champion Chris Thorburn and his wife Sara. Their three children, Bennett, Mary, and Oscar created the hand-drawn colorful scheme aimed at raising autism awareness.

Bennett, the Thorburn’s oldest child, is a 12-year-old avid-NASCAR fan and was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. Earlier in life, he learned number recognition and counting using toy race cars. Since seeing the effect that racecars had on him, the Thorburn family has been attending NASCAR races at Michigan International Speedway every year. Mary (5) and Oscar (2), as always, were by Bennett’s side, assisting him with the coloring of the scheme – adding, “Be a Friend”, words that will be represented on the lower quarter panel and bumper of the No.44 Keen Parts Chevy.

“We want to sincerely thank Tom and TJ Keen of Keen Parts, Alpha Prime Racing, and NASCAR Driver and friend, Ryan Ellis for this amazing opportunity. NASCAR has been a big part of our family’s life ever since we realized that Bennett was using diecast cars to recognize, learn and count numbers. We were very fortunate years ago to get introduced to the NASCAR family and have been huge fans ever since. The people throughout the sport are so caring, understanding, and willing to help no matter the cause. It truly has a family feel to it. We visited MIS 4 years ago and, with the help of Chris Biby, we were introduced to Ryan Ellis. This guy is the epitome of what we feel NASCAR is. Not only is he a great driver but he is so caring, loving, and giving. We can not thank him enough for the opportunity he and his team afforded our family. Not only was it a fun family project, but the kids will see the car that they designed run the race and hopefully bring some smiles to the families that can relate to our situation but also raise awareness for the Autism community,” said Sara and Chris Thorburn., the primary sponsor of the No.44 Chevy, is a business owned by Tom and TJ Keen, sells parts and accessories for Corvette owners of all generations. They have used their sponsorship for many charitable causes and have been loyal NASCAR sponsors for over 10 years. The Keen’s graciously elected to donate much of their sponsorship space to raise awareness and support great causes.
“We’re very proud to be able to support such a great cause,” said TJ Keen of Keen Parts. “Bennett, Mary, and Oscar did such a great job designing this scheme, and Tom and I are very excited to be able to have / Keen Parts represented on their design! We’re really looking forward to seeing it on track this Saturday and we hope that the whole family is able to enjoy this weekend and hope that this assists with Autism awareness.”

“I’m so proud to be running this scheme and so thankful that Tom and TJ Keen made this a reality for the Thorburn family. They have done so much with their sponsorships to do far more than promote their company. They’ve truly used it as a platform to help other people and put smiles on people’s faces. I met the Thorburn’s a few years back at Michigan International Speedway while I was working for Go Fas Racing, ironically on a Keen-sponsored race weekend. The Thorburns could not be nicer people – you meet them and immediately feel like you’ve known them for years and we feel so lucky to just be able to do something for Bennett and their family and hope that this brings some awareness to autism. My wife [Allison] works in the mental health space and this does mean a ton to our family as well,” said Ellis, driver of the No. 44 Keen Parts Chevy.

Tune In Information:

The / Keen Parts No. 44 Chevy Camaro will make its on-track debut at 9:00 am ET Saturday, August 5th, for a 30-minute practice session. Single-lap qualifying will take place just after practice on Saturday morning, and coverage of Saturday’s New Holland 250 will begin at 3:30 pm ET on the USA Network.

About Keen Parts:

Keen Parts is a leading manufacturer and retailer of Corvette parts and accessories. We have over thirty years of happy customers all over the world and look forward to helping you with your Corvette needs. We are not an anonymous Corvette website. Our retail shop and warehouses are located in Cleves, Ohio just north of Cincinnati. We are right off Interstate Highway I-74 and only six minutes from Cincinnati. We stock parts available for Corvettes from 1953 to the present. If you own a Corvette, we have the Corvette parts and accessories that you need! Visit or call 1-800-757-KEEN (5336).

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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