Racing For Chace: Michael Bennett Competing With Heavy Emotions At Stafford Speedway

The inside of Michael Bennett's Late Model at Stafford Motor Speedway is adorned with a #RaceForChace decal and a photo of his 3-year old son Chace and his wife Lindsay

The inside of Michael Bennett’s Late Model at Stafford Motor Speedway is adorned with a #RaceForChace decal and a photo of his 3-year old son Chace and his wife Lindsay

STAFFORD – Michael Bennett left the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford Friday afternoon on a mission.

Bennett goes to Stafford Motor Speedway every Friday determined to score a victory in his Late Model.

Friday that determination had much more drive than usual.

Bennett, of Willington, is hoping to end his night Friday with a return visit to the hospital with a winner’s trophy for his three-year old son Chace.

“I really want to bring him a little hardware tonight,” Bennett said from from the pits at Stafford Speedway Friday afternoon as he prepared for tonight’s 30-lap Late Model feature.

Bennett is the division’s current points leader and has five victories this year. Chace Bennett is the listed car owner for his team.

On Monday Chace Bennett was diagnosed with Leukemia.

“We’ve got good and bad news so far,” Michael Bennett said. “The bad news is Leukemia. The good news is that it’s an [acute lymphocytic leukemia] type which has the highest success for recovery. But percentages and numbers are just numbers. Every child is different.”

The diagnosis set a rollercoaster of emotions over the past few weeks for Michael Bennett and his wife Lindsay. Their first daughter, Tenley Brooke, was born on July 11.

“Chace had been showing some signs of fatigue, appetite [issues], fevers,” Michael Bennett said. “It all happened at the same time our daughter was born. He’d complain about being hurt here or there. His leg hurt, or his stomach hurt. So we didn’t know if he was looking for attention. It all happened so fast.

“He had blood work Monday morning and we got a call Monday night at 9 o’clock and they said ‘They’re waiting for you at the children’s hospital.’ We loaded up and we were out the door.

“He had a surgery to put the port in for injecting IV’s and the chemotherapy. He had a little issue with that. A little bleeding. They inserted a chest tube. They were removing that [today]. He’s back in his room doing well.”

Michael Bennett said doctors are hoping to get his son in remission within 30 days.

“He’s coming home probably one day next week,” Bennett said. “Hopefully we can push this thing in remission in the next 30 days. That’s the goal from the doctors. It’s going to be battle, but hopeful we get him back down here.

“It’s not easy. It’s your child. It’s life changing for sure. It puts a lot of things in perspective. One thing is racing. I take a lot of time to do this. That takes a lot of time away from him in one way, but not in the other because he’s still down here. This racing thing has kept my family and Lindsay’s family together. We met at the racetrack, started dating from the racetrack, so racing brought us together and it’s going to keep us together.

“I cry. I cry. When the time is right to let it out, I cry. I can’t hold it in. I’m not doing it front of Chace and I try not to do it in front of my wife. She has her time to cry with me and I have my time to cry with her and I don’t want to get her crying. But we cry.”

Michael Bennett said he wrestled with the decision to race through the week.

“Me and my wife, when we had a moment to talk, I asked her what she thought, if it was Ok if I raced for Chace,” Michael Bennett said. “He loves it too much. We’ve got a good thing going here for a championship thing. My goal is to hopefully wrap that up and in November he can go with me to the banquet as the car owner.

“My guys, my family, everyone got this thing down here for me. I’m just going to race this thing and get out of here.”

He said he didn’t tell Chace he was going to the track to race.

“We didn’t really discuss it because he loves it too much,” Michael Bennett said. “Fridays, what do we do I ask him? He says, ‘Daddy, we race, mommy we race. When are we going to the racetrack? I want to go to the racetrack.’ He’s recently started helping us load the car routinely. He’s there, he knows what to do. So we tried not to talk about racing. He didn’t know I left to come here. He knew I was leaving. We didn’t want to have that emotion with all the treatment he’s having. … We did talk about daddy racing the other night. He said ‘I want you to pass them all.’”

Click here for details on a GoFundMe site to help support the Bennett family
Click here for details on #RaceForChace decals being sold to support the Bennett family


  1. Good luck! Bring your son a trophy.

  2. As a parent I cant even imagine what you and your wife are going through. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. I will be praying for the treatment to be successful and that he is in remission within the time frame the doctors told you. Thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  3. Good luck Michael. Bring a trophy home for Chace.


  5. Wendy Boucher says

    Michael, as a mother of a child who had cancer, one of the things I found out, is to keep your life as normal as possible. Chase is going through enough changes for a life time. Keep on your schedule as much as you can. Believe me, he would appreciate a trophy much more than he would miss one night with you. Always stay positive! It helps! You as a family are going through the battle of your life! Stay strong, but give yourself moments to let loose! Talk to each other! The best advise one of my daughter’s doctors gave us, was to tell her the truth. Chase needs to understand that he needs to fight this. If you keep the truth from him, he won’t understand the battle he has to fight. Rowan Pennink is my nephew, he races the 93 and 99 Modified’s. Saying prayers for Chase and your family. B+ (Be positive)

  6. al breunig says

    I also am a parent who had a very sick child (congenital heart defect) many trips to hosp. and several surgeries his life stabilized .With the constant support of his mother (she lived in the hospital with him during each of his stays) he has beat all odds and is 50 years old this year . prayers ,strong parental support and of course great medical care @ Y.N.H.cardiac unit . family unity and strong beliefs with great medical care are only some of the elements ,be strong for your child and he will always be strong for you ! God bless your family

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