Feeling Speed: How the group 'Deaf NASCAR Fans' experiences racing

Narrator: --a vibration made of invisible waves of energy-- --waves that travel at high speed-- --through whatever they encounter. We can also see sound. Nasa announcer (through speaker): three, two, one, liftoff.

Narrator: most of us experience sound through our ears-- --but for others, sound is a feeling. I am completely deaf. I cannot hear anything at all. I can feel the vibrations from sounds.

Those vibrations are my ears. When I play, it makes the actual keyboard vibrate a little bit. When she puts her hand on the speaker she gets like, the bulk of the vibration and she'll feel it.

She'll almost be able to listen to it. It's hard to imagine not being able to hear anything. I think it was when I was first exposed to other kids because I saw their parents were hearing-- --that because they were hearing they were special, but then I realized that my family was the special one.

I'm dextin howell-davis, and i'm 11. My parents are ann and matt howell-davis and they're mostly known for being the founders of dnf, deaf nascar fans.

Interpreter: well, started a long time ago. We found the all-star race and found it was much different than the other nascar races. We found out you could camp in the infield and I thought, wow, that's different.

Luckily, I was able to find a vacant site right by the fence so I thought, well, why not? We had a little small camper, we brought it, we set it up, we brought our son, who was a baby at the time, had him there, and he slept in the camper while the race was going on.

We stood up top watching the race and it was such an amazing first experience. There were a lot of other fans around us and they were friendly and welcoming, but we still felt a little restricted on how much we could communicate.

It was mostly, " hi, " and a wave here, and a thumbs-up, but I wanted the communication and the camaraderie to go further than that. So that's when we decided well, why don't we just have a deaf nascar community, like a fan group? My name is amber, i'm from atlanta, georgia.

I'm a school social worker. It's really-- to come here, be together, and watch the race together, you know? We take some time off of work, time away from our families.

Narrator: my name is jamie moore and i'm from greensboro, north carolina. Yes, I was born deaf and my wife is deaf.

My 20-month-old son is deaf as well. Just to come here once a year, reconnect, talk about the race, and sleeping in the middle of a camp , I mean, where else can you get that opportunity? Interpreter: a few of us had hot passes so we went into the garage.

It was the perfect time to run into bubba again. I used to work for him and i got to bring all my friends over there and meet him in person and talk to him a little bit.

He's such a cool guy. Bubba wallace jr: how you doin'? Good, nice to see you. What's goin' on? Good, good to see you. My name is ben ashton and i'm from phoenix, arizona.

I am a professional sign language interpreter. I don't know if you remember me when I worked out at-- in the late model.

Yeah, absolutely. It's amazing to see you here in the cup now-- yeah. --I mean, it's so exciting i've still got your original late model shirt that I got-- - yes! --Number 76.

Yeah, that's right, that's right. I like it. I have helped out with a lot of the communication access for the group, that's kind of my role in the deaf nascar fans. It was fun, that was fun.

What was that, '0-- '08? Interpreter: yeah, 10-- uh, yeah, 10 years ago, absolutely, that's when it was, because I had started developing the dnf organization about that same time when I was working with you.

Ok, yeah, long time. How many people you got with you? Right now this weekend we're-- we have about 40 people here with us at our event from 13 different states. Wow, that's awesome.

Glad to have you guys out. Check this out. Oh, . Yeah. That's when we get hot. So all the air comes in through there, gives us more front downforce.

Interpreter: this is like, the most awesome thing, like, this is just so cool. Like i'm a little boy in a candy store. Matt says, I just want to tell you good luck in the future, man, I enjoy watching your racing, I wish you all the best in your career and this is-- it's awesome to get to see you today.

Thank you, appreciate it. Nice to meet you as well. Thank you. Awesome. - thank you. Thank you. - good luck.

Appreciate it, thank you. Interpreter: a lot of deaf individuals struggle with the hearing world. It can be lonely. We can be isolated. The hearing community is scared to communicate with us.

They're like, " ooh, they're signing what are they doing, " you know? Communication is just a big barrier for us in the hearing world, but here at the track we can just be ourselves.

Interpreter: yeah, that's true. It brings different people together to become a big family. Interpreter: it's so great. We can just be ourselves, we can talk about anything we want to, we can just hang out.

It's very exciting to be able to host an event on race weekend so we have the daytime where we can socialize and we can hang out and have a good time with friends, and then we actually get the race at night so it's like the best of both worlds.

Yeah, sorry I paused there, I could feel that truck flying by. We have a lot of games, more people showing up, every year we dress up in different costumes. People have a lot of fun with it.

You guys are great, you guys are great. Interpreter: my favorite kind of music would be nascar. I love the vibrations. I can just feel it in my bones. Interpreter: a lot of times what I can't hear, I can feel.

I mean, it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. It's just-- you can feel the engine running, you can feel the wind blowing by because we're close enough.

When they hit the wall, there's that-- --that huge impact when it's real hard, we can feel it instantly, like, we know there's been a-- --that huge concussive hit so yes, it's a great experience, coming to the race.

What inspired me was, you know, you see a newbie, a first-timer that comes during the race, and you see their facial expressions and their reactions and, you know, watch them, the thrill on their face when the race is going on, it's satisfying.

It's so cool. It's such a great experience. Well, we are -- interpreter: i've never been to a concert before. Me being there, i could feel that music.

I could see the singer. I could catch, you know, some of the lyrics they were saying and it was just really an amazing experience for me.

Interpreter: what a huge honor for me to be able to go in front of the fans and announce to the drivers, " gentlemen, start your engines." what a great experience. There's so many moving pieces in the car, he goes, yes, i'm very excited.

Very excited. Electronic voice: one minute. You will cue him. I-- I will cue. Electronic voice: 30 seconds. Hey, can we move-- everybody take a few steps back. Electronic voice: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, cue.

Announcer: and now for the most famous words in motor sports-- --machine gun kelly. Drivers, start-- --your engines. The all-star night, it brings out the best of the best. electronic voice: three, two, one. Electronic voice: are we all clear? Whoa.

Come on. Go now. Felt so good. Hey, hey, hey, hey. (Singing) yeah, yeah, yeah. Interpreter: just experiencing that feeling of a car just flying by you, the smell of the car, the smell of the oil, the smell of the tires, the rubber.

I mean, it's just a different experience. There's nothing like it. (Singing) level when I feel that rumble. There's not a whole lot of difference in the sense that the fulfillment, the enjoyment, the satisfaction, the excitement, the thrill, it's just that I can hear and I receive that information in a different way through my ears, where they get that information through their eyes, through feeling that-- the action of the race.

(Singing) come feel the rush. They get, you know, they just get their information a different way, but the experience is absolutely the same, I think. (Singing) yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

I love the fact that i'm right in the middle of the infield and I can . (Singing) yeah. Come feel the rush. You know, I feel like i'm a part of, you know, the right .

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