Indianapolis 8-year-old lives Justin Wilson's legacy

Justin Wilson with Elliot Cox
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As we continue to mourn the loss of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, who was killed in a freak accident at the track in Pocono, we also want to share his legacy with you.

It's a legacy that's inspired confidence in thousands of children.

Wilson had dyslexia and he let kids know it's okay if they have the disorder, it shouldn't keep them down.

On the track, eight-year-old Elliot Cox of Indianapolis, wants to race just like Justin Wilson. But he also wants to be like his hero.

"He's just really nice," Elliot shared. "I want to race IndyCars when I grow up and I think I can carry the story on how Justin was."

It's a story of overcoming challenges and inspiring children to do the same. Just like Justin, Elliot has dyslexia.

"Sometimes it makes the words in a book bounce around in your head a lot," Elliot explained.

But thanks to Justin, he doesn't let the disorder get him down. The pair met in person before this year's Indy 500. Justin spent nearly an hour making the little guy's day.

"He towered above Elliot, but he got down on his knees to be right at Elliot's height," said Elliot's mom, Amanda Cox, "and he made Elliot feel like he was the super star."

The IndyCar driver also passed on life lessons, making sure kids dare to succeed.

Justin and Elliot shot a public service announcement video for the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, which is a sponsor for Elliot's go-kart. In their hour together at the track, Justin Wilson also shared personal encouragement with Elliot.

"He said not to let dyslexia stop me," Elliot said.

"He made Elliot realize that his dyslexia doesn't have to define him, because Justin didn't let it define him," Elliot's mom added.

It's that special connection that made the past few days so difficult.

Right after Elliot's birthday on Sunday and a top five finish on the go-kart track, he learned about the crash at Pocono.

"I was just praying for him," Elliot said.

A day later, he lost not only a hero, but a friend.

"That was the hardest things I had to do with my son," Amanda Cox said. "He was devastated."

Elliot says he's dedicating his next race this upcoming weekend to Justin Wilson. He says Justin will be the angel riding right with him.

"I'm going to try to win," Elliot said, "just gonna try to do everything I can to make him happy."
 
The Cox family says they're also thankful. They got to know the heart of a racer, whose legacy lives on through their son.

To learn more about dyslexia and how to help children dealing with the disorder, visit the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana website.  

Elliot Cox Racing website