AZLE YOUTH WHO SURVIVED DOG ATTACK NAMED GRAND MARSHAL FOR UPCOMING XPEL 375 INDYCAR RACE
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 8, 2022) – Conner Landers, the seven-year-old boy from Azle who survived a vicious dog attack in late January, has been named the Honorary Grand Marshal for the XPEL 375 NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on Sunday, March 20, at Texas Motor Speedway.
Landers will serve as the special race dignitary who will provide the “Start Your Engines” command to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES field of drivers leading up to the start of the XPEL 375 race. The 248-lap event will be the second race of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season and broadcast live on NBC beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Landers was mauled by a loose neighbor’s dog on Jan. 21 when he was making his short, routine walk home from the school bus stop. The Parker County youngster sustained numerous cuts and puncture wounds across his head and body, and also suffered nerve damage before being rescued by a neighbor, Lorena Parker. He needed initial reconstructive surgery on his facial injuries at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth that lasted more than three hours and will require more surgery for the various injuries as continues his recovery from the attack.
“A huge part of what we do at TMS is giving back to our community in any way that we can,” said Texas Motor Speedway General Manager Rob Ramage. “We take great pride in serving our community whether it be serving as the world’s largest vaccine site during the Pandemic, to recognizing the bravery of young Conner, making him feel special, and being part of his recovery process. It’s our blessing to give back, help others, and I know Conner is going to have a great day. We can’t think of a better Grand Marshal for such a historic and fun race day and are honored he accepted.”
The community has rallied around the family to help them offset various expenses related to the attack. Cassandra Ware, a single mom who works six days a week at the local donut shop, has been forced to stay at home with her son as he heals and goes through the various treatments.
Community members created a Go Fund Me page for Conner and have raised more than $18,000 for the family. Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler set up an account for the child at Plains Capital Bank (1001 Santa Fe Drive, Weatherford) to also help pay for medical bills and continued treatment. For those interested in donating to the “Conner Landers Benefit Account,” please contact Plain Capital at 817.598.5400. Other community partners donated materials and time to build a fence around the family’s home so he can play outside safely.
Landers was able to return to school last month and continues to make strides in his recovery.
Joining Landers in a dignitary role will be XXXXX. XXX will be serving as the Honorary Starter and will wave the green flag to start the XPEL 375.
Texas Motor Speedway is offering a $48 special promotion for two tickets to the race. Tickets for children 12 and under are only $10. For more information on tickets and the race, please visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com.