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Matthew's Story

Leesburg-- Matthew Kistler is a NASCAR fanatic.

"He loves NASCAR. I've never met anybody more interested in NASCAR in my life," says his teacher, DeAnna Julian.

"That's all he talks about," says classmate Jeremy Sheffield.

And he doesn't just talk about it to his friends and family.
"Hello NASCAR fans, this is Matthew Kistler with the NASCAR report."

Matthew Kistler is a NASCAR broadcaster on the Trojan News Network at Lee County High School.

He can tell you anything you want to know about the drivers. "Talking about Jeff Gordon, he's only like five wins away from Dale Earnhardt's win record," says Matthew.

And he does it without notes or scripts. You see, Matthew has cerebral palsy, and he is legally blind.

"He had a brain injury sometime either during birth or while he was in the womb or whatever," says his mother, Sheila Kistler.

But his passion for racing has overshadowed his disabilities. "He does really well and works on a lot of different things here at the school and works well with the students. He's a real big motivator for a lot of the students," says his teacher.

"You can say whatever year, whatever race he'll tell you right on the spot like who won the 1967 Daytona 500 and he'll tell you, just like that," says Sheffield."

"It's funny. You know usually kids are talking through the announcements and when Matthew comes on, it's quiet. Everybody stops to listen to hear what Matthew has to say that day," says Julian."

At home, he doesn't miss a race."Every Friday I watch qualifying, if I can, every Saturday I watch the Busch race and every Sunday I watch the cup race," says Matthew.

And the rest of his time is spent collecting all things NASCAR.  "I buy it from different places. I buy it from eBay," says Matthew."

His room is a NASCAR shrine with everything from an actual race car tire to hundreds of cards and action performance cars.

But for Matthew, there's always more. "My one wish in the whole world is to get all the cars I've ever been looking for. That's a bunch of stuff," Matthew says."

It's stuff that has become Matthew Kistler's life. At home and at school.


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