Last weekend, at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Darius Weems was invited as a guest of honor to the pit area where NASCAR driver Kyle Petty was preparing to race.
He sat trackside as the national anthem was sung, and he had no idea that a further surprise was awaiting him.
Mike Accavitti, director of Dodge Motorsports (part of the Chrysler group), presented Weems with a brand-new wheelchair-accessible Dodge Sprinter.
For years, Weems had been transported around in an old, battered Dodge high-top van, but with almost 200,000 miles on the odometer, the vehicle collapsed last week. The van belonged to the family of Logan Smalley, who directed the documentary "Darius Goes West."
"Darius Goes West" follows the story of Weems' first trip beyond the boundaries of his hometown of Athens, Ga. Weems and a team of friends and helpers rented an RV and drove from Georgia to California, in hopes that the MTV show "Pimp My Ride" would agree to remodel Weems' wheelchair.
In the process, they raised awareness about muscular dystrophy, a condition that remains the single biggest genetic killer of children worldwide. The documentary has been accepted to play at the Tribeca Film Festival in May.
When he presented Weems with his new car, Accavitti said, "Bold capability is a hallmark of the Dodge brand of vehicles and a shared attribute with Darius Weems, a young man with a vibrant spirit."
As for Weems' reaction? He kept saying, "That's so cool, that's so cool."