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Local racecar driver surprises Salem teen for 16th birthday

Devin Bailey doesn’t talk much, but knows exactly how to say racecar

A local teenager is having an awesome 16th birthday thanks to the community's generosity!
A local teenager is having an awesome 16th birthday thanks to the community's generosity!

SALEM, Va. – A local teenager had a great 16th birthday thanks to the generosity of others.

The teen’s mom initially put out a call for a flash mob and it grew from there when a special guest said they’d love to come and make the night worth it for everyone.

Semi-pro racecar driver Wayne Corprew started his engine and backed his car into place at a gas station in Salem Wednesday night. He staged a few blocks away from the Bailey home, helping to pull off the ultimate surprise. Waiting around the corner was 16-year-old Devin Bailey.

“He’s very limited, so the small things that I can do, I would like for it to be special for him and be something that hopefully he’ll remember for a long time,” Deanna Bailey said of her step-son.

Devin has down syndrome and doesn’t say much, but he was overjoyed when the racecar came around the corner and pulled into his front yard. And he knew exactly how to climb into the car too.

“We knew when we hit on the racecar it was going to be a hit, but I had no idea that he would respond the way he did with the social environment and the driver and everything,” Bailey said.

An older picture of the car sitting in the yard topped a cake on the table, and Corprew made Devin an official part of the race crew. He didn’t know the family prior to showing up, but he didn’t hesitate to volunteer.

“Special kids, you know they have a hard enough time and I just, if I can make their life something special for them, I like doing that,” Corprew said.

For Devin’s parents, joy and happiness are harder to come by and a moment like this will surely last them a lifetime.

“This boy’s dream came true today, literally it did because he had that laugh and that smile that we rarely get. It’s only when something really good happens that we get it,” Bailey said.

The Bailey family also thanked the Salem Police Department for providing an escort and participating in the surprise.