Brittle but Yet Broken, Charlie Ray Howell "Racing for Those Who Can't"

Photo credit: Doris Cherry "Cherry Photography"
November 25th, 2016

Mt. Pleasant, TN - Determination breeds inspiration with local resident Charlie Ray Howell of Mt. Pleasant, TN, since being confined to a wheelchair since 2010, Howell brings awareness to spinal cord injuries and Osteogenisis Imperfecta (O.I.) by using racing as a tool to those who can’t.

Photo credit: Doris Cherry "Cherry Photography"

Howell's story is a little different than most Friday and Saturday night racers. Since birth Howell was diagnosed with O.I., known as the brittle bone disorder and in 2010 Howell sustained a spinal cord injury in an automobile accident that left him confined to using a wheelchair. His spirit was unbroken and determined to continue the sport he grew up doing, racing his dirt late model on dirt tracks across the mid-south.

Racing for Howell has always been a hobby but soon realized it can be a source of inspiration and a career. He now uses his racing career to bring inspiration and awareness to others by spreading awareness about spinal cord injuries and O.I. Howell who is affected by both a spinal cord injury and O.I. wants everyone to know that no matter what shape you’re in or diagnosis you’ve been handed, that to never give up in life and the dreams you desire.

Racing since the age 7 years old has somewhat became the driving force to making a career out of the passion for the sport Howell loves. Coming up through the ranks in numerous divisions in his now 23 year racing career, Howell has accomplished numerous victories and multiple championships over the years as an able bodied racer. Since sustaining the spinal cord injury and being confined to a wheelchair, racing for Howell took on a new victory, as he soon realized that new fans and followers of his racing career were being inspired by Howell's on track capabilities.

Photo credit: Zach Yost Photography

Fans and followers from many different regions and locations began to send messages and approach Howell with stories of how his story and abilities have influenced them to push through their hardships that they face in their lives.

Five years into his inspirational racing career has brought milestones beyond expectations such as Career highlights on and off the track. On track highlights include: In 2014 Howell finished 5th in the track championship, Voted Most Improved Driver and People’s Choice Award Most Popular Driver. Off the track Howell has been featured in local, state and national newspapers and magazines. A special segment on WSMV Channel 4 news with sports anchor Rudy Kalis, numerous on air radio interviews with Middle Tennessee Racing News host Terrell Davis. 2016 brought Howell to a worldwide audience by being featured in a popular magazine called "New Mobility" that is issued and distributed worldwide.

Photo credit: Doris Cherry "Cherry Photography"

In 2017, Howell's goal is to travel to as many tracks to compete and spread inspiration across the United States to fans that have yet to see the determination that gives him the drive to continue to "Race for Those Who Can't" With his spirit unbroken and his determination rock solid, Howell's racing career, bringing awareness to others and the outlook on life there's no stopping him from inspiring others to push on through what life throws at you.