POSTED: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 8:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 8:04pm
CENTRAL,LA (NBC33) — A man from Central, La. is using a race car to capture the memory of his son and nephew both victims of violent crime.
"He was always at the races," said car owner Neal Hawkins. "He defininetly liked racing, my nephew did two."
The race car is more than a racing machine for Dakota Sky Racing owner Neal Hawkins . It's away to preserve the memory of his son Corey and his nephew Drew.
"He would be thrilled to death," said Hawkins. "He knows that is something I would do for him."
Both men were murdered less than a year apart. Drew Hawkins died in November 2004. Corey Hawkins died in October 2005. Neal Hawkins says it took his family years to see justice.
"It was really long and drawn out," said Hawkins. "It took us five and a half years."
Hawkins began working on this car after the trials wrapped up. Dakota Sky Racing is named after Corey's daughter Dakota Sky. Corey died four months before she was born.
"When she is older she'll be able to look and pretty much see herself with her daddy," said Neal Hawkins.
Chris Buhler drives the car and says Corey's spirit helps the team push forward on the track.
"You get the race track and there is not a cloud in the sky," said Buhler. "You can just look up and smile say ok Corey wanted this. We are here for Corey."
When Hawkins designed the car he also wanted to make sure to thank those who helped his family find peace.
"On both cases we had the same section of the district attorney's office," said Hawkins. "They handled both cases, and I mean did great. I couldn't have asked any more from them. "
Both Drew and Corey's killers are serving life sentences.
Hawkins says that's because of hard work from the district attorney's office and law enforcement.
"They are doing their job. You got to hang in there with them and don't give up."