"He told her how everything was going to come together," Steve said. "She wrote it all down. About the community center. ... She was just rattling it off and here's a lady who doesn't talk like that. She became this machine."

So there was that. And the support from friends and family and the nation and the world. Letters and cards and teddy bears. And whales.

"We've got whales," Steve said. "Six or seven whales named after him. You can buy a whale. So we've got a few of those. A goat and a soccer ball that was donated to Africa. He's got 10 stars named for him."

And the goat?

"I don't know what they named it," Steve said. "It could be dinner now. Who knows?"

They can still laugh.

And they have their memories.

"When I got home every night, he'd say, 'Dad, what are we doing?' 'I just got home, give me a minute,'" Steve said. "'Let's play football, let's play baseball.' If it was raining, I'd pull the cars out and we'd play hockey down in the garage. He was always playing a sport. Something. The bean-bag toss game, we'd be doing that in the basement in the winter. Anything. Just to beat me. 'I'm going to beat you.'"

Chase would have loved Saturday's race.

"He would have been right on the front line," his mother said. "He would have kicked our butts. Absolutely."

Donations may be made in memory of Chase at http://www.chasekowalskifund.com or http://www.facebook.com/ChaseKowalskiMemorialFund.