Virtual racers give support to young dog-mauling victim

Young dog attack victim Justin Gilstrap was scheduled for his fifth surgery Monday, one of many after the mauling that happened earlier this month.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 3:34 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 12:31 PM EST
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Young dog attack victim Justin Gilstrap has had his fifth surgery, one of many after the mauling that happened earlier this month as he was riding his bike.

His family said Tuesday he’s doing well but is in a lot of pain. His mom says Justin has another surgery scheduled Wednesday.

Over the weekend, the 11-year-old was getting visitors at the hospital where he’ll be for weeks.

He was even able to be wheeled outside for a little bit.

Since Justin’s attack, the #Justintough” campaign has taken off on social media.

Now his story has spread across several states.

On Sunday night, a virtual race league dedicated the race to Justin.

One of the racers took it upon himself and made his car light green, bearing Justin’s face and the hashtag #JustinTough to raise awareness for Justin.

We talked to drivers in a virtual racing league from New York and North Carolina, who re-designed their cars in support of Justin.

The race trucks are virtual with drivers coming from all over all using their platform to raise awareness.

Mike Allen, racer, says, “When something happens a tragedy, anything. we pull together and show support.”

Mike Allen and Mike Campbell, both drivers for the turn down for what i-racing league, both have been following the Justin Gilstrap story closely since they first heard about it, so they decided to give their cars a makeover.

Allen says, “I read the story and put a lump in my throat and seeing the picture of Justin and Mike posted a picture of his truck and we he usually does one I usually do one.”

Campbell says, “I got some of the Georgia Bulldogs logos on the truck for Justin and then put #Justintough in the Georgia Bulldogs colors.”

Last night’s race had more viewers than normal the league says, but these two drivers only care about one possible viewer, Justin.

Campbell says, “I got his picture on my hood, I got his name on the side, I gotta do a good show for him.”

Allen says, “I hope Justin was able to see some of this, it’s just an absolute honor to be able to do that last night.”

These two drivers will go back to their normal designs for the rest of their season, but they’re going to keep Justin on their car in a smaller way, long-term with a sticker that says #Justintough.


Justin remains in good spirits as the community rallies behind him – even recording a video from his hospital bed last week, telling people, “Hey, everybody. I love y’all. I just want you to know, I’m OK.”

Justin was attacked by three dogs Jan. 6 on Langston Drive in Columbia County. The dogs ripped his scalp from his head and inflicted numerous other injuries. The owner surrendered the animals to the county.

Tomorrow is the last day of quarantine for the dogs that attacked Justin just over a week ago. Columbia County Sheriff’s Office tell us they’re not sure yet what’s going to happen to the dogs after that period ends.