Braylon Beam serves as Kasey Kahne's honorary crew chief

CONCORD, N.C. -- Braylon Beam has some of the key attributes to be a NASCAR crew chief.

The 6-year-old boy, who has become an inspiration through his dancing that has helped him cope with chemotherapy for a brain tumor, has the bluntness and the upbeat attitude that often are required for the crew chief role.

Braylon spent Thursday as the honorary crew chief for Kasey Kahne for qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway. What will Kahne do under Braylon's leadership?

"Kasey Kahne is going to step up his game," Braylon said.

In a telling-it-like-it-is moment, Braylon, who spent a day in August as an honorary coach for the Carolina Panthers, was asked who dances better: the Panthers or Kahne's crew.

"Carolina Panthers," Braylon said in a room that included many of Kahne's crew.

Kahne crew chief Keith Rodden had Braylon's grandparents as teachers at East Lincoln High School in Denver, North Carolina.

"They're just excellent people, and they have touched so many people in our community for so many years and just went above and beyond what any educator needed to do," Rodden said. "As soon as I found out about Braylon ... I said we have to do something for Braylon, we have to do something for their family.

"They have done so much for Denver, North Carolina, and I just wanted to try to give back. Good grief, this kid has given back so much more to us than we could ever provide for him."