Talk about a tear-jerker.

Hurley Haywood, the endurance race-car legend who won the Rolex 24 at Daytona five times, has come out publicly as gay with a dramatic story of secrets and salvation. While the 69-year-old has been known to be gay in certain racing circles, he is talking about it publicly for the first time.

The reason he’s doing so, he told Autoweek, is because of a young boy he met a couple years ago. The boy, who was gay, confided in Haywood that he has been bullied and had no self-esteem. A scary, but ultimately inspiring, call from the boy’s mother last year set in motion Haywood’s public coming out.

“Hearing from that mother — well, it was very emotional,” he told Autoweek. “And I thought, if my voice is strong enough to help one kid, it might help two kids, or five or a hundred.”

You’ll have to head over to Autoweek for the full story. Haywood is reportedly releasing a book about his life next month.

We are so thankful to Haywood for talking about his personal life publicly, something we know he’s not super comfortable doing. But we at Outsports agree: If we can save a life — and we all can by sharing our true selves — it certainly makes it all worthwhile.