Kids Drive NASCAR - Youth Tickets for Ford Championship - South Dade News Leader: Opinion

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Kids Drive NASCAR - Youth Tickets for Ford Championship

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Posted: Friday, September 1, 2017 10:21 am

   The youth movement in NASCAR has been on full display this year, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ youngest stars have performed at a very high level and have even exceeded many expectations. It started off with 24-year-old Kyle Larson’s victory at Auto Club Speedway in March, and it has only escalated from there. Since Larson’s win, Austin Dillon (27) and Ryan Blaney (23) have also won races in the Monster Energy Series, collecting the first victories of their respective careers. Larson also picked up two triumphs at Michigan International Speedway in 2017. In addition, Chase Elliott, who is 21 years of age, has stayed in contention for a spot in the series’ postseason, as he currently sits in 14th place in the playoff standings.

   NASCAR’s youth movement has also extended to its fans. In fact, in the month of August, NASCAR ran their “Kids Drive NASCAR” campaign to further educate and engage the next generation of NASCAR fans with fun interactive social content, kids’ takeovers and at-track events and activities.

As part of the unique campaign, kids had the opportunity to attend driver and crew chief meetings, autograph sessions and receive behind-the-scenes garage tours. Tracks also incorporated kids in race weekend roles, such as honorary race officials, pre-race dignitaries, reporters and photographers.

Over the last few years, NASCAR has also moved into classrooms across the country with “NASCAR Acceleration Nation.” The educational program is designed to help kids learn about NASCAR through the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum using innovation-inspired content that is fun.

   Last year we launched our youth field trip program, which is held in conjunction with curriculum from NASCAR Acceleration Nation, works to educate kids in the South Florida community. Kids are taught vital critical thinking skills through multiple subjects that are enforced in school. A vast portion of the material is strongly focused on STEM education, which has become increasingly prominent in the classroom. They are given the opportunity to craft their own simulators & games that help them understand the key aerodynamic principles of drag, downforce and drafting – NASCAR’s Three D’s of Speed.

   Homestead-Miami Speedway has also introduced two other education projects. In 2012, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the track launched its “Racing to Read” program in an effort to get elementary school students excited about literature. The program challenges students with a reading goal, and those who meet the benchmark are rewarded with tickets to Ford Championship Weekend. Since its inception, Racing to Read has grown from serving only second grade students to now providing the program for those in kindergarten through fifth grade.

   Homestead-Miami Speedway’s “Write Track Poetry” initiative is entering its second year. The track has teamed up with the Jason Taylor Foundation’s Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network to host a creative writing contest for students. During the school year, students from multiple Miami-Dade County middle schools will submit a poem based on a championship theme. At the conclusion of the contest, the winner will have the chance to perform their spoken-word piece during Ford Championship Weekend.

   As many might already know, in addition to our yearly initiatives, Homestead-Miami Speedway has also been offering special youth pricing for many years. And in 2017 kids 12 years and younger are admitted free in the general admission grandstand to both Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race and Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 championship race. On Saturday, kids tickets are available at half-price in reserved grandstand sections. For the Ford EcoBoost 400 race on Sunday, where the Monster Energy Series champion will be crowned, kids tickets will also be available at half-price in reserved grandstand sections.

   NASCAR has always considered itself a family sport, and when it comes to fan interaction, kids are always at the top of mind.

NASCAR ACTION THIS WEEKEND

Sunday, September 3

at 6:00 PM

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington

at 2:30 PM

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Saturday, September 2

at 3:30PM

NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway

UPCOMING EVENTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

Sept. 8, Fast Lane Friday presented by The Ticket Clinic

Sept. 9, Miami Exotic Auto Racing

Sept. 10, Florida Track Days.

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