FOUR-TIME INDYCAR CHAMPION DIXON, CHAVES CROWN TOP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL READERS AT SPEEDING TO READ CHAMPIONSHIP ASSEMBLY
- First Of Two Assemblies At Speedway To Celebrate The 21 DFW Schools And 12,061 Students That Competed In The Year-Long Competition
- Lantana’s E.P. Rayzor Wins School Title For Fourth Consecutive Year
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 22, 2018) – Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Scott Dixon and Gabby Chaves didn’t have to wait until Sunday’s 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 to enjoy some fan adulation.
On Tuesday, Dixon, a four-time series champion, and Chaves, the 2015 series rookie of the year, enjoyed a raucous welcome from roughly 6,000 Dallas/Fort Worth elementary school students as special guests for the first of two Speeding To Read Championship Assemblies held in the frontstretch grandstands of Texas Motor Speedway.
To the delight of the students, Dixon and Chaves arrived in a bullpen-style cart outfitted with a giant racing helmet and visor just moments after enjoying a simulated, six-lap stock-car race by the Team Texas Driving Experience. Both drivers helped present trophies to the top readers of the Frontstretch Conference, which consisted of 11 of the 21 schools and nearly half the 12,061 students that competed in the year-long education program.
The second Speeding To Read Championship Assembly will be held for the other 10 schools in the Backstretch Conference with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland serving as the special guest on Wednesday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. CT.
“It’s great. I didn’t fully expect all the kids that were out there so obviously it was a fantastic surprise,” said Chaves, who drives the No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet for Harding Racing. “It’s great to see the kids put in all the effort into the reading and the learning and obviously for us to reward them a little bit for it is a nice gesture and I’m happy to be a part of that.”
“It’s definitely exciting,” said Dixon, driver of the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. “A huge credit to Texas Motor Speedway for having Speeding To Read. It’s really good to see them engaging the local community – which is a big deal – but obviously the educational side in the reading aspect and making a little bit of a competition out of it. … It was a little bit hot out there, but they still had a lot of energy and obviously to give some congratulations and hand out some awards was definitely very, very cool.”
Both Dixon and Chaves saw a burgeoning program such as Speeding To Read as not only an integral community outreach program, but also an avenue to introduce children to motorsports, especially those accustomed to traditional stick-and-ball sports.
“The really cool thing about Texas Motor Speedway engaging that local community feel is that it is going to benefit them in the long run, but also all of us for the sport we love so much,” Dixon said. “I think it is very important (for) the ground roots and talking to our future leaders and people that will come out and watch us as well.”
“We had 6,000 students out there today and I guarantee we have 6,000 new racing fans starting today, not only for a short amount of time but the foreseeable future,” Chaves said. “Those are our future fans for the sport.”
The Frontstretch Conference schools on hand Tuesday were Rayzor (Denton ISD); Diamond Hill, Carter Park and Manuel Jara (Fort Worth ISD); Henrie and Cannaday (Mesquite ISD); Stewart’s Creek and McAuliffe (Lewisville ISD); Gooch (Dallas ISD) and Hargrave (Crowley ISD). Brent (Little Elm ISD) was unable to attend.
The conference combined to read 865,374 books during the course of the school year and the 21 schools went on to read a program-record 1,568,670 books.
Lantana’s E.P. Rayzor earned its fourth consecutive school championship in the Speeding To Read competition. The Denton ISD school shared the title with B.B. Owen for the second year in a row as both schools once again had 100 percent of their respective student bodies achieve the pre-set reading goals. It marked the third consecutive year that Rayzor has been perfect in the competition. The school will be rewarded with a school-wide party on Friday compliments of Woolley’s Frozen Custard.
The following were recognized at the assembly:
- Third-Grade Individual World Champion – Leonardo Garcia, Diamond Hill, 1,204 books read.
- Fourth-Grade Individual World Champion – Avril Lopez, Diamond Hill, 974 books read.
- Individual School Champions – Students (KG-2nd and 3rd-6th Grade Divisions) from all 11 competing schools.
- Most Improved Readers – Stewart’s Creek kindergartener Isaac Budz-Dyer (KG-2nd), Manuel Jara third-grader Gerardo Bustamante (3rd-6th).
- Frontstretch Conference KG-2nd Grade Classroom Champions – Lina Reyes’ second-grade class, Diamond Hill, average of 2,301.94 books read per student.
- 3rd-6th Grade Classroom World Champions – Diana Barron’s third-grade class, Diamond Hill, 369.63 books read per student
- Lug Nut Division Champions – Diamond Hill, 92 percent of the student body achieved the reading goals.
- Horsepower Division, Frontstretch Conference and Co-World Champions – E.P. Rayzor, 100 percent of the student body achieved the reading goals.
Since Speeding To Read began in 2011-12 with one pilot school, the educational program has grown to impact nearly 36,000 children from 64 schools across the DFW Metroplex. Those students have combined to read more than 5.2 million books in the program’s existence.
Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program is supported by the following partners: Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas, NASCAR, Verizon IndyCar Series, Lionel Racing, Speedway World, Levy Restaurants, The Speedway Club, aai Trophies and Awards of Plano, Jostens, Woolley’s Frozen Custard and Team Texas High Performance Driving School.
For more information on Speeding To Read, please visit speedingtoread.wpengine.com or inquire with the Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department at [email protected] about enrollment for the 2018-19 school year.