November 3, 2016
  • Sprint Cup Series Driver Kyle Larson Delivers Target Gift Cards, Random House Children’s Books, AAA Texas 500 Race Tickets And Backpacks To Nathan Adams And Tom C. Gooch Elementary Schools

DALLAS, Texas (November 3, 2016) – It turned out to be a dog day afternoon for the students at the Nathan Adams and Tom C. Gooch elementary schools.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson of Target Chip Ganassi Racing made special visits Thursday to the Dallas ISD schools to celebrate their participation in Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program and brought along a well-known, four-legged furry friend.

Larson surprised the students at both schools by strolling into the full-school assemblies with Bullseye – the bull terrier that is the official mascot of the Target Corporation – in what turned out to be a day of surprises for the two economically challenged student bodies.

Larson addressed the kindergarten through fifth-grade students at the schools and discussed the importance of reading as well as what it is like to be a professional race-car driver. He also recognized the schools’ top readers following the recent completion of Turn 1 in the year-long Speeding To Read competition among 10 Dallas/Fort Worth elementary schools.

“It was lots of fun today and for a great cause, too,” Larson said. “We got to teach children to have some fun with reading and get competitive with it as well. We got to see all the smiles on their faces, which was awesome.”

At his first stop at Nathan Adams, he rewarded the top K-2 and 3-5 individual readers with school backpacks compliments of Target and stuffed with team gear. Second-graders Treasure Eke and Jacqueline Bello tied with 166 books read while fifth grader Ximena Casanova led 3-5 with 58 books read. At Tom C. Gooch, Larson did the same for second-grader Danae James (80 books) and third-grader Avery Hood (25 books). Larson also presented each school principal with a $500 Target gift card for school supplies as well as a Target crew shirt as a memento.

Random House Children’s Books, the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher, added a generous donation of 300 new books to the Nathan Adams library and another 200 to Gooch through its partnership with Target.

“We’ve found out that when we looked through out library that we had a lot of books that were never checked out because they weren’t of interest to them so now we can actually have books that they want to read,” Tom C. Gooch Principal Kim Ashmore said. “And hopefully they will finish from front to back. We are very appreciative.”

Texas Motor Speedway generously donated 100 grandstand tickets to Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to each school to see Larson race as a reward to the top students and teachers in the competition.

“This is a very cool way to get new fans into racing and into NASCAR,” Larson said. “A lot of these students got tickets to come to the race this Sunday, so we hope to see a lot of them there. If it can spark an interest and get them to become race fans, that’s only better for our sport.”

Larson, 24, is in the midst of a breakout season after winning the Sprint Cup Series rookie-of-the-year honors in 2014. He captured the first win of his Sprint Cup career at Michigan International Speedway in August and also qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – NASCAR’s version of the post-season championship run – for the first time in his career.

Larson will be making his seventh Sprint Cup start at Texas Motor Speedway in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 (1 p.m. CT, TV: NBC, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM Radio NASCAR Channel, 95.9 FM The Ranch locally). He has two top-10 finishes, including a best of fifth in the spring race of 2014. In his most recent visit, he finished 14th in April’s Duck Commander 500.

“I like coming to Texas a lot,” Larson said. “It’s a bumpy race track – the groove moves around a lot. It’s a place that I always look forward to going to and seems like we’ve had good runs in the past. Hopefully we can come here and get a good finish – maybe another win – and try to end the year on a high note. ”

Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read educational program enters its sixth year with 10 elementary schools and 5,000 students participating in the 2016-17 school-year competition. Nathan Adams and Gooch are joined in the competition by two-time defending champions E.P. Rayzor (Denton ISD); B.B. Owen (Lewisville); Brent (Little Elm); J.A. Hargrave (Crowley); Carroll Peak (Fort Worth) and Justin, Hatfield and Cox (Northwest).

Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program is supported by the following partners: aai Trophies and Awards of Plano, BenQ America Corporation, Domino’s, Lionel Racing, NASCAR, Score A Goal in the Classroom, Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Properties, Team Texas High Performance Driving School, The Speedway Club, Verizon IndyCar Series and Woolley’s Frozen Custard.

About Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program: Speeding To Read, named the “Best Youth Marketing Initiative” by the NASCAR industry in 2014, is an incentive-based, NASCAR- and INDYCAR-themed reading program to encourage elementary school students to read more frequently during the school year. Since Speeding To Read began in 2011-12 with one pilot school, 33 schools and nearly 19,000 students have participated and combined to read more than three million books in the program’s five-year existence heading into the 2016-17 competition. For more information, please visit

About Random House Children’s Books: Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company’s website, Kids @ Random ( offers an array of activities, games, and resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company. Twitter / Facebook / Instagram: @randomhousekids