SPEEDING TO READ CHAMPIONSHIP ASSEMBLY
RAYZOR, B.B. OWEN ACHIEVE PERFECTION TO BECOME CO-CHAMPIONS OF TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY’S SPEEDING TO READ COMPETITION
- 2013 Indy 500 Champ Tony Kanaan, Rising NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Star John Hunter Nemechek Serve As Special Guests
- 10 DFW Elementary Schools, 5,049 Students Combine To Read Nearly 700,000 Books During Year-Long Competition
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 23, 2017) – E.P. Rayzor and B.B. Owen elementary schools punctuated their perfect seasons by being crowned co-champions of Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read competition during Tuesday’s championship assembly in the frontstretch grandstands of the world-renowned motorsports facility.
Before 4,000 students and faculty from seven of the 10 Dallas/Fort Worth schools that competed this year as well as Verizon IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver John Hunter Nemechek, Rayzor and B.B. Owen were honored for their entire student bodies meeting the program’s pre-set reading goals through all four turns of the year-long competition.
For Rayzor, it marked the third consecutive school championship in the Speeding To Read competition for the Denton ISD school with 466 students in Lantana. Rayzor, however, needed to be perfect to earn a share of the school title with B.B. Owen. The Lewisville ISD Title 1 school, in just its first year in the program, was up to the challenge and matched Rayzor’s perfection with its student body of 480.
Four of the 10 schools had 91 percent or better of their student bodies reach the reading goals with J.A. Hargrave of the Crowley ISD (94%) and Justin Elementary of the Northwest ISD (91.9%), the Frontstretch Division champions, joining co-Backstretch Division champs Rayzor and B.B. Owen in that elite group. Also competing this year were Cox and Hatfield of the Northwest ISD; Tom C. Gooch and Nathan Adams of the Dallas ISD; Carroll Peak of the Fort Worth ISD; and Brent of the Little Elm ISD.
The group, representing six of the 25 largest school districts in the Metroplex, combined to read 678,887 books during the school year. Since the program began with one pilot school in 2011, 43 schools and more than 23,000 students have combined to read more than 3.6 million books.
Kanaan was among the 33 drivers that will make up the starting field for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 that visited 21 cities across North America on Tuesday to promote the 101st running of the Verizon IndyCar Series race. For a finished video package of the Speeding To Read Championship Assembly, please click here.
“When they told me I was coming here for the media day, you know with such a busy month, you have a tendency to always like not wanting to leave Indianapolis,” said Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion. “But here I knew it was going to be a hit, especially when they told me that I’d be dealing with kids. I’ve always loved kids, I have three of my own and a lot of my fans are little guys. A lot of them now are like 30 years old because they were like 10 when they started following me, but a cool event.
“Those (elementary school years) were the best times of my life. You don’t realize that back then, I think we can all share that, and these kids enjoy especially a healthy competition like this, you know? You can see them happy and the classrooms getting extremely excited that they won and at the same time they are learning a lot. They’re becoming smarter; they’re committed to become somebody in life. It’s really cool what you guys (Texas Motor Speedway) do.”
The students were treated to the animated “Turbo” Indy-car movie on the world’s largest TV at the speedway; a six-lap stock-car race from the Team Texas High Performance Driving School; Q&A, champion photos and water pistol shooting contest with Kanaan and Nemechek; and of course the numerous trophies and prize packs for the top readers.
“It was definitely awesome,” Nemechek said. “It was cool to see the kids pumped up about race cars, books and academics. We walked underneath the grandstands and it was hard to hear. You didn’t know if the cars were running or if that was all the kids screaming and stomping on the bleachers. It was definitely awesome to be able to see how pumped up they were and when their schools won and their fellow classmates read the most books, everyone was yelling and screaming. It’s just a great environment to see kids so focused on academics and the NASCAR Acceleration and Speeding to Read programs helped to excite them a little bit.”
Kanaan and Nemechek presented trophies to the top readers throughout the assembly that recognized the following students:
- Kindergarten Champion – Ellie Evans, Cox, 2,219 books read
- 1st Grade Champion – Karina Singh, Rayzor, 2,172 books read
- 2nd Grade Champion – Alysson Delloro, Rayzor, 3,444 books read
- 3rd Grade Champion – Jayson Washington, Hargrave, 585 books read
- 4th Grade Champion – Camryn Rose, Brent, 469 books read
- 5th Grade Champion – Ace Olson, B.B. Owen, 351 books read
- KG-2nd Grade Classroom Champions – Renee Clark, KG, Rayzor, average of 1,614.5 books per student
- 3rd-5th Grade Classroom Champions – Charmaine Campbell, 3rd grade, Hargrave, average of 209.9 books per student
- KG-2nd Grade Most Improved Reader – Savannah Henderson, 1st grade, Cox
- 3rd-5th Grade Most Improved Reader – Maddy Newton, 3rd grade, B.B. Owen
The Speeding To Read program also partnered with NASCAR’s Acceleration Nation for a STEM book reading contest during the final turn of the overall competition. Nemechek presented the champions with full-sized helmet trophies that consisted of Rayzor (school champion), Rayzor first-grader Evan Elmer (KG-2nd grade), Rayzor fifth-grader Logan Steele (3rd-5th), Rayzor first-grade teacher Aleisha Moore (KG-2nd classroom) and Hargrave fourth-grade teacher Alma Bell (3rd-5th classroom). The schools combined to read more than 11,000 STEM books during that period of the competition.
Kanaan and Nemechek will be returning to Texas Motor Speedway on June 8-10 for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR doubleheader. Kanaan, with 10 top-five finishes in 17 career starts, will be looking for his second career win at Texas when he competes Saturday, June 10, in the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (7 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network). Nemechek, whose best finish in three career starts was seventh last June, will chase his first top-five finish Friday, June 9, in the Rattlesnake 400 (7 p.m., FOX Sports 1).
Among the various prizes, the individual and classroom champions also received tickets compliments of Texas Motor Speedway to either the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 or Rattlesnake 400 to return and watch Kanaan or Nemechek race in person.
“When I come back here in a few weeks, I’m pretty sure today we made some new fans and those are the people we need because you need the kid to ask the dad to come to the race track and the dad will definitely come over,” Kanaan said. “I’m excited. I love it.”
The Speeding To Read program has built its success on the generosity of its sponsors and partners that include 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.
For more information on Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read program, please visit www.speedingtoread.com. For schools interested in competing in the program in 2017-18, please contact the Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A look back at the 2017 Texas Motor Speedway “Speeding To Read” Championship Assembly
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
2018 NASCAR RACE DATES ANNOUNCED FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 23, 2017) – NASCAR announced the 2018 schedules for all three national series, all of which make a pair of stops at Texas Motor Speedway.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 NASCAR doubleheader race weekend will be held April 7-8 and kick off the racing season for Texas Motor Speedway. The My Bariatric Solutions 300 XFINITY Series race will be held Saturday, April 7, and be followed by the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, April 8. The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series also will return April 6-7 at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make its first of two stops Friday, June 8, for the Rattlesnake 400. The NCWTS will be paired once again with the Verizon IndyCar Series, which will compete in the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 on Saturday, June 9.
The Texas Motor Speedway season culminates Nov. 2-4 with a NASCAR playoff tripleheader weekend. The Camping World Truck Series Lone Star 350 will be held Friday, Nov. 2, and will be followed by the XFINITY Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, Nov. 3, and the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 4. All three races are part of that respective series’ playoff events that determine the champion.
Additional details, including ticket on-sale dates and race start times, will be announced at a later date.
NASCAR also announced today, sweeping changes to the lineup of tracks that make up the playoffs as part of its 2018 national series schedules.
Next season, the final regular season race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be contested at iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Round of 16 kicks off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR has added a second short track to the playoff slate, as the historic ¾-mile Richmond International Raceway hosts the second playoff race for the first time, and Charlotte Motor Speedway serves as the first cutoff race, with an intriguing twist – and turn. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will race on the road course oval at Charlotte, marking the first time the playoffs will see a road-course layout among its 10 races.
With Charlotte moving to the cutoff of the Round of 16, Dover International Speedway now hosts the first race of the Round of 12 – another playoff first.
VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES RAINGUARD WATER SEALERS 600
FORMER TMS CHAMP KANAAN LIKES WHAT TRACK OFFERS FANS: Despite requiring 76 days to complete the race as a result of persistent rain, last year’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway left race fans and drivers anticipating its return to the Lone Star State.
A thrilling finish between eventual race winner Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Tony Kanaan resulted in a 0.008 margin of victory – the closest INDYCAR finish in the history of the speedway and fifth-closest in series history. Close finishes are nothing new for Texas Motor Speedway as it has been the site of four of the 16 closest finishes Indy car racing.
IndyCar Series veteran Tony Kanaan, who has seen a number of the series’ closest finishes during his career, is looking forward to returning for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 on Saturday, June 10
“Every year we’ve been here I’ve been saying – especially in the early days – ‘That’s not going to get any better. That’s not going to get any better.’ Last year was breathtaking. The last 18 laps – between me, Hinch and Graham – was quite exciting. With a new configuration I think it will be even faster than last year. I think there is every possibility for this race to be as good or better. We went four wide last year. I think this year we can go six wide in Turn 1. See if we can’t break the record this year.”
HARDING RACING TO RUN AT TEXAS: Verizon IndyCar Series team Harding Racing will make its first start of the 2017 season this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team announced its second stop of the season with driver Gabby Chaves would come at Texas Motor Speedway during the Rainguard Water Sealers 600.
The team, which fields the No. 88 Chevrolet, participated in the INDYCAR test session at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Chaves has two career starts at Texas Motor Speedway with his best finish of 10th coming in 2015.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RATTLESNAKE 400
NEMECHEK LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING ON NEW SURFACE AT TEXAS: When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the Rattlesnake 400 drivers and teams will be greeted to a new look in Turns 1 and 2 along with a new racing surface.
Seeing the new track for the first time during his visit to Tuesday’s Speeding To Read championship assembly, John Hunter Nemechek tried to get a head start on his race preparation.
“Right after we got done with the assembly on the front stretch, I actually was able to drive a rental car around for a lap or two and kind of just look at it and its way smoother than the old surface,” Nemechek said with a grin. “I got out and looked at the track and its really not that abrasive compared to the old surface.”
Nemechek, looking to improve on his TMS-best seventh-place finish in last year’s Rattlesnake 400, is ready for the challenges the new repave and re-profiling project will provide drivers.
“They had to put a lot of rubber down so I don’t know how exactly that’s going to work with our trucks and INDYCAR here,” Nemechek said. “Normally we don’t put a lot of rubber down for the summer race, so hopefully we can scrub some tires or they’ll have the tire scrubbing machine here to lay down some rubber before we get here. If not, it’s going to be a fun race and track position is really going to matter.”