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NASCAR INDUSTRY NAMES 'SPEEDING TO READ' BEST YOUTH MARKETING INITIATIVE OF 2014

  • Speedway's Elementary School Reading Program Has Reached More Than 12,000 Students That Have Read Over 1.4 Million Books Since Its Inception In 2011

FORT WORTH, Texas (February 3, 2015) - Texas Motor Speedway's Speeding To Read educational program was named the "Best Youth Marketing Initiative" of 2014 by the NASCAR industry during its recent Marketing and Communications Summit at the Charlotte Convention Center. 

>Texas Motor Speedway's Speeding To Read program was created in 2011 as a grassroots youth program to utilize motorsports, its drivers and race weekends to incentivize elementary school children to read more frequently and enrich their educational experience and future. 

Texas Motor Speedway partnered with Clara Love Elementary and the Northwest ISD to create a pilot program in 2011-12 that was an immediate success and ignited the growth of the program. Since Speeding To Read debuted, the program has reached more than 12,000 students from multiple communities and various ethnic and economic backgrounds that have read more than 1.4 million books to date. 

The 2013-14 season had a program-high 11 schools participate with NISD's Roanoke Elementary claiming the school championship with 97 percent of its student body meeting or exceeding the pre-set reading goals. Of the 11 schools, five had 89 percent or more of its student body achieving the reading goals and only one school was below 78 percent. 

"Speeding To Read started as a vision, became a passion and now has become a viable educational program that provides numerous benefits to elementary school students and their faculty," Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. "It has been extremely gratifying to make a positive year-long impact on elementary school students during a critical reading and vocabulary stage of their lives, and provide many of them with an introduction to the exciting world of motorsports. Judging from the smiles and enthusiasm over the years, many of these children have found a new sport and role models to follow into the future." 

The presence of NASCAR and Texas Motor Speedway is evident at each of the schools and extends to the race track, where students are treated to assemblies with Sprint Cup Series stars and the top readers also receive free NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series race tickets and merchandise for excelling in reading. 

Each school receives a starter kit at the beginning of the year to accentuate the program's motorsports theme, with the elements ranging from a cartoon-style recreation of Texas Motor Speedway as the hall centerpiece to street signs named after racing stars for hallways. Also, every student and faculty member receives aSpeeding To Read branded T-shirt. 

Texas Motor Speedway keeps the kindergarten through fifth-grade students engaged year-long by dividing the competition into four turns like a race track and providing trophies and prizes for the top readers in grades K-2 and 3-5 at each turn. There also is a giant, perpetual trophy that travels to the school leading the competition at each turn to display prominently. 

The speedway also hosted two all-school assemblies during the school year to recognize the top readers with Kyle Busch taking part in April's 2013-14 championship awards assembly and Matt Kenseth in September's kick-off for this year's group of participating schools. Other NASCAR stars that have taken part in Speeding To Read are six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick of the Sprint Cup Series, Elliott Sadler of the XFINITY Series, and Camping Truck Series champions Matt Crafton and James Buescher. 

"Roanoke Elementary prides itself on providing students with 'A Unique Learning Experience!'," Roanoke Elementary School Principal Kristi King said. "Our partnership with Texas Motor Speedway and other area elementary schools has had a tremendously positive impact on our students. We know that a student's reading achievement is directly correlated with the amount of time a child spends reading. Speeding To Read has given students the opportunity to compete individually, and at the same time, unite our campus in a common goal. The children's success is magnified by the unique opportunities for students to interact with NASCAR drivers and attend NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway!"  

Speeding To Read currently has seven schools and 3,500 students participating in the 2014-15 program that represents four school districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The schools consist of Roanoke, J.C. Thompson and Nance of the Northwest ISD; Carroll Peak and Riverside Applied Learning Center of the Fort Worth ISD; E.P Rayzor of the Denton ISD; and Eagle Mountain of the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD.

The 2014-15 program is sponsored by NASCAR, Verizon IndyCar Series, Toyota of Fort Worth, Kid's Beach Club, aai Trophies & Awards, Score A Goal In The Classroom, Domino's, Wooley's Frozen Custard, Lionel, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter and The Speedway Club. 

For additional information on Speeding To Read, please visit www.speedingtoread.com. For districts, schools or sponsors interested in participating in the future, please contact pr@texasmotorspeedway.com.

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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