FORT WORTH, Texas (February 8, 2020)

Art class went faster than ever this week in eight DFW elementary schools.

The Lionel Racing Design-a-Diecast competition, an addition to the Texas Motor Speedway Speeding to Read program, challenged kids all week to turn a template of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE into their own custom racecar paint scheme. Students were encouraged to design a car that displayed what’s important to them.

“I put the Texas flag and the eagle,” said seven-year-old Hyman 1st Grader Caleb Lee.

Pointing to a brown-and-yellow ‘20’ on the roof surrounded by a red, white, and blue motif, he said, “This is the eagle’s colors with the Texas flag colors.”

The Lionel Racing Design-a-Diecast competition is a departure from Speeding to Read’s usual mission of encouraging Kindergarten-5th Grade students to read more while learning about motorsports. The idea was formulated six years ago to recognize that all students excel in different ways.

“We have a lot of artistic kids, and I like developing the whole child,” said Hyman Elementary Librarian Lavina Padgett. “This gives them that little bit that when you come to the library it’s not just books.

It also seems to be bringing out the competitive fire in some students.

“It looks good, and I think I’m gonna win,” six-year-old Hyman 1st Grader Madison McCollum said.

“I know what it looks like in my mind, and I think it looks good so I think I’m gonna win,” six-year-old Hyman 1st Grader Cayden Judge countered.

After finishing their designs and an accompanying short essay explaining their artistic choices, Texas Motor Speedway, Lionel, and NASCAR representatives pick a winner in both the K-2 and 3-5 categories based on creativity, ease of transferring the design to a diecast, and their written essay. Those winners will see their actual designs turned into real-life paint schemes on 1:24 scale diecast cars. They’ll have those awards presented to them by a NASCAR driver March 26 at Texas Motor Speedway Uncaged, the 2020 season ticket holder appreciation event at the Fort Worth Zoo. The event opens the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend and is set to feature multiple NASCAR drivers interacting with both fans and the zoo’s animals.

Recent winners have designed paint schemes that recognize the importance of reading, love for our country, and cancer research. The contest is even a great chance for teachers to learn more about their own students.

“From the way that they critique themselves, like ‘I’m doing it!’ you see a lot of personality from the kids, and it comes out in their designs,” Padgett said.

The eight Speeding to Read schools representing four DFW school districts are: Brandenburg Intermediate (Duncanville ISD), Fairmeadows Elementary (Duncanville ISD), George C. Clarke Elementary (Fort Worth ISD), Hyman Elementary (Duncanville ISD), Parkway Elementary (Lewisville ISD), Rosemont Park Elementary (Fort Worth ISD), Sidney H. Poynter Elementary (Crowley ISD), and W.M. Green Elementary (Fort Worth ISD).

Lionel Racing is among the proud partners of Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding to Read program. Speeding to Read is also supported by: NASCAR, NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Lionel Racing, Speedway World, Levy Motorsports, The Speedway Club, Food for the Soul, Sci-Tech Discovery Center, aai Trophies and Awards of Plano, Jostens, Woolley’s Frozen Custard, Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter, and Team Texas High Performance Driving School.


Lionel Racing: Michelle Fannin, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, 704.454.4162 or [email protected].

Texas Motor Speedway: Jake Young, Media Relations Manager, 817-215-8523 or [email protected].