First graders at Rich Acres Elementary School in Henry County got some help carving pumpkins Tuesday when Brad Keselowski Racing drivers Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric dropped by and visited an art class.
The two drivers were on hand to promote Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
For the drivers, getting a chance to spend time with the students in a relaxed, fun environment is a great opportunity to help build the sport for the next generation.
“For me it’s huge,” Cindric said. “I know if I was a first grader in that classroom, I’d be hooked on racing and sucked into the vortex of that world. It’s such a passion and a relatable - yet new - thing at that age. For us to be able to come in there on such a relatable and personal level and just be able to carve pumpkins is something you don’t think about until it actually happens.”
Briscoe, who had never carved a pumpkin before the trip to Rich Acres, felt the same way Cindric did about using the trip to Rich Acres as a way to grow the sport’s fan base.
“I remember when I was growing up getting to meet some of the drivers I didn’t necessarily know and when I went to the track that weekend I was a big fan of them,” Briscoe said. “So hopefully some of those kids that do come this weekend will be cheering for us and we can see some familiar faces.”
For Rich Acres Principal Renee Scott, having Cindric and Briscoe visit with children who might not otherwise get the experience means a lot to the school.
“It was touching to me,” Scott said. “I feel like Chase and Austin did a really good job trying to interact with the kids on a personal level and the kids really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to them and tell them what’s going on in a first grader’s mind. It was really fun to watch them interact.
“We have really great kids here, who even though they live here, may not get the opportunity to go to the race. The drivers were wonderful with the kids today.”
The Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions is Saturday, October 28. The race is the first race in the Round of Six in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. If a Playoff driver wins, he would be the first to lock himself into the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last year, Johnny Sauter won the race en route to the Series Championship.
Tickets to the race are $35 for adults. Kids 12-and-under are admitted free. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.