The final stop of the 2012 Fueling Your Dreams tour took place right where we started the year, in Miami, Fl. As part of the NASCAR Championship Weekend festivities, Rev Racing and NASCAR Diversity teamed with Lead Dog Marketing to present an interactive immersion to the sport with area middle-schools. The results were outstanding! We made three stops in market: North Miami Middle School, Jose Marti Math and Science Technology Academy, and Rockway Middle School. Students there spent ½ the day in an informational session revolving around Ten80 and business aspects within NASCAR, including measuring battery voltage while learning to use a multi-meter, exercises about friction and race tires, and marketing scenarios using sponsorship locations on the racecar. A team building activity, where groups of students formed “race teams,” was the culminating event for the classroom portion of the In-School activation. Students split into driver, crew chief, and pit crew roles and raced each other in remote controlled cars. Following the classroom session, students then had the opportunity to interact with the show car, most seeing an actual race car for the first time. Also on hand was the iRacing simulator, which tied a lot of the information they just learned in the classroom together by driving around Homestead-Miami Speedway and seeing how a race car reacts on the track. Drivers Kyle Larson, Mackena Bell and Trey Gibson were on hand to sign autographs and take pictures. Kyle and Mackena were able to meet with some of the students who viewed their videos in the first phase of the activation and spoke a little more with them about their experiences with racing. For more info about Ten80, click here.
Fueling Your Dreams and NASCAR Diversity teamed up with the Black Expo for the second time this year at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center in Jacksonville, FL. This event allowed us to continue building a partnership with the Black Expo brand as well as expose the sport of NASCAR to a new and engaged audience. The Toyota show car and the iRacing simulator again proved to be eye catching along with the pop-up banners of race car specs, the 2012 Toyota Camry and the African American history in NASCAR display. The history banner was especially relevant and introduced many of those who visited our footprint to a piece of racing history special to the Jacksonville area. NASCAR driver and African American, Wendell Scott, won the first and only top division event in NASCAR at Speedway Park, which was located in Jacksonville in 1963. In addition to the assets, Rev Racing drivers Ryan Gifford and Dylan Smith were on hand as representatives of the diversity efforts in NASCAR and imparted knowledge and information to some curious, eager visitors. They also signed autographs and took pictures with some of their new fans!
The Fueling Your Dreams tour spent two days in Chicago on the campus of Chicago State University. Our efforts in this market allowed us to engage enthusiastic new fans who were previously unaware of the excitement NASCAR can create, as well as the wealth of academic and career opportunities currently present in the sport. We set up our Fueling Your Dreams assets in the courtyard of the Cordell Reed Student Union building. Activation visitors were attracted to the Show Car, as most had never actually viewed a race car before. Another popular attraction was the iRacing simulator which remains a crowd favorite. Rev Racing driver, Bryan Ortiz, mingled with the crowd and gave tips on getting around the track on the simulator. The following day, we conducted a Career Panel which focused on the programs being run by NASCAR Diversity and Rev Racing. Students at Chicago State University learned of the scholarship, internship and mentoring opportunities they can apply for, as well as future career paths through entities like Rev Racing and others in the larger NASCAR community.
The Fueling Your Dreams Tour stop in Atlanta was a resounding success. Through the enthusiastic participation from community parents, students, and opinion leaders, the impact of our efforts was very well received. The tour made three stops in the market that included a visit to Stonewall Tell Elementary, Langston Hughes High, and an Opinion Leader reception. At Stonewall Tell, the PTSA organized a Back To School Bash centered on STEM Initiatives. This event was open to Stonewall Tell Elementary students and parents, as well as the students and parents from the surrounding schools in their district. The energy of the participants at the Back To School Bash was electric. The organizers put together a well run event that allowed participants to freely experience all the assets there, which also allowed some parents to engage our staff and Edwin Walker (NASCAR) in conversation about the sport and opportunities within the sport that were relevant to them and their children. Hosted in a semi-private room of the restaurant, 2 Urban Licks, the Opinion Leaders event proved to be successful in sharing information with an engaged audience of professionals from various areas of industry. Dawn Harris and Edwin Walker presented the merits of the diversity initiatives currently enacted by NASCAR, as well as opened a line of communication to receive feedback from the participants in attendance. Many of the participants at the Opinion Leaders event enthusiastically attended their first live NASCAR race during the Nationwide Series event that following weekend. The last stop in the Atlanta market was at Langston Hughes High School. Our efforts at Langston Hughes served two purposes; entertainment and educational. The efforts were split between two separate sessions: while one group would experience the simulator and Toyota show car assets, another group participated in an informative discussion with Edwin Walker (NASCAR) and Ade Herbert (Rev Racing) about the opportunities available to them upon the start of their collegiate careers.
We were fortunate to partner with the Motorsports Management Dept. at Winston-Salem State University for their Diversity in Motion Initiative on June 26th and 27th. The initiative was held at two separate summer camps in the Winston-Salem area and served the purpose of introducing aspects of the NASCAR industry to a group of kids who may not have had previous experiences with the sport. NASCAR Diversity’s Edwin Walker was also on hand to assist our outreach efforts. The initiative received news coverage by two media outlets, Fox 8 (High Point) and News 14 (Greensboro).
Our outreach activities in the Langley/ Hampton area revolved around partnering with NASA’s Rockets to Race Cars initiative on June 22nd. The day began with a chaperoned tour of various facilities at NASA’s Langley Research Center, and concluded with a driver meet and greet at the Virginia Air and Space Museum. Bonnie Murray (NASA) hosted the four Rev Racing K&N drivers, Rev Racing’s PR staff, and Edwin Walker (NASCAR) on a tour that included visits to the Rapid Prototyping lab, the Landing and Impact Research Facility (or Gantry) where soft wall testing and development was conducted, and a 14×22 foot wind tunnel. While visiting the Gantry, our group was able to meet and speak with Richard Boitnott, Lead Test Engineer for the new Orion space capsule landing systems. Richard and his colleague Robin Hardy showed a video of the testing that took place at the Gantry in efforts to design the newest way to bring astronauts back from their space missions. Following the tour, the group attended an event with NASA summer campers at the Air and Space Museum. The drivers were on hand for a Q&A session, and signed a few hero cards for the kids as well as race fans that were in attendance.
The Fueling Your Dreams Tour support of the Black Expo-Upstate took place Saturday, June 16th. The goal of our participation was to further Rev Racing’s and NASCAR Diversity’s outreach to the African American community, as well as provide information about current diversity initiatives in the sport and receive feedback from those participants we engaged. Rev Racing’s Legend Series driver, Dylan Smith, was on hand to share knowledge with visitors. We had a great time and made a few new friends…and fans!
May was, by far, the busiest month for the Fueling Your Dreams tour! The team here at Rev Racing bounced between 5 different events during our 2-week activation schedule in the Charlotte area that ranged from a Ribbon Cutting ceremony, to partying it up with the Coke 600 crowd at the Speed Street festival. Our efforts began at the 10 Faces of She Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening ceremony. 10 Faces of She is a woman’s empowerment organization located in Harrisburg, NC. Rev Racing driver, Mackena Bell, was asked to attend the ribbon cutting as a Special Guest and also sign some autographs for the young ladies and women in attendance. She also coached a few attendees on our iRacing simulator, showing them that women can certainly get up on the wheel just as good (if not better) than the guys can. Later that evening, NASCAR Diversity hosted their Opinion Leaders event for the Charlotte market at Hendricks Motorsports facility. Some 20-plus African-American community and business leaders from the Charlotte area were in attendance. In addition to hearing presentations about NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity efforts and programs, the attendees where treated to a tour of several facilities at Hendricks Motorsports and gained a better understanding and awareness of the science and technology that goes into racing. The following day, our Fueling Your Dreams team pulled double duty. Our Toyota show car and iRacing simulator were featured assets on the showroom floor at the Florida A&M University’s Annual Alumni Conference, while our Pit Crew Development tire changer made an appearance on the concourse at the Sprint All Star Pit Crew Challenge in uptown Charlotte. We finished off our Charlotte stop by hanging out at the Food Lion Speed Street festival, an annual street fair in uptown Charlotte that takes place over 3 days prior to the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Our drivers were on hand to sign hero cards, take pictures, and talk with the many NASCAR fans and otherwise curious individuals who visited our booth. The iRacing simulator was a big hit and the Toyota show car once again proved to be a popular photo op subject. We had a blast in Charlotte! And when the dust settled, we knew we needed the recovery time until our next stop, which will be in the Langley, VA area, June 21-24. Until next time, Rev Racing fans………keep those dreams gassed up, with the accelerator mashed down!
The NASCAR Fueling Your Dreams Tour stop in Richmond, VA was a great success. The entire area was already abuzz with racing fever and we were able to jump right in and join the fun. Our first event of the weekend was an Opinion Leaders Reception, sponsored by the NASCAR Diversity Department, and held at the Hippodrome Theater in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond. This event introduced the sport of NASCAR and it’s diversity initiatives to some of the area’s professionals and community influencers, including, but not limited to, 100 Black Men of Richmond, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Henrico Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. The evening offered networking opportunities and featured guest speakers such as Max Siegel (Rev Racing’s CEO), Dawn Harris (NASCAR Diversity), and Dennis Bickmeier (Track President, Richmond International Raceway). A highlight of the night was an appearance by Sybil Scott, daughter of NASCAR legend and recent Hall of Fame nominee Wendell Scott. Rev Racing’s four K&N drivers were on hand to mix and mingle with crowd, answering curiosities and sharing their excitement of racing, gaining a few new fans in the process. Race day found the Fueling Your Dreams Tour at Richmond International Raceway. Our Toyota show car and popular iRacing driving simulator was set up in the track’s fan area outside of the Commonwealth Grandstand. Fans who came to see our K&N drivers compete that evening were treated to an impromptu appearance by Kyle Larson. On his way back to the garage after an autograph session, Kyle stopped at the iRacing simulator to run a few virtual laps around Richmond before qualifying. It may have proved beneficial because later that day, he qualified in the Second position for the evening’s race! On Friday, Rev Racing and NASCAR teamed with Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA for a Leadership Symposium offered to their Sports Management and Communications students. Max Siegel and Ryan Gifford participated in panel discussions, sharing their knowledge and experience in the sport with the VSU students, while the Toyota show car and iRacing simulator were on display outside. The university’s student body and faculty took laps around Richmond International Raceway, while receiving a little bit of coaching by drivers Jorge Arteaga and Ryan Gifford. Many took the opportunity to take pictures with the car and drivers as well, and there is a sense that a few walked away with more than a casual interest in what Rev Racing and NASCAR had going on. The last day of our stop in Richmond found us in the Kid Zone at RIR. We partnered with NASA and their new Rockets to Race cars program, aimed at educating students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Ryan and Jorge were on hand to discuss aspects of STEM and how they relate to the technological and safety advances in racing. They also signed a few autographs and took pictures with the kids. Overall, the weekend was busy, but we had a blast! The Richmond community was very welcoming to us and we can’t wait to go back and hang out with all of our new friends!
Rev Racing and NASCAR Diversity teamed up to bring the NASCAR Experience to the largest street fair in the country, Miami’s Calle Ocho. Calle Ocho is the finale event of Miami’s annual Carnival and takes place along 26 city blocks in the heart of Little Havana. Local food and music are in ready supply and the 400,000+ festival-goers take it all in with fervor. And Rev Racing was right in the middle of it all. Our Show Car was a main attraction and, along with the DJ, became the backdrop for a dance party that kept hundreds of partyers hanging out with us. Bryan Ortiz and Jorge Arteaga, 2 of our K&N Series drivers) provided a relevant connection to the overall atmosphere, as they were able to relate to the mostly Latin American audience through cultural similarities. They were able to present their experience with NASCAR and managed to create a few new fans in the process.
The monotony of the school week was broken Monday when students at Vance High School were greeted by racecars, drivers and NASCAR representatives. The NASCAR 2011 Fueling Your Dreams Tour made a pit stop at the school to teach students about opportunities for success in the motorsports industry. About 200 juniors and seniors at Vance spent the morning learning about the motorsports industry by listening to a presentation, talking to drivers, playing on racecar simulators and viewing the No. 6 Army racecar.[callout_right]There are so many opportunities out there for students. It may not be right in front of them, so (the event) is helping to plant the seed[/callout_right] “There are so many opportunities out there for students. It may not be right in front of them, so (the event) is helping to plant the seed,” said Alejandra Diaz-Calderon, NASCAR account executive in diversity affairs. This is the Fueling Your Dreams Tour’s second year, in which it is visiting more than 20 schools and wrapping up in the Charlotte area, Diaz-Calderon said. “The purpose is to expose young people to motorsports,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “But the bigger message is to encourage high school students to stay in school and continue on the path to success.” A part of the Fueling Your Dreams Tour, the NASCAR Fan Experience High School Outreach program is tailored to fit each school’s curriculum and teaches students about opportunities in the motorsports industry and informs them of available internships, mentorships and scholarships sponsored by NASCAR. The event helps to identify students interested in becoming race-car drivers and provides them the tools to meet their goals. The NASCAR program is also used as a reward for excelling students. This year, NASCAR partnered with Revolution Racing(now rev Racing) and the U.S. Army to put on the presentation. Students were introduced to minority drivers Darrell Wallace Jr., 17, of Concord and Mackena Bell, 24, of Carson City, Nev. [callout_left]”We just want to talk to young teens about what it means to be a driver,” said Wallace.[/callout_left]Both racers are part of the Revolution Racing(now Rev Racing) Drive For Diversity program, a development initiative for minority and female drivers and crew members. The two also recently finished filming the BET reality television show “Changing Lanes,” which will premier Sept.1. “We just want to talk to young teens about what it means to be a driver,” said Wallace. Wallace began racing at age 9 and has won multiple awards throughout his career, including Rookie of the Year honors in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He also won his first start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on March 27, 2010, becoming the youngest winner and the first African-American to win in series history. The Concord native’s advice to students hoping to enter the motorsports industry is to listen to their peers, stay focused and stick to their goals. As for breaking into the industry, Bell said young minorities “have to have a tough skin, because people are always trying to put you down.” She said it is especially hard to be female in a male-dominated sport. Bell’s career success includes the title of Legends division Rookie of the Year at Champion Speedway in 2005, making her the youngest driver and the only female to win in track history. “I am fortunate enough to race with this team and show the opportunities involved in this sport,” said Bell. Her advice to those students hoping to go into motorsports is to stay in school and surround themselves with positive, supportive individuals. For Vance High School Spanish teacher Rick Whitmore, this is the second year his class has participated. “My students need role models, and I hope they see that today,” said Whitmore. One of Whitmore’s students, Uju Nwador, a junior, said she watches NASCAR occasionally, but at the event she just wanted to have fun. The Fueling Your Dreams Tour finished the week at Garinger, McLeod Center and West Charlotte high schools. “I hope they come away with the understanding and value of a good education and the skills (as to) how they can apply it,” said Jadotte.
Brittany Penland is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Brittany? Email her at [email protected].
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR announced Monday the 2011 Fueling Your Dreams Tour, a creative and multifaceted program whose aim is to identify talented drivers and provide them with the tools and opportunities to fulfill their dreams of becoming race car drivers. Additionally, Fueling Your Dreams introduces a cross-section of young fans to NASCAR through resources, tools, experiential engagement and career opportunities within motorsports to help develop the next generation of motorsports executives. “The Fueling Your Dreams Tour is an innovative, hands-on initiative that brings core elements of NASCAR to communities and new audiences across the country,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president, public affairs and multicultural development. “NASCAR views this program as a necessary strategy to expose underserved communities to NASCAR and motorsports opportunities which can benefit all young people looking to connect with sports in non-traditional ways.” Currently under way and continuing until the end of the racing season, the Fueling Your Dreams Tour will blanket the nation, touching youth and families through racing simulators, show cars, contests, giveaways and online racing. High school students can enjoy the NASCAR Fan Experience High School Outreach program brought to their schools exclusively. Among some of the other Fueling Your Dreams Tour programs:
- Children ages 8 to 13 can test their driving skills through Youth Karting experiences..
- Career Panels will reveal the depth of career opportunities in NASCAR specifically, and the motorsports industry in general.
- Opinion leaders in tour cities will learn more about NASCAR initiatives at Influencers Dinners.
- Megachurches throughout the South will have NASCAR integrated into Sunday services during Faith-Based Outreach days.
- Continued support for NASCAR’s history-making Drive for Diversity team.
Revolution Racing’s(now Rev Racing) Fueling Your Dreams Tour stopped by Calle Ocho street festival with the U.S. Army. Over a million people attend the festival in Miami. Check out some photos!
Revolution Racing’s NASCAR Fueling Your Dreams Tour paid a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame during the CIAA tournament in Uptown Charlotte. The Tour features a complete race hauler available for tours, a NASCAR K&N Pro Series showcar, iRacing Motorsports simulators and free premium items. Both Michael Cherry and Mackena Bell were on hand to meet new fans and show them the way around the track on the simulators.
Revolution Racing was on-hand for the festivities leading up to the Daytona 500