DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Prior to cars hitting the track for one of the biggest race weekends of the season, The NASCAR Foundation hosted its biggest-ever event for children across the street from Daytona International Speedway at the ONE DAYTONA lifestyle/entertainment complex on Thursday.
Several hours before practice sessions began for the 60th Annual Coke Zero Sugar 400, The NASCAR Foundation – through a partnership with Brown & Brown Insurance – hosted 500 children from the Daytona Beach community for its second annual Speediatrics Fun Day Festival. The unique and interactive event, one of five youth-oriented festivals being held throughout 2018 in select NASCAR race markets by the foundation, is all about inspiring children to lead healthy lifestyles.
NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Joey Gase, Kaz Grala, Shane Lee and Vinnie Miller and NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Isabella Robusto helped kick off the event by leading kids through warm-up exercises, including running in place, jumping jacks, squats and stretching. The NASCAR Foundation’s mascots Chase, Safety Sam and Victory Lane were also on hand. The drivers also participated alongside the kids in activities such as Goodyear Tire Races, Pinewood Derby Races and Sponge Relay Races.
“I got to meet a NASCAR driver,” exclaimed one child in attendance, when asked what the coolest part of the day was.
New this year and in an effort to combat the rise of childhood obesity, each child who attended the event received a NASCAR Foundation “Fit Kit” complete with pedometer and jump rope – providing the children with all they need to help develop a routine of regular physical activity.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Corey LaJoie – whose nickname happens to be “Super Shoe” – was also on hand to help distribute a brand-new pair of athletic shoes to the children in attendance.
“This was our biggest event for kids ever – and certainly one of our best,” said The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Nichole Krieger. “Having the drivers take part alongside the kids was a perfect fit. The kids loved it … we all loved it.”