Students at Albert Harris Elementary School in Martinsville got a special visitor today, as Camping World Truck Series driver Daniel Hemric dropped by to read to the kids.
Hemric’s visit was a part of Martinsville Speedway’s Read Your Way to the Race program, which rewards students for reading by giving them rewards for reaching certain benchmarks.
“It was a lot of fun,” Hemric said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten to do it. It’s a great opportunity to come out and represent Martinsville Speedway and NASCAR and spend some time with the kids.”
Hemric, who chose a racing-related Bernstein Bears book to read, found quickly that race fans and the students have something in common.
“They were kind of my biggest critics,” he laughed. “They gave me a hard-time about my signature, but it was a lot of fun.
“I really enjoyed reading to them and being able to share a story with them and help them get through this part of their life and hopefully excel to be something great.”
Teachers said the visit has many benefits for the students.
“First and foremost, it shows the students the importance of reading,” Ashley Taylor, a first-grade teacher at the school, said. “But it also gives them the opportunity to learn about racing and Martinsville
Speedway, as well as gives them the opportunity to see that hard work and goal-setting can pay off.”
Hemric said racing is no match for the challenge of reading to the kids.
“The racing stuff, sitting in the seat, that’s my comfort zone,” he said. “This was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to do this.”
However, he said the kids’ reactions made it all worth it.
“It’s really cool to see the smiles on these kids’ faces and how excited they are to be here and take in what we’ve had the opportunity to do here.”
Adult ticket prices for the Kroger 200 are just $30. Kids 12 and under are only $5.
The Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 is the first race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Tickets to the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 on November 1, the Kroger 200 on October 31 and the Virginia Lottery Pole Day on October 30 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX or purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.