Contributed by: ACT Staff
Innovative Race To Read Kicks Off At Thunder Road
Sweet Claims Victory at Memorial Day Classic
This past Sunday, May 27 at Thunder Road in Barre, VT, Nick Sweet won the 50th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. It completed a dream for the former champion, etching his name into the final spot of the granite block that lists the 50 Memorial Day Classic winners, but his dreams were not the only ones to come true.
Fayston, VT’s Avery Murphy was named the first winner of the new Race to Read Program at Thunder Road, and selected Sweet as the “Driver of the Week”. The most innovative and exciting program to come to Thunder Road in years was started by Street Stock driver Troy Kingsbury of Waitsfield, VT. He has been visiting elementary schools all across Vermont with the promise that if students can read 15 books, they will get to sign the hood of his racecar. Thunder Road has joined the effort by holding a drawing at the races for children who show progress on their reading list. The winner receives a family pass to the races and gains the privilege of choosing the “Race to Read Driver of the Week”. If this driver finishes on the podium in their race, the raffle winner will get the chance to celebrate with their favorite driver in victory lane.
When Nick Sweet won on Sunday, a teary eyed Murphy jumped down the steps and onto the track where she patiently waited for Sweet to hop out of his car. When he did, she was interviewed by media, held his trophy in Victory Lane, and was even invited to tech where she signed his car and received his Mekkelsen RV hat. Memories that would last a lifetime were created, all from a child’s love of reading. Sweet was thrilled to be part of what he thinks is the next national phenomenon.
“It was quite an honor to be picked, there’s nothing better than the feeling that you’re liked by somebody. Avery had to work very hard to be a part of that, so getting chosen by a girl as smart and dedicated as her was great,” Sweet said. “This Race to Read program is just doing everything right in the business. Some day these kids will run our country, and their education is so key right now. I’m surprised that NASCAR and some of the bigger organizations haven’t signed on. It gets kids involved, and that’s what this sport is built on,” he finished.
Sweet has already committed to visit schools with Kingsbury in the coming weeks to continue his support for Race to Read. The next Race to Read drawing will be at the Sherwin-Williams event on Sunday, June 10 at Thunder Road. Post time is 4:00pm. Adult tickets are $10, family passes are $20, children 6-12 are $3, and children 6 and under are free.