When you couple the word charity along with NASCAR racing, then you throw a famous driver into the mix along with one of the sports biggest sponsors for that added flavor.
The end result can only produce a positive outcome, especially when its sole purpose is for the encouragement of underprivileged children.
What we are seeing in our world today is a lot of heartache, along with a society that just doesn’t seem to care about those that are less fortunate than others.
Instead of taking it upon ourselves to lend a helping hand to those that are searching for that peace and tranquility, its easier to turn and look in the other direction hoping that someone else will notice and come to their rescue.
Now when you think about the grueling schedule, along with the numerous sponsorship commitments that each NASCAR driver has to contend with.
There is one driver who refuses to turn his head in the other direction, and he has taken it upon himself to reach out to these children while giving them a hope that at one time was not there.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, will meet with local disadvantaged students and deliver a message of encouragement this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Harvick will partner up with his sponsor Shell Oil Company, and members of the Henry County Sheriff’s department to speak to area students, known as “Kevin’s Krew,”
“Kevin’s Krew,” which was started two years ago by Colton, California Police Officer Todd Smith, is a program designed to reach underprivileged and at-risk students and expose them to the racing industry.
“We’re looking forward to our fourth ‘Kevin’s Krew’ event of the 2009 season,” Smith said. “This program has really developed over the past year, and it’s been a positive influence on the students."
"We hope to show these students some of the job opportunities they can pursue in NASCAR, as well as giving them a unique experience at the track.”
Harvick, who will take part in a photo session along with talking to a group of about 40 students, had this to say about being an inspiration to the students.
“The message I hope to give is that these students can achieve any dream they set their minds to,” said Harvick. “I’ve been extremely lucky to have reached my goal of competing at NASCAR’s top level, but it took a lot of hard work and perseverance."
"A lot of people never thought I could become a successful race car driver, but I believed in myself. “I want these students to know that if they have a goal, they shouldn’t listen to anyone who tells them they can’t achieve it.”
Harvick continued,“If they believe in themselves and are willing to put in the work, there’s nothing they can’t achieve.”
“Kevin’s Krew” have already visited Auto Club (Fontana) Speedway, Infineon (Sonoma) Raceway and Michigan International Speedway earlier this season.
And the rest of the stops for the remainder of the 2009 include; Auto Club (Fontana) Speedway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.
On a normal race weekend, the day begins with a barbeque at a school site with the local police department where the families of the students are invited.
Then it’s off to the speedway where the kids get a tour of the race track and an opportunity to meet Harvick, as well as other NASCAR drivers and team members.
“The Universal Technical Institute has also assisted by speaking to the students at the track about various courses they have to offer the soon-to-be graduates.”
This year, a “Kevin’s Krew” senior in California was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and given a $100 Shell gas gift card to help with the start of school transportation.
“This was the highlight of so many of the wonderful rewards all of the participating students, police departments, and communities who have benefitted from this program,” Smith added.
“We couldn’t have done all of this at this level without the help of Shell Oil Company. They are indeed giving these students the fuel for success.”