LUCAMA, NC – 251 area students from Lucama Elementary School visited Southern National Motorsports Park for field trip where they toured the facility, learned about racing and the importance of education.
Southern National Motorsports Park competitors Haley Moody, Jeremy Bohne, John Ordiway, Billy Hall and Savannah Beasley, along with CARS Tour spotter Shane Bogue and track employees all spoke to the kids about safety, education, communications and more.
“It’s a good experience for the kids to come out here because not many kids get that chance to come out here,” Moody, 20, from Kinston, North Carolina said. “It was just a big thing because they look up to me and those kinds of kids, they touch your heart because they think so much of you and it was just a good time.”
Moody won the 2014 Limited Late Model championship and will be racing a Late Model in Sunday’s Jerry Moody Memorial, a race held in honor of her father who passed away in November 2013. She is often seen talking with children at races and that influence is part of why she was selected as NASCAR’s Diverse Driver of the Year.
During her time with the elementary school children, Moody stressed the importance of getting an education.
“Education’s important. That’s what gets you through life. It starts early when they’re in elementary school and the people impact them and influence them to continue school. Going to college is a big thing now to get a good job and it’s very important.”
25-year-old John Ordiway is active duty United States Air Force stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Ordiway races in the U-CAR division at Southern National Motorsports Park.
“I think it’s awesome,” Ordiway said. “I think we got a great turnout today, a lot of people, new faces. I think we’re going to see a lot more people in the stands. It was amazing. It was definitely an experience, first time experience for me enlightening kids on education and doing stuff that you want to do in your life.”
Legends driver Billy Hall, 19, from Mount Olive, North Carolina said it was important for the long term health of the sport for racetracks to be involved with the youth.
“I think it’s critical for tracks to be involved with the youth because they’re the race fans and race drivers of the future,” Hall remarked. “Racing’s becoming more of a, the crowd’s getting older. It’s mostly 40 and 50 year olds excited about racing but today was really refreshing. A lot of potential race fans and even race drivers that are racing go karts right now and it makes me really excited about the future of racing.”
Bandolero racer Savannah Beasley, 16, from Kenly, North Carolina had a blast with the kids from the local elementary school. Beasley herself has gotten involved with racing thanks to the help of Southern National Motorsports Park track owner Michael Diaz. Beasley talked to the kids about safety and other things and even got some new hair styles from the kids.
“It’s fun to come out here and have the kids come out here and look at the car and realize that, ‘hey, this is something I could do when I get older’ and I love being around kids and making them smile,” Beasley commented. “Everyone seemed like they have a good time when they come out here and I love being out here with the kids.”
Jeremy Bohne, 28, from Wilson, North Carolina drives in the Charger division at Southern National Motorsports Park. Shane Bogue, 35, from Wilson, North Carolina is a spotter in the CARS Tour for Cole Timm, who won the opening race in the tour at Southern National Motorsports Park on March 28th. He spoke about spotter communications.
Each of the drivers brought their cars and took laps in the morning and the afternoon with the kids watching from the stands. Moody, Ordiway and Bogue gave each of the kids hero cards and Southern National Motorsports Park gave all the kids a free ticket to attend a future race.
Along with talking to the drivers and getting to watch cars at speed, the students spent time playing at the track’s playground, arcade, raced pedal cars on the track’s frontstretch and ran the distance of the track.
The next race at Southern National Motorsports Park will be the Inaugural Jerry Moody Memorial on Sunday, May 17th. Late Models, Chargers, Legends, U-CARs and Bandoleros will all be in action. Gates open at 12pm, racing starts at 3pm.
For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.