LOUDON, N.H. – NASCAR drivers Melissa Fifield, Matt Swanson and Tyler Ankrum visited with nearly 500 kids on Monday in the Granite State to help kick off New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s Speeding to Read program for this school year.
From the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Fifield and Swanson joined the points leader for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Tyler Ankrum, to make visits to Loudon and Allenstown Elementary Schools.
“As a kid, I used to have the same kind of program, but it wasn’t as cool as this where we actually got involved with the Speedway,” said 17-year-old rookie Tyler Ankrum. “Being a NASCAR fan for all my life, it’s really fun and exciting to see all these kids pumped up for reading through the cool perks from the Speedway. Reading is a really important aspect in all of our lives.”
All three drivers talked about how they got started in racing, their favorite books, answered questions from the students and Ankrum even shot some hoops with the kids in Allenstown during recess.
In June, 26-year-old Wakefield, N.H. native Fifield paid a visit to the two winning classrooms, both of which happened to be at Allenstown Elementary School. Students among all participating schools in last year’s Speeding to Read program read nearly 63,000 books.
Swanson came from just over the border in Acton, Mass. to participate in Monday’s event.
“It’s been a great day here with New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Tyler Ankrum and Melissa Fifield teaching the kids how important it is to read in elementary school,” said Swanson. “It’s awesome to contribute and help publicize how important it is to read. It’s been fun hanging out with the kids, seeing how this program helps them, hearing how many books they’ve read and promoting the race coming up on September 22 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.”
Fifield, Swanson and Ankrum will all return to New Hampshire for Full Throttle Fall Weekend, as they all take on “The Magic Mile” – Ankrum in the first global NASCAR K&N Pro Series race, the Apple Barrel 125, and Fifield and Swanson in the longest mileage and richest purse race in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history, the Musket 250. The Sept. 21-22 weekend will also feature the first time Canada’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series will race in the U.S. at the Visit New Hampshire 100.
For ticket information for Full Throttle Fall Weekend visit the speedway website at www.NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.
About Speeding to Read
Speeding to Read is an incentive-based, motorsports-themed reading program launched by New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2017 to encourage elementary school students to read more frequently during the school year. Student bodies are split into two divisions – kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade – with individuals, classrooms and schools competing against each other to read the most books and earn the title of Speeding to Read champions. At the end of each school year, the top classrooms from each division receive a special visit from New Hampshire Motor Speedway to celebrate reading the most books. This year, there are four schools competing in Speeding to Read in Laconia, Loudon, Allenstown and Concord, N.H.