Friday, April 12, 2013

Jeff Gordon And The Cat In The Hat Team Up To Fight Cancer

FORT WORTH -- NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon made an unusual entrance to Texas Motor Speedway Thursday.

Gordon arrived on a motorcycle with The Cat in the Hat -- the furry mascot of Dr. Seuss fame. Both were guests of the speedway's "Speeding to Read" program, attended by 1,500 students from three schools of the Northwest Independent School District.

“We began with them two years ago, and it has really motivated the kids," said Julie Nerby, principal of Clara Love Elementary School.

The three schools combined to read more than 283,000 books for the school year, something even Gordon can't top.

"Aw, that's impressive -- that's a definite no," Gordon said. "I don't think I’ve read that many books, or will, in my lifetime."

Katie, a kindergartner, read 2,890 books on her own. Or, "A lot!” (as she put it).

It wasn't long before Gordon was on the track for the first practice session, getting ready for Saturday night's NRA 500.

"We've run good here, but we've also run really bad here at times and struggled here," Gordon said. "Like I said, this is a very challenging race track, so it can go either way."

Gordon is currently 12th in the Sprint Cup standings. His only win here at Texas came four years ago. He's started from the pole position on three different occasions -- more than any other driver.

"It's not an easy mile-and-a-half track," Gordon said. "I love how the grove has really moved around."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Niece Karsyn Races Karts

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s niece Karsyn Elledge is just 11 and she races karts. She is progressing her racing career.

Karsyn is moving up to the 125cc go-kart class at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, N.C., driving the No. 3 Air Hogs car on dirt.

Her dream is to one day race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series like her famous uncle.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Danica reads to kids at White House

Daytona 500 pole winner stays active in Easter Egg Roll event
NASCAR star Danica Patrick took in the sights and sounds of the 135th White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, meeting President Obama and his family before participating with other athletes and celebrities in kid-friendly activities on the South Lawn.
After also meeting Bo, the Obamas' family pet, the Daytona 500 pole winner fittingly read to schoolchildren from "Go, Dog, Go," the 1961 P.D. Eastman classic illustrated book featuring a group of car-driving canines.

"To have the opportunity to come to the White House and then be able to meet the President, First Lady and their family, including the dog, it’s a great honor for me to do that for them," Patrick said. "GoDaddy is so close obviously with me, and they play such a big role in the world, really, so I know that things like this are very important to them. It’s an honor. That’s all I can say. It’s a neat opportunity."

Besides honor and opportunity, Patrick had some time to speak casually with the President, who expressed a desire to drive her boss' race car during Tony Stewart's 2012 Champion's Tour of the White House.

"He was asking me about NASCAR and some of the on-track, off-track things that have been going on lately with drivers," Patrick said. "So I was explaining why that happens, how that happens and if there's some truth behind it."

Patrick also took part in a yoga session on the White House grounds in conjunction with the event's theme: "Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!" The egg roll motto is part of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative to promote a healthier lifestyle among America's youth.

"Starting from a young age and having an active lifestyle is something that I feel like is important for kids to learn," Patrick said. "... It's just a good core value in your lifestyle."

The next stop for Patrick will be her first career appearance at Martinsville Speedway, site of Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX) for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

"I'm just excited for the race," Patrick said. "I'm trying to see if it's one of those that I just catch on to quickly or if it could be a complete disaster. It has that likelihood. It's a challenging track, but I think it's fun to go anywhere that's a legendary, famous track, and Martinsville's that."

Danica Patrick reads "Go, Dog, Go" to a group of kids at the White House.