Boys & Girls Club visits speedway as part of NASCAR diversity program – WSOC TV

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CONCORD, NC — The Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County got an exclusive tour of Charlotte Motor Speedway where the Roval 400 took place on Sunday.

The children had the chance to meet NASCAR drivers and explore career paths within the organization.

Eighth grader Zarriya York and 10th grader Ariyan Ford were one of 20 kids on the circuit.

“I just like to come and watch the races because the people who come to watch are positive and uplifting,” York said.

Cabarrus County Boys and Girls Club middle school principal Alec Forney took the group of kids to the Bank of America Roval 400 as part of the club’s two-year partnership with NASCAR.

Some parents were skeptical about the program that incorporates NASCAR.

“Every time we came here for the first time, it was right after the whole Bubba Wallace garage incident, and (the parents) were very skeptical,” Forney said.

Wallace discovered a hanging noose in his team’s garage in 2020.

Forney said bringing the group of kids and their parents to the track helped change perspectives.

Since 2020, NASCAR has doubled down on its diversity outreach, which has been in place since 2004, including initiatives such as the Boys & Girls Club of America Youth Community Partnership.

There are three main areas where the partnership focuses on STEM education, career development, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“Not just a driver,” Forney said. “Opportunities that arise here and learn more about jobs outside of driving.”

Sunday’s tour included the on-field medical center, pit road, broadcast facilities and corporate offices.

“I would love to be someone in the medical field and see how paramedics and paramedics come down so quickly and they help people,” York said.

Ford said she was inspired by the travels and was amazed at the cost of the vehicles.

It’s a future they never imagined for themselves.

“I want to be able to see and learn more about how they do this,” York said.

Despite the challenges that can arise in an industry trying to change perceptions and assumptions, Forney said he is committed to helping these teens explore all possibilities.

“If they want to race, that’s what I want for them,” Forney said. “I don’t want any obstacles in their way. I don’t want race to be a problem for them.

VIDEO: 13 young drivers selected to participate in the NASCAR program which promotes diversity

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