Saturday, April 30, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Putting two teams in same shop already making a difference for the drivers
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
by Justin Vick
MOORESVILLE – Lake Norman Elementary School held a pep rally on Tuesday, April 12, to celebrate how far students have come in their efforts to make stock car racing the state sport of North Carolina.
The project began about a year ago with research – lots of it. The 13 students, nicknamed the Pit Crew, have worked twice a week after school since May 2010 on the project, which they have presented to town commissioners and the school board.
Their idea has spawned two bills in the General Assembly – House Bill 333 and Senate Bill 322.
Since then, students have written persuasive letters to legislators in support of the bills. And in a few weeks, they hope to speak directly to lawmakers.
Thanks to donations from the North Carolina Motorsports Association and SunTrustBank, the Pit Crew has the means to travel to Raleigh. All they need to do now is schedule a date and time to speak.
The project has been memorable for fourth-grade teacher Nettie Gambill, whom Principal Boen Nutting credits for getting students revved up about the idea.
“Once I found out that a group of students made the sweet potato a state vegetable, I thought, ‘Why can’t we do something like that?’” Gambill said. “And we’re going to do it because we’ve gotten so much community and school support.”
Tuesday’s rally served as another milestone for students as they earned support from a member of one of racing’s greatest dynasties – the Earnhardt family.
“Racing is very big to North Carolina,” said guest speaker Kelley Earnhardt, general manager of JR Motorsports. “I’m sure that a lot of your parents probably work in motorsports.”
Hers did. Her father was the late Dale Earnhardt, arguably the sport’s greatest driver.
And on Tuesday, Kelley Earnhardt had the honor of introducing her 10-year-old daughter, Karsyn Elledge, who rode into the pep rally in her No. 333 Mini Outlaw car. Karsyn adorned her car with decals in support of the bill, including North Carolina and checkered racing flags.
Karsyn’s dad, NASCAR crew chief Jimmy Elledge, introduced her to go-karts, while her uncle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., encouraged her to drive. But Karsyn has come into her own as a driver, winning three consecutive races last year in the Mini Outlaw Series. She races at Millbridge and Woodleaf speedways.
Her goal for this season is simple – “to bring home more hardware.”
“The No. 3 is special to me because my grandfather, Dale Earnhardt, drove the No. 3 in many of his championship victories,” said Karsyn, a fifth-grader attending Shepherd Elementary.
Both bills in the House and Senate mention the fact that Earnhardt lived in North Carolina as a reason to justify stock car racing’s significance to the state.
Pit Crew members also received a loud ovation as they arrived at the pep rally in the back of a pickup. Sloan Edemann said it was amazing to get that kind of reaction from her classmates.
“It feels great that people my age are interested in this,” Sloan said. She believes that just being in Raleigh with her teammates will help convince lawmakers that racing deserves to be the state sport.
Principal Boen Nutting was proud to see students supporting their classmates.
“This is a great example of what we are doing at Iredell County Schools right now, which is 21st-century learning,” Nutting said. “That means we are taking learning out of the classroom and into the community. And this time, we are taking our learning all the way to Raleigh.”