NST: Steve Smith - NST Wyoming spotlight

Stevie Smith and the 'Easter egg' car ready for Wyoming There are various ways to describe the looks of Stevie Smith's car. With the light purple and white paint job and mustard yellow wheels, the car certainly stands out. Perhaps...

Stevie Smith and the 'Easter egg' car ready for Wyoming

There are various ways to describe the looks of Stevie Smith's car.

With the light purple and white paint job and mustard yellow wheels, the car certainly stands out.

Perhaps Smith has the best explanation of the car, sponsored by the RAACE foundation. RAACE stands for Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere.

"It's all about the kids," the veteran driver originally from Pennsylvania said. "That's why the car looks like an Easter egg."

Smith started regularly running National Sprint Tour shows early last month when the series made its second swing through PA Posse country. Smith and the other NST drivers will be in Rock Springs, Wyo. this weekend for a Sept. 15-16 doubleheader at Sweetwater Speedway.

Now based out of Oklahoma, Smith first became associated with the Baltimore-based RAACE last year. His uncle, Ken Smith, started the non-profit foundation in 2004 to raise public awareness of child sexual abuse and to fund educational programs to fight the epidemic.

It is estimated that 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims don't come forward, a stat that led to the formation of RAACE.

"Raising awareness of child abuse is exactly what this is about," Stevie Smith said. "That's all they are after with us. They want us to spread the awareness, and let people know there is a problem. RAACE is trying to address that problem. They have different events and quite a few shows they do. The part we're to do is spread awareness. We're not trying to do anything else."

Of course, Smith and his team -- including father and crew chief Steve Smith -- are trying to win as well. Smith finished a strong third in the last NST race at Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. The race before, Smith briefly took the lead in Cottage Grove, Ore. before a mechanical problem knocked him out.

Smith and Jason Sides won the trophy dashes that night in Oregon, and following the dashes the drivers gave their trophies to the children who drew their starting positions. Throughout the year, young fans have had the opportunity to draw starting positions for the NST trophy dashes. Children have pictures taken with the drivers, and get autographed NST stickers.

With an organization like RAACE behind him, having a child draw his dash starting position is a logical tie-in for Smith.

"It is, definitely," Smith said. "The people at RAACE like the connection with the kids in the pill draws."

For years Smith has raced with and won against top drivers like Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser, who currently sit 1-2 in the NST points. Smith, who held off Kinser for third in Hanford, has enjoyed racing against like Lasoski, Kinser, Tim Kaeding, Jason Meyers and the other NST drivers.

"I think it's the way to go," Smith said of the NST. "I like the way they do things. I think it's a team-oriented series. And the best drivers are there, so I want to be a part of that."

Smith and some of the NST drivers raced in Rock Springs a few years ago, but it has been a while since they raced at the track which is 6,250 feet above sea level.

"I recall it was a pretty good track," Smith said. "I recall it had a lot of bank in it, and was kind of sandy. It seemed like it was a good show. I'm sure this weekend will be a good show, too."

Tickets for the Friday-Saturday doubleheader are $35 a night, and can be purchased by phone at 307-352-6789 ext. 200 or online at www.sweetwaterevents.com/specialeventsNST.html. Tickets purchased online can also be printed online.

For more information on the NST, visit www.nationalsprinttour.com. For more on the RAACE foundation, visit www.raace.org.

-credit: nst

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Series Sprint
Drivers Steve Smith , Steve Kinser , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Tim Kaeding