Joe Ruttman Puts Time Off to Good Use

Lebanon, Tennessee-- (May 1st, 2000) During the week off, while most of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers were racing somewhere else or just relaxing at home, Joe Ruttman was at the Dickson County Alternative Learning Center. Ruttman...

Lebanon, Tennessee-- (May 1st, 2000) During the week off, while most of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers were racing somewhere else or just relaxing at home, Joe Ruttman was at the Dickson County Alternative Learning Center. Ruttman spent this past Friday talking to students at the Center about setting goals and working to achieve them. The Dickson County Alternative Learning Center is located in Dickson County, Tennessee just West of Nashville. The school is for students ranging from third grade to seniors in High School. The Center helps teach them skills such as responsibility, leadership, having positive attitudes, and self-control. "I had a great time," said Ruttman. "It was a lot of fun to talk to the kids. It's something special to talk to young people and see them react to what you have to say, not just think your some old man that is lecturing them. Every one of them has hopes and dreams. They just need a little help in getting on the right track to making them come true. I just hope that I was able to leave a positive affect with some of them." Ruttman, who drives the No.18 Dana truck on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for Winston Cup driver, Bobby Hamilton, met with students for most of the day. He even took time to have lunch with the kids and experience what they do each day. The group discussions lasted about two hours each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each of the groups consisted of about 30 students ranging in age from seven to 17. With each group, Ruttman tried to find out what the kids were interested in and exchanged stories about things he had been through and things they had been through. The students asked questions, such as, how did you get into racing and who gave you your chance at your dream. In each case, the students appeared to take what Ruttman had to say to heart. When it was time for him to leave, many of them exchanged e-mail addresses with the Dana Dodge driver. "I'm looking forward to doing this again," said Ruttman. "I think we're going to a similar school later this year, so I hope I have as much fun there. They are good kids. Most of them just need a second chance and I think they will get one at the Learning Center. The thing I'm going to have fun with is getting to e-mail and keep in touch with them." Ruttman is planning to be at the Craftsman Fanfest at Union Station, in downtown St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, May 5th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. He and other NASCAR drivers will be on hand to meet fans and give autographs. Sears, Craftsman, Gateway International Raceway, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series are coordinating the Union Station event.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Joe Ruttman