Mentor Urban Youth program news 2003-09-10

READING, Pa. 0x2022 Bring-a-child-to-work day will take on a whole new look at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Saturday, Sept. 13. Craftsman Motorsports, in conjunction with NHRA, will sponsor "Urban Youth Racing School Day at the...

READING, Pa. 0x2022 Bring-a-child-to-work day will take on a whole new look at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Saturday, Sept. 13.

Craftsman Motorsports, in conjunction with NHRA, will sponsor "Urban Youth Racing School Day at the Races." A dozen students from the Urban Youth Racing School in Philadelphia will get a special behind-the-scenes look at the motorsports industry.

The Urban Youth Racing School is a non-profit organization committed to the education, training and preparation of today's urban youths through exposure to the automotive and motorsports industry. In 2002, 78 urban boys and girls successfully completed the 10-week motorsports orientation and training programs.

From turning wrenches on a Funny Car to learning how to operate a Christmas tree to watching ESPN broadcasters in action, these students will get a first-hand look at the work it takes to conduct an NHRA Nationals event.

"Craftsman, as sponsor of the annual NHRA Craftsman scholarships and official partner of NHRA, believes in playing an active role in building dreams for young people, and introducing them to motorsports through the Urban Youth Racing School is a perfect way to do so," said Toure Claiborne, Sears motorsports marketing manager. "NHRA and all the racers have been instrumental in helping us do just that. We at Sears and Craftsman see this as the right thing to do to continue to build diversity in motorsports."

The students, age 12 through 16, will spend the day touring Maple Grove Raceway where mentors will explain all aspects of drag racing. Drivers Dale Creasy Jr., Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Geno Scali and others will talk about preparing and driving race cars. NHRA officials will cover the operation of the event with visits to the start line and control tower. The students will also see television being made with a stop at the ESPN broadcast facilities.

While the drag racing experience may be new for some of the students, they will not need a translator. The youngsters are already knowledgeable about motorsports. As part of the Urban Youth Racing School experience, the students build, maintain and even race mini stock cars at various tracks in Philadelphia.

"Events like these are the most important for the kids in our school because they get a hands-on look at what happens on race day," said Anthony Martin, executive director of the Urban Youth Racing School. "To have the opportunity to spend time with drivers, crew members, NHRA officials and Sears Craftsman executives is really fantastic for these kids.

"A lot of these kids dream about this, so to actually be involved for a day and see what goes on means a whole lot to them and the school," Martin added.

Craftsman, the Official Tools of NASCAR, has sponsored the annual Sears Craftsman Nationals since 1995. According to a 2002 EquiTrend survey, Craftsman is rated the No. 1 brand in the nation among men for overall quality. Sears sells more than 1,600 Craftsman hand tools that are guaranteed forever. If any Craftsman hand tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, return for free repair or replacement. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services nationwide through its Full-line stores, Sears Hardware stores, Sears Dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores, as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Dale Creasy Jr. , Geno Scali