Students at Watkins Glen Elementary School had special visitors on Thursday, June 5. GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing teammates and 2007 defending Rolex series champs, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, visited the school for a special assembly. The drivers are in town for this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International and are also the defending winners of both 2007 Rolex Series races at The Glen. Gurney and Fogarty were the first drivers to visit Watkins Glen Elementary in the four-year history of the program.
The drivers participated in two assemblies for students that were designed to wrap up the Read for Speed program for the year. During the first assembly, drivers read two books to students from Pre-K through 2nd grade. A second assembly was held for 3rd and 4th graders where the drivers also read two more. After the book readings, Fogarty and Gurney answered the student's questions during a question and answer session. The teammates also helped distribute trophies to the top readers of each class.
"It was a fun little treat for us to hand out trophies and be a part of that," said Alex Gurney. "The kids accomplished a lot there. 19,000 books is a lot of books!"
Fogarty hoped that his team can be just as successful on the track this weekend as the kids were in the Read for Speed program.
"One of the books we read to the kids was about a red car winning a race and hopefully that bodes well for us this weekend," said Jon Fogarty. "I know when I was their age I would have been pretty stoked to get out of class and go listen to some race car drivers talk about what they do. It's good to keep them pumped on racing and reading."
Following the assemblies, the fastest class of each grade was invited to the track for special activities. The students went on a lap around the 3.4 mile road course and ate lunch at the track. Friendley's also donated a special ice cream cake for the kids to celebrate their achievements.
The Read for Speed program offers students incentives to read, including gift certificates to local businesses, exclusive track access and once in a lifetime access at the track. Watkins Glen Elementary School has been a highly successful participant in this program over the last four years. The program lasted from the end of February until May 16th during which the students read a total of 19,791 books. For meeting their goal, the students of WGE will also get the opportunity to sink school principal Rodney Weeden in a dunking tank on Wednesday, June 18th. The overall winner of the program will also get their picture taken in Gatorade Victory Lane with the race winner during either the Camping World Grand Prix IndyCar Series race at The Glen or the Centurion Boats at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Tickets for the historic 60th Anniversary of racing in Watkins Glen are on-sale now! The season kicks-off this weekend with the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, June 6-7 paired with the NASCAR Camping World Series' East Division on Sunday, June 8. General admission tickets for Kids 12 and under are FREE during the June 6-8 and July 4-6 event weekends when accompanied by an adult. Open-wheel racing returns for the 4th of July weekend during the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, July 4-6, and the Centurion Boats at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup and Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend highlights the summer action, August 7-10. For more tickets and more information, please contact the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official website www.TheGlen.com.