The 2009 "Read for Speed" Program Takes the Checkered Flag

Mark Wilkins, Burt Frissell, and Bruno Junqueira Take Part in the Program's 2009 Grand Finale at WGI

Read for Speed Visit

Students from WGE stand with Read for Speed mascot Max Traxx following their laps around The Glen.

The students of Watkins Glen Elementary School celebrated the conclusion of the Read for Speed program with a trip to Watkins Glen International on Thursday, June 4.  About 100 students visited the track as a reward for being named one of the “fastest” classes during the three month program.  The trip was headlined by pace laps and a meet and greet with Mark Wilkins, Burt Frisselle, and Bruno Junqueira, who are drivers of the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. 

AIM Autosport's Mark Wilkins commented, "It was really great to meet all the kids this morning and see their enthusiasm.  It is very encouraging to see the effort and dedication that have put into the reading program - and at such an early age.  This will definitely carry forward for them."  He continued, "It is also great to see Watkins Glen International work with the community to foster such programs and create rewards like this.  A day at the track and getting to do some laps around the circuit is something the kids will not soon forget.  Burt (Frisselle), Bruno (Junqueira) and I were very happy to do this.  Congratulations to the kids, their teachers and everyone at Watkins Glen."

After three laps around the track, the fieldtrip concluded with a picnic lunch behind the FrontStretch Grandstand while the KONI Challenge Series practiced on track.  As an additional reward, Friendly’s Restaurant provided the students with a special ice cream cake. 

“We had a great program all around this year,” said Rodney Weeden, principal of Watkins Glen Elementary School.  “We smashed the record from last year and read over 24,000 books this year.  Next week, I get to dress up in pickle suit which was another one of the rewards that the kids earned.  I just really want to say thank you to Watkins Glen International, Friendly’s and all of the businesses that sponsor this program.” 

“I thought it was really awesome because I haven’t met any of them before, and I really like cars.  So it was a really great experience today,” said Amanda Armstrong, a 3rd-grader at Watkins Glen Elementary School who read 60 books during the program’s duration. 

Tickets for the entire 2009 season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now!  The season kicks-off with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen weekend, June 5-6, featuring the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, KONI Challenge, and NASCAR Camping World Series East.  Weekend tickets are only $35 and general admission for kids 12 and under is FREE when accompanied by an adult.  For tickets and information, please contact the WGI ticket office at 866-461-RACE or log on to the official Watkins Glen website at Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can be all purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen, Open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4, Closed Sunday; 607-535-2338.

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