Students Driven to Success by Racing Program

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 27, 2006) - A one of a kind program here in Philadelphia is creating quite a buzz throughout the country. It is for children ages 8-18 and has over 800 people on the waiting list. CBS 3’s Angela Russell reports young participants at the Urban Youth Racing School said they plan to race straight to the top.

A national commercial features several kids who are likely the future of this sport.

NASCAR's roots are in the southeast, so like many of the children in Philadelphia, Jeremy Ortiz knew little about the sport until the racing school came along.

"It's fun. I'm good at it- really good. I see a future in it,” said Ortiz.

The Urban Youth Racing School shows its students, who are mostly minorities, what is possible in the world of motor sports, on the track and behind the scenes.

"When you see NASCAR, it's not just the driver it's the team."

18-year-old Shawna Stanton wants to make NASCAR history by becoming the first woman on a pit crew. She said at first many of her friends did not understand.

"They look at me like, ‘Change tires, what are you talking about?’ I’m like, 'Ya'll don't understand,'” said Stanton.

The school first opened in 1998. Leon Simmons Jr. started attending the school in 1999 and now he is on his way to a race in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"It's fun, going against 15 other drivers and proving you're the best, it's exciting,” said Simmons.

Students said the school has changed their lives.

“Words can't explain. It's helping me get to where I want to be,” said one student.

Intitially, the program lasts five weeks with students attending classes on Saturdays.


Related Links

Urban Youth Racing School  

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