There is great anticipation and excitement as kids from our Jacksonville campus pile out of vans and run to the entrance of the Daytona International Speedway for a personal guided tour by former ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) race car driver Carl McCormick.
Every year for the past five years McCormick has provided the kids on the Jacksonville campus with a rare behind the scenes look at stock car racing during the annual ARCA test sessions at the Dayton International Speedway. The Speedway is the site of the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race.
Although McCormick no longer races, he still maintains close personal ties with the race community including NASCAR and the staff at the Daytona International Speedway.
The kids first enter the exhibit area where they can see various cars on display, play games, and take their turn in a race car simulator. Two brothers Brian and Ryan rode together in the simulator. “It was pretty crazy!” said Ryan. “I was terrified when we flipped. I’m glad that wasn’t real!”
After touring the exhibit area, they head out to the track where they have lunch and get to meet some race car drivers who are test driving their cars in preparation for a future stock car race. Before leaving the kids receive souvenirs, such as hats, t-shirts, and other memorabilia.
It was quite by happenstance that McCormick got involved in providing the annual tour for the kids.
“I have a window installation company in Jacksonville, and about five years ago I had a job at the Children’s Homes replacing a broken window. After being around the kids I just felt compelled to do something,” McCormick said.
“I had connections at the Speedway and thought the kids might enjoy the experience. Well they loved it, and I am more than happy to keep providing them with the experience every year. I guess you could say that this is my one thing. I believe that everyone has at least one thing they can do to make the life of a disadvantaged child a little brighter.”
What’s your one thing?
What’s your one thing? Everyone has something they can do to help enrich the lives of disadvantaged kids. Individuals, churches, and other groups provide some very meaningful activities for our kids that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy otherwise. Thank you to everyone who makes a difference in the lives of our wonderful kids!