Students ... Start Your Engines!

   During the month of October, local students in grades K through 8 have a great opportunity to win big.  The South Dade News Leader and the Homestead-Miami Speedway have once again joined forces and are presenting their 5th Annual Art Contest.

   Now wait!  Maybe your child or student think they will never have a chance as they are not good artists.  The best thing about this contest is that it is the idea that counts.  Stick figures are just as good as the most trained artist’s drawing.  It’s not artistic talent but imagination that wins this contest!

   Students are asked to draw their perfect NASCAR race car.  What do they think would be a really great car?  Flower cars?  Super hero cars?  Whatever!  Let your imagination flow.

   The NASCAR Championship races will be held in at the Homestead-Miami Speedway November 17th through the 19th.  Who will cross the finish line first and be declared the winner of the Camping World Truck Series, Ford EcoBoost 200 on Friday night, the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Saturday and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday.  Champions will be crowned in all three series.

   On top of each individual race winner, there are nine other winners you will not recognize by name however you will notice how proud they are as they walk across the stage on the track on Saturday prior to the EcoBoost 300 and pose for pictures.  It is their moment to shine.  Who are these winners?  They are Kindergarten to 8th grade students from local schools.

   How did the students win their titles?

   In anticipation of the “Big Race”, during the month of October, students in schools, grades K through 8, from SW 252nd Street south to Key Largo are asked to draw a picture of what their perfect racecar would look like.

   A winner in each grade will be awarded two tickets to each of the races, their work is displayed at the track and yes, they will be honored on stage on Saturday before the race!  The children will smile from ear to ear and grab their moment in the spotlight.  Way cool right? 

   Wait…there’s more!

   On top of all that, three grand prize winners will be selected and will be surprised by being picked up at their home in the pace car and driven to school.  We will keep this a secret until the child gets ready to go to school and find the police knocking on their door and a pace car sitting in the driveway!  A   police escort!  Sirens blaring and horns honking!

   The children will feel like stars when they pull up in front of their school and students and teachers line the driveways, clapping and cheering for them!  

   As I write this article, I smile.  I smile at the memories of all the past winners.  Out of every event I attend during the year or things done in the community, to me, this is the most enjoyable and memorable experience as children are not afraid to display their sheer joy and happiness.

   Parents ask you children if their school is participating.  If not, send in your child’s entry.  E-mail me at and I will send you the form

   The late Mohammad Ali once said, “Children make you want to start life over.”  This old lady certainly wishes that I could start over and be a student winner like the nine youngsters who will hear, “Drivers start your engines” in their dreams!