Gaughan, Crew Members To Visit With D.C. UYRS Students
Before tackling the concrete oval of Dover International Speedway on June 1, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) driver Brendan Gaughan and two members of his South Point Racing team will make a pit stop at the Urban Youth Racing School (UYRS) in Washington, D.C.
Gaughan, along with jack man Calvin Gravely and rear tire carrier Chris Justice, will visit with students at the UYRS-D.C. on Wednesday, May 30 at 4 p.m. at the IDEA Public Charter School, 1027 45th Street, NE, where UYRS-DC is housed.
The Urban Youth Racing School was founded 1998 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by sports marketing expert, Anthony Martin. UYRS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to educating, training and preparing young people for adulthood by exposing them to career opportunities in the automotive and motorsports industries and to the discipline, teamwork, skill and the thrill of racing. The Washington, DC branch of the Urban Youth Racing School opened in September 2006 in partnership with IDEA Public Charter School.
“I’m really proud of what Anthony Martin has done with the Urban Youth Racing School,” Gaughan said. “It started out as just a little bitty dream in a little building in Philadelphia, and he talked about getting it to other inner cities. I’m really proud and excited for him that he achieved his goal and has started a school in Washington, D.C. – one of many more to come.”
After all, Gaughan has a unique tie to the Washington, D.C. branch of the UYRS. Gaughan graduated from nearby Georgetown University in 1997 with a degree in business management. While at Georgetown, he played on both the football and basketball teams.
“I can’t think of a better place than D.C. to go and get something done for the kids that need some help to get out of the inner city,” Gaughan said. “If we can give them another avenue to get interested in something like racing through the UYRS, it’s just another way that we can give them a chance in life.”
The South Point Racing team also has a special connection with UYRS – three members of Gaughan’s over-the-wall crew are African-American, including Gravely and Justice who will visit with students at the school.
The visit will be the first chance Gaughan, who has been a spokesperson for UYRS, has had to visit the school’s newest location. It will also give students the opportunity to meet a NASCAR driver and to ask questions and learn from pit crew members.
“Some kids respond better to people who came from their own situations,” Gaughan said. “So, I think the fact that they will have the opportunity to meet Calvin and Chris is very important.
“It will give the kids someone to look up to and say, ‘I can do that.’ I think that always helps with kids.”
The most important thing, Gaughan says, is that UYRS is giving kids an opportunity. It is teaching them a skill set that they might not have otherwise learned and encouraging them to become involved in other arenas that they might not have thought of – like NASCAR.
“NASCAR is one heck of a sport,” Gaughan said. “It’s one of the most exciting sports on television right now. If you can show a kid, that racing is as much of a sport as basketball or football and get them involved, I think you are going to see a whole lot more athletes in the garage, and a lot more diversity, which in the end is what NASCAR is working toward.”