FORT WORTH, Texas (April 6, 2017) - Before a rousing crowd of nearly 500 elementary school students at B.B. Owen in The Colony, Wallace made a visit to surprise fourth-grader Xavier Gooden with a Lionel Racing 1:24 scale die-cast bearing his winning design.
The school welcomed Wallace in grand fashion with a police escort; The Colony High School drum line, cheerleaders and Top Cats performing at the entrance; welcome signs; and a balloon-shaped Victory Lane on the school stage for his special appearance on behalf of Texas Motor Speedway's program.
After the school's top readers were acknowledged, Gooden was announced as the overall winner of the competition among the 5,000 students and 10 DFW schools competing in this school year.
Gooden's design, which was pink, blue and green, was themed "Cure Cancer 2017" and had blue ribbons for colon cancer awareness. The paint scheme was dedicated to his two grandmothers with colon cancer, one of which he lost recently and the other - Clara Simmons - that was on hand for the presentation with several family members.
The students presented Wallace, the driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang, with a "good luck" banner for Saturday's My Bariatric Solutions 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Texas Motor Speedway as well as a B.B. Owen Elementary t-shirt as the honored guest.
He also participated with students in a NASCAR quiz game; signed autographs and took photos with numerous students; toured the school including the hallway of die-cast designs; and finished with a photo in the "selfie" No. 6 car the students created for him and then signed the classroom door that featured his car number and sponsor.
Another significant reward of winning the Lionel Racing "Design A Die-Cast" competition is that Gooden's design will be included in Lionel Racing's commercial NASCAR Authentics die-cast line featuring all the cars of the sport's stars that is expected out in December. Gooden's car will be available in major retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, Toys 'R Us and Target. A portion of the proceeds from his car sales will be donated by Lionel Racing and the NASCAR Foundation to a designated charity in Gooden's name.
"First time ever they are going to be at Walmart, Target, Toys 'R Us and our NASCAR Authentics line," DeBoyace said. "Our NASCAR enthusiasts will collect these cars and actually get them and put them as part of their collection now with a great story behind it, with money going to charity. Knowing that a kid that is so passionate about reading and getting things done and designing his own car, it was just really cool."
Lionel Racing and Texas Motor Speedway also visited E.P. Rayzor Elementary in Lantana to recognize the kindergarten-2nd grade division winner of the "Design A Die-Cast" competition before an outdoor assembly of more than 400 students. Second-grader Alysson Delloro had a winning design that featured a green paint scheme, flames on the hood, a pink roof, wolf footprints for their school mascot, and "Read," "Speed" and "Race" on the car.
Brendan Droppo, who creates paints schemes for the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, also was a featured guest. He shared his story at both schools of being their age, dreaming of someday creating car paint schemes in NASCAR and that dream becoming a reality
It was a big day for Delloro, who also was recognized as the top KG-2nd individual reader for Turn 3 of Texas Motor Speedway's program.