MIAMI- While champions in NASCAR are decided at Homestead-Miami Speedway, champions in life are determined in the classroom.  As the host site for NASCAR’s championship races in all three premier series each year since 2002, Homestead-Miami Speedway is continuing in its commitment to have kids excel in school.

The Speedway and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network of the Jason Taylor Foundation are expanding a partnership which commenced last year by launching the “Write Track Poetry” competition.  Students from three Miami-Dade County middle schools can submit a poem based on the theme, What Does it Mean to be a Champion?

The competition will include Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts in Goulds, as well as Richmond Heights Middle School and Hammock Middle School in Miami.  The top 10 students in each grade (6-8) from all three schools will receive tickets to the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series championship race on Saturday, November 19, 2016.  A student from each school will then be selected as Poetry Ambassadors, giving all three students the unique opportunity to be driven to school in the Homestead-Miami Speedway official pace car.  

During the course of this year’s Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 18-20), one of the three Poetry Ambassadors will be chosen as the “Write Track Poetry” champion.  The winner will have a chance to perform at the bluapple Poetry Network’s Louder Than a Bomb Florida spoken word competition, which will be held in April 2017.

To kick off the program, each of the three schools will be holding pep rallies at their respective sites.

“The Jason Taylor Foundation and specifically the bluapple Poetry Network, are making a profound impact on the youth of South Florida,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer.  “Not only does this program help the students enhance their creative writing skills, but it encourages them to be able to open up and express their feelings.  These are both extremely important elements in their development inside and outside the classroom.”

"Education and empowerment are the critical pillars on which our organization is built, so we are thrilled by Homestead-Miami Speedway’s continued commitment to South Florida students through powerful initiatives such as the “Write Track Poetry” competition,” said Seth Levit, Executive Director of the Jason Taylor Foundation.  “Collaborating with a like-minded partner to help young people improve upon their literary skills, think critically and develop their own voice speaks to the core of why Jason established this Foundation."

About the Jason Taylor FoundationIn July 2004, Miami Dolphins legendary Defensive End, Jason Taylor, established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation’s mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.

Since opening its doors, the Jason Taylor Foundation has impacted tens of thousands of children through innovative programming including The Jason Taylor Reading Room, Cool Gear for the School Year, the Jason Taylor Children’s Learning Center, Jason Taylor Scholars and the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, among others.  For more information on the Jason Taylor Foundation, please visit the organization’s website at www.JasonTaylorFoundation.org or follow on social media sites including Facebook: www.facebook.com/jasontaylorfoundation or Twitter and Instagram: @jtfoundation99

About Homestead-Miami Speedway
The Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The track, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015, is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course.  The track is active nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. NASCAR has crowned its champions in all three of its premier series at Homestead-Miami Speedway each of the past 14 years (2002-15) at Ford Championship Weekend.  Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2015 were Kyle Busch (Sprint Cup Series), Chris Buescher (XFINITY Series) and Erik Jones (Camping World Truck Series). The 2016 Ford Championship Weekend will be held November 18-20.