FORT MYERS- With the NASCAR playoffs coming down to the wire before Ford Championship Weekend, November 17-19, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ross Chastain made a stop in Fort Myers on Monday.
Dressed in his fire suit, Chastain first headed to Golisano Children’s Hospital where he handed out signed hero cards to the patients he visited. Chastain, who was raised just outside of the Fort Myers area in Alva, was born at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
“It’s so humbling to see the kids,” said Chastain. “I was born here, and it’s special being able to come back and see their faces light up when we walk in the room. They were excited to try on my gloves, feel what my fire suit is like and talk about racing.”
The driver of the No. 4 car for JD Motorsports then made an appearance at Bayshore Elementary School, which Chastain previously attended. At the school, Chastain led students through critical thinking exercises that were focused around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
In conjunction with curriculum from NASCAR Acceleration Nation, the students built their own simulators that helped them understand the key aerodynamic principles of drag, downforce and drafting – NASCAR’s Three D’s of Speed. The learning session then moved outside the classroom, as students viewed and were educated on the sciences of Chastain’s watermelon-paint scheme racecar.
“It was really cool interacting with the students,” said Chastain. “We were able to take the learning experience a step further with the STEM program. It was fun talking about the Three D’s of Speed and seeing the students create simulators that showed the sciences of NASCAR.”
Chastain is currently competing in his third full-time season in the XFINITY Series. This year, the 24-year-old has also had the opportunity of running in the first two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races of his career, both of which came at Dover International Speedway. On November 18, Chastain will be returning home to compete in his third Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“It’s awesome,” said Chastain. “We kick off our season in Daytona in February and then finish it all off in Miami in November. It’s really neat that the NASCAR championship is so close to home.”
Tickets for NASCAR’s 2017 Ford Championship Weekend, which will be held November 17-19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, are available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.