RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - They may not be old enough to drive, but the smallest NASCAR fans have a new opportunity to enjoy the sport at the Children's Museum.
Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier, Children's Museum of Richmond President/CEO Karen Coltrane and NASCAR driver/Virginia native Elliott Sadler today unveiled the first display of a new 800-square-foot exhibit that will be ready this summer at the Museum.
Co-funded by The NASCAR Foundation and RIR Cares – the track's charitable account under The NASCAR Foundation – the exhibit includes four displays that will travel to the multiple CMoR locations throughout the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area.
"This is a great partnership for RIR because we are investing in our children right here in the Richmond area," said RIR President Dennis Bickmeier. "It's an opportunity to educate our kids and families about NASCAR and the tremendous history that RIR and Virginians have in making NASCAR one of the most exciting sports in the world."
"Children love to learn through experiences that are exciting and interactive," explained Karen Coltrane, CMoR president and CEO. "This exhibit is designed to engage children by letting them sit in a real race car, wave and communicate with actual flags from the track and build cars they can race themselves. We are delighted that RIR decided to highlight Virginia's history of racing through a partnership that will bring a really cool exhibit to thousands of children."
Unveiled today, the "When They Were Young" display features pictures, profiles and background information about accomplished NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs who hail from Virginia, including Sadler, who has notched two NASCAR Nationwide Series victories in the very young 2012 season.
Additional displays that will be included in the exhibit are:
• Build a Car & Race Track – children may build their own race car using hand-held components (tires, axles, etc.) to race on four different race tracks. The young crew chiefs will be able to make modifications to improve their racing outcomes.
• You're the Driver – a real stock car will be modified for children to see and feel what it's like to be behind the wheel of the vehicle
• Interactive Flag Stand – Children will learn the different colored flags used during NASCAR races and when they are used. A raised stand will give them a sense of being in the flag stand at a race.
Hundreds came out for the unveiling and announcement, which was followed by extended hours in the exhibit area, where families enjoyed dozens of interactive elements in the Museum.