In a grueling 500-mile race, who would win: a NASCAR
champion or a Cub Scout? No contest. Besides, the BSA’s Health and Safety team
would surely frown on hearing about an unlicensed 11-year-old driving a racecar.
But who would win if you brought the NASCAR champion onto
the Cub Scouts’ turf? Today, a handful of lucky boys got to find out. 11-year-old Jared Oenick (above) and seven other Cub
Scouts from Atlanta’s Flint River Council raced their pinewood derby cars
against NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon. And cameras from Fox Sports were there to
capture the fun.
Gordon’s race against the Cub Scouts is scheduled to air this
Sunday before his other race—the Kobalt Tools 500. Coverage begins at noon (ET)
on your local Fox affiliate, but because this is live TV, we aren’t sure when
the piece will air during the prerace broadcast. Stay tuned. Also keep an eye
out for Boy Scouts leading the flag ceremony before the Saturday and Sunday
Today’s pinewood derby race was hardly Gordon’s first brush
with the BSA. Last year, he received the prestigious Silver Buffalo Award in
recognition of his contributions to a national Scout recruitment program and
his personal humanitarian efforts. And this wasn’t the first time the BSA and
NASCAR have come together, said Ed Clark, president and general manager of
Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“Scouting and NASCAR, at their very heart, are about
bringing families together and having fun. Many of our fans first attended a
race as Scouts, and now they bring their children to the races,” Clark said. “I
was a Scout and am currently a Scouting volunteer. This organization has had a
profound influence on my life.”
This weekend also marks the nationwide start of the BSA’s
“Race to 2010,” part of the BSA’s 100th Anniversary geocaching program.
Pinewood derby cars representing every BSA council in the country will race all
across America thanks to the high-tech treasure-hunting game.
As the cars move from cache to cache, Scouts and Scouters
can track their vehicles’ progress online as they head toward the finish line:
the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. The cars that
travel the farthest and pass through the most hands will receive prizes,
including memorabilia signed by Gordon.
Find out more about “Race
to 2010” here (link opens PDF).
For two more photos from the event, follow the jump below.