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Send your well wishes to BSA IndyCar driver after his serious crash during race

Before Saturday's race, Justin received an award from the BSA to thank him for such a great season.

Before Saturday’s race, Justin received an award from the BSA to thank him for such a great season.

Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar, fractured his pelvis and suffered a small pulmonary contusion in a crash during Saturday’s race in California.

He was on Lap 111 of the MAVTV 500 at the oval-shaped Auto Club Speedway near Los Angeles when his car “got caught on a seam in the track that pitched the car into the wall,” according to this USA Today story. The race put a tragic punctuation mark on an otherwise successful 2013 season for Wilson. He finished the season an impressive sixth out of 38 drivers.

Wilson, who drives for the BSA-friendly Dale Coyne Racing team, will now return home to Colorado to recover. The injuries are inoperable, so what he really needs is a lot of rest and some support from the Scouting community.

And that’s where you come in.

Justin has represented the BSA admirably all year — both on and off the track. In races from California to Florida and many places in between, Justin has visited with Scouts and Scouters, signed autographs, taken photos and shared how much he loves driving the No. 19 car. Everywhere he goes, he talks about the value of Scouting and inspires non-Scouts to learn more about our movement.

Now’s our chance to show Justin, and the racing world, how thankful we are and how much we’re wishing for a speedy recovery. Find two ways to get your pack, troop, team or crew involved after the jump. Continue reading

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Watch highlights of the Scout-built race car’s Florida debut

Good news: The real-life race car built entirely by untrained Scouts and Venturers at the jamboree in July didn’t fall apart in the middle of its racing debut Saturday in Florida.

Better news: The car, helmed by friend of Scouting Scott Lagasse Jr., performed as beautifully as it looked and was driven to a third-place finish.

It all happened at Volusia Speedway Park, located about an hour north of Orlando, Fla. You can watch video highlights of both the car’s construction at the jamboree and its debut at Saturday’s race at this page on the Team SLR website.

After finishing in bronze-medal position, Scotty took to the radio to thank the Scouts and Venturers who helped build the car and filled its exterior with thousands of colorful signatures.

“Good job, guys. That was fun,” he said. “We drew the worst starting position you could get, and we’re racing against some of the best racers in the Southeast. I’m a fan of you guys. Scouts, thank you. Huge fan.”

The feeling’s mutual, Scotty.

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Wilson steers BSA IndyCar to second-place finish

In IndyCar racing, 1.1930 seconds can mean the difference between hoisting the winner’s trophy and settling for second place.

Justin Wilson knows that all too well.

Wilson, who drove the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar to a second-place finish at Sunday’s Go Pro Grand Prix in Sonoma, Calif., knew he had a car that could win. And though second place is something of a consolation prize, Wilson was content with his third podium finish this year (along with Long Beach and Detroit).

“It was great to be back on the podium again with the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car,” Wilson said. “Everyone at Dale Coyne Racing has worked so hard to get a great result this weekend. We have had some ups and downs this year, and have run some really good races, but ended up finishing eighth or ninth. So today was some redemption and it helped us in the championship point standings.”

Indeed Wilson, who finished just behind winner Will Power in Sunday’s race, moved up to seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship point standings. That’s out of 38 drivers, I should add. Continue reading

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Scout-built race car hits the track this weekend, and you can watch online

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Update, Aug. 20: Despite Saturday’s dreary weather, Scouts were ready to cheer on Scott Lagasse Jr. as he prepared to race his Scout-built car on the dirt track at Volusia Speedway Park near Orlando, Fla. However, rain canceled the event. The race has been rescheduled to Saturday, Aug. 31.


So just how fast (and structurally sound) was that race car built and autographed by Scouts and Venturers at the 2013 National Jamboree?

We’re about to find out.

Scott Lagasse Jr. will drive the Scout- and Venturer-built car in a dirt-track race this Saturday at Volusia Speedway Park, located about an hour north of Orlando, Fla.

The race is free for Scouts in uniform, and each Scout can bring a friend for free, too. Parents get in for $8.

If you can’t make the race, here’s Plan B: Continue reading

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Been there, built that? Get the official BSA racing and Team SLR T-shirt

scotty-shirts-orderYou’d have to be crazy to get behind the wheel of a race car built by a bunch of Scouts, right?

Then I guess NASCAR driver and BSA Racing partner Scott Lagasse Jr. is a little crazy. At the 2013 jamboree, I reported on Team SLR’s wildly popular exhibit up at Technology Quest where Scouts and Venturers built a real race car, piece by piece.

“I don’t know of anyone in the racing world doing it,” Scotty told me at the time. “They’re gonna say we’re nuts.”

Crazy or not, the Scouts did it. The result is a car covered with Scouts’ signatures and put together by Scouts under the guidance of Team SLR professionals.

Sadly, Scouts didn’t get to keep the car for themselves — Scotty needs it for an upcoming race. But now, they can get the next best thing with the official “I Built This” T-shirt. There’s even one for Moms and Dads that says “My Scout Built This.”

Whether you attended the jamboree or not, it’s a nice way to show your support for Scouting and BSA Racing. Continue reading

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A real race car: Scouts build it, Scott Lagasse Jr. drives it

Now this is what I call hands-on fun.

Right this second up in the Cloud area at the 2013 National Jamboree, Scouts are building a real race car, rivet by rivet, for Team SLR (Scott Lagasse Racing), the folks behind the BSA No. 8 race car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

But this is more than just a model car destined for a museum or a garage somewhere.

This race car the Scouts and Venturers build at the jamboree is headed to the dirt track in two weeks. Yes, Team SLR mechanics will check the car over before the green flag is waved. But still, merely taking the wheel behind a car built by Scouts might raise a few eyebrows in the racing world. But that’s the point of this first-of-its-kind effort in a special exhibit in the Technology Quest area of the Cloud.

“I don’t know of anyone in the racing world doing it,” driver Scott Lagasse Jr. told me. “They’re gonna say we’re nuts. Continue reading

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The BSA race car: Coming soon to a council event near you?

nascar-ride-to-school-2Perhaps. But only if you ask.

The team behind the Boy Scouts of America’s No. 8 NASCAR, driven by Scott Lagasse Jr., will work with councils to plan car and driver appearances at Scout events.

What Scout wouldn’t love a chance to meet a professional race car driver and check out his ride?

At each stop on the team’s race schedule (see below), TeamSLR hopes to make Scott and the car available for as many nearby Scouting activities as their schedule allows. When councils are in the immediate vicinity of a track, TeamSLR provides these visits at no cost to the council or to the BSA in general.

If your council isn’t in the immediate area of a track but would still like to be considered for a driver and race car appearance at a council event, TeamSLR can explore that option based on the driver’s availability. With that approach, there’s a small fee required to cover the costs associated with traveling to the event.

Keep in mind this is a council opportunity, so contact your local council to encourage them to rev up an upcoming council event with an appearance. Because of cost and scheduling constraints, the driver and race car is unlikely to be available for appearances at the unit level.

Want more info to send to your council? Continue reading

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BSA IndyCar turns in top-five finish on racing’s biggest stage

indy-1When the going gets tough, Scouts shift into high gear.

And as it turns out, so does the Boy Scouts of America IndyCar team.

Justin Wilson, driver of the Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 car, overcame a tire problem that dropped him to 24th midrace all the way to a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Wilson had the fastest lap of the day — 226.940 mph — don’t try this at home — and had the highest-finishing Honda behind four Chevrolet engines.

With a crowd of 300,000 watching from the stands and 5.7 million viewers in front of TVs at home, Wilson zipped around the track, showing off his racing skills and the BSA colors and logos that cover his car.

Whenever the BSA car does well, Scouting benefits from the positive exposure and the almost-subliminal message that the BSA is closely connected to science, technology, engineering, and math.

And don’t forget, all of this publicity comes at no cost to the organization or its members. For that, we have to thank Scouting benefactors Dale and Gail Coyne, who were surely smiling at Indy on Sunday.

Wilson was smiling, too.

“The No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car was fantastic today,” Wilson said after the race. “Early on we were moving forward. We made adjustments on every pit stop until by the end of the race we had a great racecar. The guys gave me great pit stops, and we just kept working away at it to get a top-five. There is nothing quite like doing 225 mph around here.”

The IndyCar Series resumes next weekend at the Detroit Grand Prix in Belle Island, Mich. Both races can be seen live on ABC starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.

View lots more photos of Sunday’s Indy 500 after the jump, all courtesy of my friend and colleague John R. Fulton Jr. …  Continue reading

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Photos of BSA IndyCar and driver Justin Wilson will rev you up for Indy 500

It’s officially race week. Yes, the Indy 500 — aka “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” — roars to life on Sunday.

Fans of racing, fast cars, or major sporting events are probably already planning to tune in and watch the Indianapolis 500 (noon Sunday on ABC).

But here’s a reason for fans of Scouting to watch: The No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car, driven by Justin Wilson and provided at no cost to the BSA through the generosity of Dale Coyne Racing, has a good chance to do really well. The car was the second-fastest Honda engine qualifier, and Wilson has proven himself a successful driver on big stages like this one.

On that note, Indy 500 is easily the biggest national sporting event of the year from which we can spread the news that Scouting is relevant, exciting, and perfectly linked to science, technology, engineering, and math.

Think about it. Some 6.8 million viewers watched last year’s race. If this year’s race gets similar numbers, that’s a lot of eyeballs seeing the words “Be a Scout!” and the website BeAScout.org zoom around the Indy oval. And if the car does well, that’s even more air time.

It’s essentially free advertising, all made possible by the gifts of Dale and Gail Coyne.

All this week, Wilson and the Dale Coyne Racing team are preparing the car for Sunday. And John R. Fulton Jr., former director of photography for Scouting and Boys’ Life magazines, is at the speedway to document their preparations. He sent in these great photos:  Continue reading

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No-quit attitude pays off in BSA Racing’s best finish ever

Doing Your Best, even in adverse circumstances, is part of Scouting’s core.

So we shouldn’t be too surprised that Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar, finished third in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach — even after starting third-to-last.

A qualifying mishap forced Wilson to start the race in 25th place, so he had to make up a lot of ground. But he and his team did just that, propelling the Dale Coyne Racing BSA car to its best-ever finish.

That’s great news for the Coynes, longtime supporters of Scouting. But it’s also great news for the BSA’s brand. Seeing the BSA’s website and logos on a car competing for the checkered flag essentially means free advertising for the BSA. And a better finish equals more air time.

The ultimate goal: Get non-Scouts talking about the Boy Scouts of America and get current Scouts and Scouters thinking about the ways they can use BSA Racing to promote STEM initiatives in their own units.  Continue reading