Petty GMS drivers Erik Jones and Ty Dillon joined students from six Charlotte-area schools at Charlotte Motor Speedway to paint ‘turtles‘ as the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway prepares for the upcoming Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 weekend, Oct. 7-9.

Students from Charlotte Christian School, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School, Royal Oaks School of the Arts, Beverly Hills Elementary School, Mooresville Intermediate School and East Mooresville Intermediate School each decorated their ‘turtle‘ based on a literary theme of their choosing as part of the speedway‘s STEAM education initiative.

“It‘s cool just to see kids interested in reading and learn about their favorite books,” said Erik Jones, driver of the famed No. 43 for Petty GMS. “It can be tough sometimes getting kids interested and getting them wanting to read, but I think when you can tie it into something like racing, it makes it a little bit easier to learn. If you can get them interested in reading, getting them talking about racing — talking about NASCAR — that‘s what works. It‘s a good connection.”

The 100-pound kerbs, dubbed ‘turtles‘ because of their rounded shape, will be bolted to the track surface to help keep drivers on the 17-turn, 2.28-mile course during the upcoming Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 weekend, Oct. 7-9.

“It‘s so fun to see the smiles on the kids‘ faces; they‘re having so much fun,” Dillon said. “And they‘re incredible artists too. I can‘t wait to be out there on the track seeing the paintings and knowing what schools and what kids put their touches on these turtles. It‘s a great thing that the speedway is doing, to just learn and have fun — and also to show kids our sport.”

Fans can vote on their favorite ‘turtle‘ at, through Sept. 28. The winner will be announced at the speedway‘s STEAM Expo on Oct. 7, with the winning school earning a breakfast party. All six ‘turtles‘ will be on track throughout the upcoming NASCAR weekend.

Paint for the event was provided by Sherwin-Williams.

— Charlotte Motor Speedway —

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