Sprint Car racers compete in speed reading

Alyssa Jackson
  • Drivers Logan Schuchart and Brian Montieth participated in a speed-reading race Thursday.
  • Kids in the Dover Library summer reading program got autographs and had fun with the drivers.

When George Matthew, the youth services coordinator at Dover Area Community Library, heard this year's summer reading club theme, it instantly took him back in time.

The theme, "On your mark, get set ... Read! Go and be active!" made him think of the Sprint Car races that he watched with his father when he was a boy.

It was then that he had the idea of bringing in Spring Car race drivers for fun reading club activities and to have kids see role models having fun with reading, too. He invited World of Outlaws driver Logan Schuchart and Pennsylvania Posse member Brian Montieth to the library and the Dover Area Community Center on Thursday to meet the kids, participate in some off-the-track races and to read.

The two drivers competed in a speed-reading race using the book "Number One Sam" by Greg Pizzoli, which is about a race car-driving dog. Kids in the audience laughed along and gave the win to Schuchart when they said Montieth cheated by missing a page. 

After the reading, kids had the opportunity to ask the drivers questions before they competed in more races. Questions included "How fast can your car go?" and "Have you ever wrecked your car?" Schuchart and Montieth laughed hard when they were asked, "What's your annual salary?"

The drivers then raced around the community center using walkers, an event Schuchart won, before hopping aboard two small scooters to be pushed around the room by twin 5-year-old brothers Alex and Andrew Aughenbaugh. Andrew and Montieth won the race, making Montieth the overall winner for the day among claps and cheers from the kids.

Throughout the event, which took place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., kids were able to talk with the drivers, have their own copies of "Number One Sam" signed by them and look at Montieth's car, which was onsite.

"For me, it's a thrill to see these guys come here and interact with kids who look up to them," Matthew said. "I think it's great to see someone in a profession where you don't normally associate with reading and have them say 'Wow, Sprint Car drivers read. I should do that.'"

Schuchart and Montieth said they decided to participate because "it's good to do anything with kids and school-related," Schuchart said.

And a day off to hang out with kids isn't so bad either.

"I enjoyed not being at work," Montieth said with a laugh. "It was really just about having fun."

Pennsylvania Posse driver Brian Montieth, left, and World of Outlaws driver Logan Schuchart  sign autographs after the speed-reading race Thursday, July 21, 2016, at the Dover Area Community Library. Amanda J. Cain photo