UPDATED, MAY 14, 1:40 P.M.: Sabrina Marelli, 11, the winner of the Monster Mile Youth Nation Design Challenge, attended the “Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series at Dover International Speedway on Saturday.
Erik Jones greets Sabrina Marelli prior to the “Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race at Dover International Speedway.
Marelli, whose design for the Speedway’s official pace car was placed on the vehicle last month, greeted “Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200” pole winner Erik Jones at his hauler before the race.
More than 500 students from 11 schools across Delaware submitted designs for the inaugural Monster Mile Youth Nation Design Challenge.
NASCAR XFINITY Series star Erik Jones was on hand Wednesday, April 27 at W.B. Simpson Elementary School in Wyoming, Del., to help announce the winner of the inaugural Monster Mile Youth Nation Design Challenge. More than 100 fifth-graders lined the parking lot as Jones drove up in the official Dover International Speedway pace car, which featured a design by one of their classmates, Sabrina Marelli.
NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Erik Jones takes a selfie with MMYN Design Challenge winner Sabrina Marelli, 11, and her classmates at W.B. Simpson Elementary School.
Marelli’s concept featured a yellow-base, a ladybug on the roof, a rainbow on the hood, and an orange-and-yellow checkered pattern in the back.
“All this attention is insane but really exciting,” said Marelli, who was greeted by her mother, Jessica, and younger brother Jack, 8, a third-grader at W.B. Simpson. “I can’t wait to see the cars on the track.”
Jones, 19, will be one of the top contenders in the “Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race at the Monster Mile on Saturday, May 14, part of the upcoming May 13-15 NASCAR tripleheader weekend
Erik Jones checks out Sabrina Marelli’s design during his trip to W.B. Simpson Elementary School in Wyoming, Del., on Wednesday, April 27.
After the pace car arrived, all attendees went inside the school for an assembly which was attended by more than 200 fourth- and fifth-graders.
A video featuring Jones’ success from 2015, including his championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, was shown, and Jones took questions from the students, such as what his favorite subjects were in school (history and English), how fast he goes in his NASCAR XFINITY Series car (200-205 mph on certain tracks, 160-170 mph at Dover) and how old he was when he first started racing (go-karts at 7).
“I was fortunate my parents were able to support my racing career in a lot of ways,” said Jones, who drives the No. 20 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. “I was in the third grade when I started racing and I love it. I’ve been pretty lucky.”
Dover International Speedway’s official pace car, with Sabrina Marelli’s design.
Almost 600 fifth-graders from 11 schools from across Delaware participated in the Monster Mile Youth Nation Design Challenge, which saw students draw designs for the Monster Mile’s official pace car during national “Youth Art Month” in March.
The winning design, selected by a team from the Dover International Speedway marketing and communications departments, was placed on the pace car earlier this month.
Marelli’s grand prize includes a VIP experience for the May 14 “Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race. Marelli will be on stage for NASCAR XFINITY Series driver introductions on Saturday, and she also received tickets for the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 15.
For more information, call (800) 441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.