The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen International in New York on Aug. 8, marking the return from a two-week break. One day prior, Kyle Larson will partner with his fellow Hendrick Motorsports drivers for the Urban Youth Racing School Kyle Larson & Friends Celebrity Grand Prix & STEM Family Day Hosted By Rivers Casino.
Larson announced the charity event on Thursday, July 22. He said that he and the other HMS drivers will head to Philadelphia on Aug. 7 for the special event and that supporters can purchase tickets by donating to the UYRS. The goal is $20 per donation, but there is no minimum amount.
Larson did not reveal all of the special guests that will take part in the Celebrity Grand Prix. He only confirmed that the HMS drivers will participate while sponsors Ally Racing, Axalta, and Valvoline provide support. Though past special guests of the Celebrity Grand Prix include Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez, Tina Gordon (NASCAR Driver), ReggieShowers (NHRA Driver), Styles (The LOX), Rocwiller (Hip Hop Producer), NAAM Brigade (Philly Group), and Carvin Haggins (R&B Producer).
The Urban Youth Racing School Kyle Larson & Friends Celebrity Grand Prix & STEM Family Day will take place on Saturday, Aug. 7, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. The Rivers Casino Philadelphia will serve as the host site for the special event.
The Celebrity Grand Prix Will Put an Emphasis on STEM
A key part of the special event will be highlighting how the Urban Youth Racing School exposes inner-city youth ages 8-18 to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career opportunities, with an emphasis on the motorsports industry. The UYRS provides training, education, and on-track driving opportunities.
According to an article on the UYRS site, there are several reasons why STEM education is critical in 2021. One particular example used is the shift to a reliance on technology during COVID-19. More people are using Zoom, Slack, and other programs to connect to their classmates at school, as well as family members.
One goal of the UYRS is to “equip students to use and develop technology.” They will be able to have a better grasp of the various systems even after returning to more of an in-person setup.
Larson Has Long Supported the UYRS
The Celebrity Grand Prix continues Larson’s tradition of supporting the UYRS. He has worked with the Philadelphia-based organization since 2017 and has made sizable donations based on how he has performed during the 2021 season.
Larson announced in March the launch of the Kyle Larson Foundation and the “Drive For 5” program. He explained that he will donate $5 to the UYRS and The Sanneh Foundation for every lap that he completes, as well as $5,000 for every top-five finish.
The HMS driver reached a major milestone after a trip to Dover International Speedway on May 16. He raised more than $47,000 in donations. According to the “Drive For 5” donation tracker, Larson has now reached $86,915 after the first 22 races of the season. Many fans have added donations of their own to take the number well over $90,000.
There are 14 races remaining in the 2021 season, providing even more opportunities for Larson to raise money for the UYRS and The Sanneh Foundation. If he continues to perform at a similar level, he will easily surpass $100,000 and draw within reach of his initial goal of $500,000.