NASCAR and the Boys and Girls of America recently displayed a BGCA car at a joint event promoting the Quaker State 400 (photo by Terrance Chisolm/The Atlanta Voice).

NASCAR and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) recently partnered to host a kick-off event at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The event was coordinated to create anticipation for the annual NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400, as well as to promote the relationship between the two organizations.

According to Kathleen Palmentiero, BGCA’s National Director of Corporate & Cause Partnerships, the organization was looking to expand its corporate partnerships, in an effort to provide the greatest opportunities to young people across the United States.

“Our relationship and partnership are really steeped in three key things: STEM education, workforce readiness and career exploration, and the enhancement of diversity equity inclusion,” said Palmentiero.

In 2021, the Boys and Girls Club of America became the Official Youth Community Partner of NASCAR. Through this partnership, the BGCA and NASCAR are seeking to break down barriers and introduce Boys and Girls club members to NASCAR personnel and events, to promote interest in the auto racing industry and facilitate career exploration.

Pete Stuart, senior director of Social Responsibility and Communications at NASCAR, spoke on strategies the organization has put in place to expose youth to the various careers that exist within the organization.

“We have been working with local clubs in our race markets, and on the days of NASCAR Cup Series races we bring roughly 20 kids and staff to the track about three to five hours before the race,” said Stuart. “We have those kids interact and meet with a variety of people that hold different jobs within NASCAR.”

Kathleen Palmentiero, National Director, Corporate & Cause Partnerships at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, speaks at a joint NASCAR/BGCA event (photo by terrance Chisolm/The Atlanta Voice).

Participants at the partnership event were able to take photos of a branded Boys and Girls Club NASCAR race car. In addition to the race car, NASCAR also provided attendees with the opportunity to test their driving skills on iRacing simulators.

Following this kick-off event, the BGCA and NASCAR also held events at the Shaquille O’Neal Boys and Girls Club of Henry County and the Atlanta Speedway.