NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell, alongside 30 local elementary students from five area schools, helped Charlotte Motor Speedway staff prepare for the upcoming Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 weekend by painting “turtles” at America’s Home for Racing on Monday. As part of the speedway’s year-round STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) program, students designed and painted six-inch-high steel rumble strips that will be installed around the road course ahead of next month’s pivotal NASCAR Cup Series race. The 100-pound kerbs will be bolted to the track surface to help keep drivers on the 17-turn, 2.28-mile course during the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 on Sunday, Oct. 8.

“Throughout the year, our STEAM program brings more than 10 thousand students to the speedway to learn about how the principles of STEAM overlap with motorsports,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “This event is a fun way to put some of those principles into action, but also to make these students part of race day, where their artwork will be on full display.”

Students from R. Brown McAllister STEM Elementary, Rea Farms STEAM Academy, Victory Christian Center School, Online Catawba and Our Lady of the Assumption each decorated their “turtle” based on the theme “NASCAR at its finest.” Designs included tributes to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary, race scenes, and, of course, turtles. Paint for the event was provided by Sherwin-Williams.

McDowell had the chance to interact with the children and see their creativity when painting the five turtles. 

“Every group had a blank slate, and every single turtle’s design came out so different,” he said. “It’s great to see how creative children are.

“It is important to excite these children about NASCAR and introduce them to the different possibilities of working in motorsports, whether it is engineering, aerodynamics, graphic design, or one of the many different other possibilities.”

Through Oct. 2, fans can vote on their favorite ‘turtle’ design online at The winner will be announced at the speedway’s STEAM Expo on Oct. 6. The Expo brings together more than 3,000 students to explore more than 75 STEAM-related vendor displays to kick off Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 weekend.


Adult tickets for Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina start at just $25. Kids 12 and under get in free with an adult. Tickets to the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 start at just $49 for adults. Kids 12 and under get in for just $10 with an adult. For tickets, visit


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