CONCORD, N.C. – Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson and crew chief Cliff Daniels went back to school for a day last week. The pair visited Hanahan High School in Charleston, South Carolina, to present the school with a grant through the Hendrick, Get Set. Go! initiative.
Approximately 165 students gave the championship-winning pair a warm welcome. Six general managers from Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships in the Charleston-area were also there to present the school with a $25,000 grant to help broaden student accessibility to STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs. Kelly Brandt, who was honored as the No. 5 team’s "honorary crew member" for Workforce Appreciation Weekend at Darlington Raceway, was also on hand.
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Students viewed a short video about the program before the video screen was lifted and Larson and Daniels walked out to a cheering crowd. From there, the duo took part in a question-and-answer session with students. The driver and crew chief of the No. 5 HendrickCars.com team toured Hanahan’s automotive technology department. Larson’s backup car for last year’s title race at Phoenix Raceway was sitting in the middle of the large garage in the department.
"I’ve always enjoyed the Hendrick, Get Set. Go! Events that we’ve done in the past year-and-a-half now," Larson said. "Having kids of my own, I really do enjoy spending time with kids and seeing their desire for the things that they are into."
Daniels took time with the students to show them around the race car and explain the various technical elements of the car. Larson took part in an interview with the school’s internal news team.
"Cliff had a blast because he’s more STEM orientated than I am,” Larson said. “I hope all the students enjoyed having Cliff and I be a part of it and see what they are in to, what they are up to and building and making. I was every bit as excited to see what they have going on as they were to see a NASCAR driver and crew chief."
The Hendrick, Get Set. Go! Initiative is in its second year of investing in STEM-based educational projects. The stop in Charleston was the second of four stops on the 2022 tour. Select schools in areas close to both a racetrack and a Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships are awarded $25,000 to say “Go!” to educational projects that help expand access and interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math as well as future careers to students from all backgrounds. The Hendrick, Get Set. Go! Events use the excitement of racing as a means to engage students and introduce them to the technology side of the sport and the automotive industry.
To date, Hendrick, Get Set. Go! Has awarded $50,000 in grants this year. The program plans to awarded $100,000 in total grant money in 2022. Harmony Elementary School, located in Buford, Georgia, was the first school to receive a $25,000 grant in March of this year.