speed into science

Speed Into Science Sponsored by Gene Haas Foundation & Code 3 Associates Take Students Into the Science of Racing at Richmond Raceway

Richmond Raceway hosted 300 eighth grade students from schools in the greater Richmond region for the second annual Speed Into Science, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) educational event, sponsored by the Gene Haas Foundation and Code 3 Associates. As part of the event, students had the opportunity to learn about the science of racing with NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) driver for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste, Cole Custer.

“Our second annual Speed Into Science education event continues our impact in the greater Richmond region to share the science of racing through STEM,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “Thanks to the Gene Haas Foundation, Code 3 Associates, and RVA STEM for supporting this event to better the future of students in our community.”

Custer, driver of the No. 00, is running full-time in the NXS for Stewart-Haas Racing team. He has risen from racing in Quarter Midgets at age four to Late Models to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (CWTS) to competing in the NXS. Custer claimed his first win in the NXS in 2017 and earned his first top ten finish in the NXS in 2016’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond. Custer has two career wins in the CWTS and one win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and Arca Racing Series.

“It means a lot to get to teach kids the science of racing because they're the future of our sport,” said Custer. “There is obviously a lot of science that goes into racing that people don't know about and letting kids see that is awesome. It's extremely important for kids to know the science behind racing because that’s what makes racing so interesting. The students get to take what they learned in the classroom and experience in person the hands-on science that goes into racing.”

“The Gene Haas Foundation believes in America's youth,” said Joe Custer, president, Stewart-Haas Racing. “Tomorrow's leaders are in our classrooms today; those students that strive to excel by participating in programs like STEM should be commended and we are thrilled to support them.”

“In 1999, Gene Haas founded the Gene Haas Foundation. Growing up with a strong social conscience instilled by his family, Haas initially formed the foundation to fund grants that target needs of the local Ventura community where Haas Automation is located. These grants support the underserved of the community primarily children,” said Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator at the Gene Haas Foundation. “Over the years, the foundation has grown and expanded embracing the ‘teach a man to fish’ principal. The foundation has granted over 35 million dollars in grants to school programs focusing on scholarships for manufacturing technology students. This STEM field is anticipating two million open jobs over the next 10 years. The foundation has granted a total of over 50 million dollars in grants since its inception in 1999." 

Speed Into Science consists of four turns (i.e. stations), developed alongside local science teachers, focusing on force and motion, chemistry, sound, and thermal energy and friction. The first turn uses distracted driver and airbag simulators, and crash barrier experiments to teach force and motion. The second turn uses hands-on chemistry experiments that let the kids see chemistry happening before their eyes.

“CODE 3 Associates, in conjunction with Array Sports, is proud to partner with Richmond Raceway for their Speed Into Science program,” said Eric Bagdikian, President & Motorsports Operations Director, Code 3 Associates. “Speed Into Science provides an opportunity that allows students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the track. Racing is, and always will be, heavily dependent on science, technology, engineering, and math.”

In turn three, pace car experiments with Doppler speakers, police radar and race engine power demos teach students about sound. The final turn uses infrared video imaging, tire heat and measurements, for students to learn about thermal energy and friction. The curriculum for the event was developed in partnership with RVAStem and a group of amazing volunteer teachers. is pleased to be a part of the second annual Speed Into Science in conjunction with Richmond Raceway,” said Eric Sundberg, Founder of RVA STEM. “The event is designed to bring to life the STEM topics students are learning about in school. We hope this will aid comprehension and improve scores on the Standards of Learning tests.”

As part of Speed Into Science, Page Custom Rods & Restorations of Oilville, Va. provided several classic cars to showcase as part of the event. Custer drove one of the classic cars as part of Turn 4 on friction and thermal energy.

Richmond Raceway 2018 NASCAR Season

The Toyota Spring Race Weekend returns “under the lights” for the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash4Cash race and TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on April 20-21. The third annual Track Takeover driven by AAA will allow fans on the historic Richmond track prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on April 21 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Richmond’s Fall Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will make history with the grand opening of the DC Solar FanGrounds part of the Richmond Raceway Reimagined infield redevelopment project, along with hosting the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race and the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race on Sept. 21-22. To learn more about Reimagined, visit

Tickets for the Toyota Spring Race Weekend and Fall Playoff Race Weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at

Stay connected to Richmond Raceway on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube, and by downloading the Richmond Raceway mobile app for Apple or Android.

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Quote Box
It just doesn’t get any better than Richmond Raceway. It’s the ultimate in short-track racing, and doesn’t get any more exciting than that. This is where my first victory came. Richmond is always going to be special for me.”

Tony Stewart
3-Time Cup Champion & Co-Owner of Stewart-Haas Racing

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