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<< Sports >>

NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Sunday, June 18, 2006 on FOX

BILL LESTER THRILLS DETROIT STUDENTS WITH VISIT TO CORNERSTONE SCHOOLS

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Bill Lester visiting Cornerstone Schools in Detroit.

Source: Michigan International Speedway

BROOKLYN, Mich. –Bill Lester may count racing as his occupation, but there’s little doubt he can captivate a crowd and teach a lesson with his voice as well.

With the June race weekend at Michigan International Speedway approaching, Lester spoke to a group of Cornerstone Schools students at the Nevada Campus in Detroit on Wednesday, May 24.

Before a group of approximately 200 fifth through eighth graders and school administration personnel, including Penske Corporation Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Cornerstone Schools Board of Directors Walt Czarnecki, Lester talked about his career path, exhibited his No. 23 Waste Management NEXTEL Cup car, and provided valuable advice to the enthusiastic group of students.

Lester, an accomplished student himself by virtue of his electrical engineering and computer science degree from the University of California-Berkeley, spoke to the students about following their passions. Though he entered a job at Hewlett-Packard following college, he wasted no time in beginning a racing career, and he discussed chasing his dream of competing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

“It wasn’t like I woke up one day and decided I wanted to be a race car driver,” said Lester. “My road here was very long, very hard, and filled with many obstacles. At the time, I was the only African-American out of a class of 700 engineering students. When you talk about a very difficult, a very trying, a very challenging scenario, that is what I endured. It’s important to stay in school, study hard, and overcome adversity and obstacles. I knew I had to stay on track so I could earn the money to buy a racecar because I had a passion for racing and a passion for speed.”

In March, Lester made his debut on the NEXTEL Cup circuit in Atlanta and became just the sixth African-American to start a race in NEXTEL Cup Series history and the first since Willy T. Ribbs started at MIS in June 1986.

Lester also spoke to the students about his preparations for both the June 17 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Con-way Freight 200 and the June 18 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup 3M Performance 400 presented by Post-it® Picture Paper. Though his NEXTEL Cup start will be just the second of his career, Lester is looking forward to the challenge of starting both races in the same weekend.

“Obviously, this will only be the second time that I’ve run a Cup race and a truck race in one weekend, but I thought it was a good thing to have both races in one weekend at Atlanta because my schedule allowed me to not get too wound up over the Cup program and all of the excitement around my presence there,” said Lester. “Having both races at once at Atlanta, which is also what I’ll have at Michigan, was and is going to be a good thing. I’m looking forward to running both and being successful.”

With his return to MIS, Lester looks forward not only to adding to the MIS history books, but also to renewing some old family connections.

“My sister and brother-in-law are in Ann Arbor, so they’re not too far away,” said Lester, whose brother-in-law is Eastern Michigan head basketball coach Charles Ramsey. “My parents are coming out from California as well, and my wife has a lot of a family here in the Detroit area that are looking forward to coming, so it’s going to be a three-ring circus. Not only do I have two races to look forward to, but I have a lot of
family coming, so it’ll be a mini-family reunion.”

Tickets for both NEXTEL Cup Series races at MIS, the June 18 3M Performance 400 presented by Post-it® Picture Paper and the August 20 GFS Marketplace 400, are currently on sale at MIS’ official website, www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010. Tickets to all other events, which include the IRL IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Busch Series, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and the ARCA RE/MAX Series are also now available.


For tickets and information regarding events at MIS, log on to www.MISpeedway.com, or call the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.

Return to our 3M Performance 400 Index.

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To order tickets:

Call the MIS Ticket Hotline

(800) 354-1010 or (517) 592-6672

Order online 24/7 at www.MISpeedway.com

 

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