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Griffin Middle School sixth-grader Xavier Gooden felt like Santa Claus on Friday morning at B.B. Owen Elementary School and he didn’t even have to dress up in the red suit and put on a fake, white beard.
Gooden returned to his former elementary school and relished the spirit of giving during the holiday season just like St. Nick as he helped hand out hundreds of Lionel Racing die-casts to the entire B.B. Owen student body during a special holiday assembly.

The die-casts had special meaning to Gooden as the paint scheme on the car was the one he designed in 2017 to win the Lionel Racing “Design A Die-Cast” competition among all the Texas Motor Speedway Speeding To Read S.T.E.A.M. Powered by Fun 2 Discover schools. The theme of his paint scheme was “Cure Cancer 2017” and was dedicated to his two grandmothers who were battling cancer.
Lionel Racing donated more than 300 1/64th-scale die-casts with his design to B.B. Owen so the school could share Gooden’s success story with the current student body. The Gooden design is part of Lionel Racing’s NASCAR line and is being sold nationwide in major retail stories.
“That was cool,” Gooden said afterward. “I never had the experience to give toys out – and with (it being) my toys.
“…Today, I felt like a celebrity. I didn’t even expect it because when my mom woke me up she said my little nephew had a play and I was going to that (at B.B. Owen). (Then) out of nowhere they said (something) about a whole bunch of cars and I was like ‘what,’ ‘what’s going to happen?’ It was fun.”

In the midst of its eighth year,Speeding To ReadS.T.E.A.M Powered by Fun 2 Discover has had 64 schools and 35,735 students participate and collectively read more than 5.2 million books. This year’s enrollment of 14 schools and 7,594 students increases the overall totals to 78 schools and 43,329 students. Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To Read S.T.E.A.M. Powered by Fun 2 Discover program is supported by the following partners: Fun 2 Discover, NASCAR, IndyCar Series, Lionel Racing, Speedway World, Levy Restaurants, The Speedway Club, Food for the Soul, aai Trophies and Awards of Plano, Jostens, Woolley’s Frozen Custard, Reunion Tower, Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter and Team Texas High Performance Driving School. For more information on Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding To ReadS.T.E.A.M. Powered by Fun 2 Discover program, please visit www.speedingtoread.com.


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