Sunday, May 15, 2016

Winner of Monster Mile pace car design contest aspires to be a doctor

Credit: Beth Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs
By Carol D’Agostino

When 11-year-old Sabrina Marelli of Dover, Del., entered her drawing in the inaugural Monster Mile Youth Nation Design Challenge she never dreamed she'd win. But she did.

The young artist who wants to be a cancer surgeon was surprised when she learned she won the contest, and would be treated to a VIP experience at the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash for Cash race.

“In school, our art teacher introduced the competition to us, and he had all the fifth graders enter a drawing. I was kind of into it, but I didn’t really think I was going to win. It was a big surprise when I found out my drawing won,” Sabrina said.

The art contest was created to attract a younger demographic to NASCAR. The Dover International Speedway Marketing team sorted through the 500-plus drawings and selected Sabrina’s entry as the winner.

“We particularly liked the vibrant colors in her design, and liked her inclusion of the ladybug, Delaware’s official bug, in the design,” said Gary Camp, Senior Director of Communications. “She also incorporated the Monster Mile on the door. We thought her design would stand out when converted to a wrap for our official pace car."

When Sabrina, her family arrived at the track, they were treated to a hauler tour with Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20  Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota and current leader of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. Jones, still in his firesuit from after earning the pole for the upcoming race, answered Sabrina's and her family's questions.

Sabrina's winning design on the pace car.
Credit: Beth Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs
Sabrina joined the NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers on stage during the Driver Introductions Ceremony. A couple hours later, Jones won the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200 and the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash, quite possibly inspiring NASCAR's newest fan.

Sabrina and her family never attended a NASCAR race before, but Sabrina suspects the experience will turn her into a fan.

“I think this will boost how much I like NASCAR, and may make me a future fan,” she said.

Sabrina Marelli, left, with her brother and sister, check out Erik Jones' car prior to the race.
Credit: Beth Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs


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