DETROIT – A program launching in Detroit is looking to show minority students the world of motorsports.
The NXG Youth Motorsports program is teaching life skills and putting kids behind the wheel. It’s aiming to bring the next generation into the sport.
The Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear runs through June 11-13. The weekend before, about 20 Detroit kids will have a hands-on class in STEM inside the paddock and on the track.
IndyCar and motorsports in general have a plethora of professional opportunities but not everyone knows that.
NXG is a nonprofit that originated 15 years ago in Indianapolis in response to the lack of African American involvement in motorsports.
The program offers experiential learning programs to students from under-represented communities using go-kart driving and motorsports as a tool for STEM concepts, life skill development and career options.
When Roger Penske bought the IndyCar series and the Indy Motor Speedway more than a year ago, a partnership was created and now NXG is expanding to Detroit.
“People did not think they were included in motorsports or the speedway,” Bud Denker, president of the Penske Corporation, said. “This program brought them to a discipline they never imagined.”
Through a sponsorship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, about 20 Detroit children ages 11-15 will take part in the pilot program for free.
Ethan Kent, 13, has agreed to be the youth ambassador.
“I hope I get into cars more and make a career out of racing and cars,” Kent said. “Maybe become an engineer.”
The NXG pilot program will launch on June 5 and 6.