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Second-grader Grabs the Checkered Flag

A Diamond Hill Elementary School second-grader created a fantasy stock car design that will soon appear on a die-cast model car sold in major retail stores nationwide.

ivan NASCAR driver Matt Tifft attended a surprise school assembly Thursday, March 28 where Ivan Herrera learned that his design is the Grade K-2 division and overall Lionel Racing Design-a-Diecast contest winner. Ivan is the first K-2 student ever selected the grand prize winner – his design scheme will be added to Lionel Racing’s commercial NASCAR Authentic line available at various national retailers including Walmart and Target.

Ivan was presented with an actual die-cast model of his design scheme and tickets to this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™, Sunday, March31, at Texas Motor Speedway. ivan

The Design-a-Diecast contest encourages students from elementary schools participating in Texas Motor Speedway’s Speeding to Read program to submit designs of their fantasy stock car, similar to cars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™, and write an essay explaining the inspiration behind their design. Winners are selected in two divisions – kindergarten to second-grade and third to sixth-grade. This year, more than 8,000 design schemes were submitted. 

“Speeding to Read is one of those programs that our team at Lionel Racing looks forward to each year,” said Howard Hitchcock, President of Lionel. “We are always incredibly impressed with the students’ die-cast designs and we can’t wait to see what paint schemes the students create and the stories behind them.”

This is the second straight year a Diamond Hill student has been named the overall Design-a-Diecast contest winner. In 2018, Alondra Villa, then a fifth-grader, was named champion.

Every student and faculty member at Diamond Hill Elementary School will receive a die-cast car with Ivan’s design at a later date. 


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