Allenstown Elementary School students have worked very hard this entire school year to read as many books as they could - ending with a total of 36,618 books read - as part of New Hampshire Motor Speedway's Speeding to Read program, and their hard work paid off today as they enjoyed a special visit from NASCAR Whelen Modified driver Melissa Fifield.

"The whole school was really engaged in this," said Anthony Blinn, principal of Allenstown Elementary School. "It was awesome to see how many books that AES read over the course of the competition, and the fact that we outperformed those other schools was truly awesome, and the kids had a blast."

Allenstown Elementary School's grand total accounted for nearly 60% of the 62,528 total books read among the four participating schools (Allenstown Elementary School, Loudon Elementary School, Pelham Elementary School and Woodland Heights Elementary School in Laconia).

Fifield arrived at Allenstown Elementary School with her race car in tow to surprise the winning first and third grade classrooms, who read a combined total of 7,462 books. The day started with a Q&A session, during which the 31 winning students took turns asking Fifield questions such as "How fast do you go?" and "How hot does it get in the car during a race?"

Fifield answered questions for about a half hour before signing autographs for the kids while they enjoyed a pizza party. Once their tanks were refueled, the students headed outside to check out Fifield's car along with the NHMS pace car and show car, which caused the students to burst with excitement when the engine revved up.

"My favorite part about today was celebrating how many books we read and seeing all the race cars," said third-grader Brooklyn King who read over 100 books for the Speeding to Read program this year. "I liked when she started the car when she showed us how she races it, and she told us how fast they go at the end of the straight away."

"It was great getting to chat with all the kids and celebrate their success of reading and gaining all that knowledge from all the books they read," said Fifield, who is a Wakefield, N.H. native. "Showing them about the race cars is pretty neat."

The day concluded with each student receiving a pair of tickets to see Fifield race at NHMS on Saturday, July 21 in the Eastern Propane and Oil 100.

Fifield will also be competing in the Musket 250, which is the feature event of NHMS's inaugural Full Throttle Fall Weekend on Saturday, September 22. The Musket 250 is the longest race on the modified tour to date and includes a $100 lap leader bonus and a custom musket for the winner.

For ticket information on all 2018 events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the July 20-22 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race weekend and the September 21-22 Full Throttle Fall Weekend, please stop by the ticket office, visit the speedway website at, or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.

About Speeding to Read
Speeding to Read is an incentive-based, motorsports-themed reading program created by Texas Motor Speedway in 2011 to encourage elementary school students to read more frequently during the school year. Student bodies are split into two divisions - Kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade - with individuals, classrooms and schools competing against each other to read the most books and earn the title of Speeding to Read champions.