Axalta Coating Systems, a founding partner of the newly redesigned Daytona International Speedway, will help kick off a weekend of festivities for the 59th annual Daytona 500 while it celebrates the new Axalta Center Injector.
Beginning with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for children with cognitive or physical disabilities, Axalta and the other founding partners will custom-fit cars so that the children can “race” in the famed motorsports stadium in their own sit-in cars.
Axalta is making the event possible in partnership with GoBabyGo!, a national program from the University of Delaware that empowers children with disabilities to become independently mobile through the use of custom-fitted motorized vehicles.
Employees from Axalta and other founding partner organizations will work meticulously in Axalta’s new Center Injector to retrofit motorized toy cars for 12 toddlers age 5 and younger who have challenges freely moving on their own. With assistance from Florida Hospital, GoBabyGo! has selected children from the Daytona Beach, Fla., region to participate in the event.
Prior to the vehicle build, children and their families will participate in an exclusive meet-and-greet with Jeff Gordon, four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion and three-time Daytona 500 champion. Once the vehicles are completed and decorated by the injector teams, the children will “drive” their custom vehicles for the first time as they ride along the Axalta red carpet to the finish line. Every child will be presented with a Teddy Bear in a NASCAR-styled fire suit at the completion of the race.
“We are humbled and honored to celebrate the opening of the Axalta Center Injector at the Daytona International Speedway by offering children and their families this unforgettable experience,” said Joe McDougall, Axalta senior vice president. “To watch the children navigate their new, custom rides in a renowned location on race weekend in our new Center Injector, will truly create an incredible memory for all of us.”
Axalta Center Injector
The Center Injector is a section of the stadium that features “spectacular sightlines overlooking the start/finish line and premier merchandise areas, concession stands and the Bud Light and Budweiser Bars,” according to the Daytona International Speedway website. It includes the World Center of Racing zone – an area that celebrates the history and legacy of racing at the speedway and features retail and dining areas, dozens of video screens and open sight-line views of the racetrack.
In May 2016, International Speedway Corp. and Axalta announced a multi-year partnership that made Axalta the fifth founding partner at Daytona International Speedway’s new motorsports stadium. The agreement provides Axalta with naming rights for the Center Injector and other branding rights within specific areas of the stadium. The partnership allows for increased engagement opportunities and ways to give back to the community, Axalta said.