Whelen Mod Tour Driver Melissa Fifield And NHMS Officials Reward Youth Reading Program Winners

(Press Release from New Hampshire Motor Speedway)

Whelen Modified Tour driver Melissa Fifield joined officials from New Hampshire Motor Speedway to congratulate the two winning Speeding to Read classrooms – both at Allenstown (N.H.) Elementary School (Photo: Courtesy of NHMS)

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 www.NHMS.com, or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.


  1. Liz Cherokee says

    Awesome…totally awesome!

  2. Now I’m ok with her winning most popular driver award. Got her first win of the year with those kids. Nice to see.

  3. Encouraging kids to read and study is a pretty cool use for a race car. Nice!

  4. knucklesmahoney says

    Way to go Melissa.

  5. Pandering to popular driver award voters.

  6. It a cottage industry

  7. dereal, if you can’t do anything but criticize this, why don’t you just leave it alone.

  8. Shawn gave more than a few of us both barrels a few years ago for not recognizing the talents of Mellisa in the PR area.Good for her and with no more most popular nonsense award out there its easy to see the value in her actions.

  9. Well, we aren’t appraising a PR agency here. We’re talking racing, not PR and selling your soul. She went to the school as a racer, not a PR expert.

    I’m sure the kids don’t know any better right now, but will be rather disappointed when they see how poorly the 01 runs at the race. Hope the kids don’t give up reading.

    I’m wondering about those other three school districts and how little they read. Appalachia extends into Maine, it’s not just a southern thing.

    Couldn’t NHMS get a competitive team to do this? The performance of the 01 is getting worse and worse. I was stunned it was allowed to stay on the track at Thompson. But then, the 01 needs to do something to establish some redeeming value.

  10. Liz Cherokee says

    Please cease the misogyny here… We should be celebrating the true pacesetter that Melissa is!

  11. old observer says

    Look at the big picture here. Encouraging kids to read books is GREAT, getting kids interested in racing is good for the future of the sport, free tickets may bring new fans to the races & hopefully peak their interest so they return. All I see here are positive points for racing so I see no reason for any negativity!!! Maybe some of you need to stop complaining. I was going to use the B word but didn’t want to upset Shawn.

  12. That’s an interesting approach to mockery. Using Appalachia to take a cheap shot at educational level and not even knowing that it’s northern border is down State NY and not Maine. Hope those children don’t read your bit for your sake Dareal. They’d chew a dummy like you up before recess.
    They didn’t award a popular driver most likely because of the abuse that poor gal had heaped on her in the past that she never deserved. This isn’t her first notable volunteer effort. She has worked with teens at local schools for years counseling them on responsible driving and decision making. Even getting an award from the New Hampshire Governor. This in addition to holding down a job and her modified effort in the NWMT. She has a strong religious faith, goes over and above to interact and be responsive to her fans and any that seek to engage her if all that is written and said about her is true. She’s remarkably mature for her age. Heck she’s the prototype for Most Popular if she gets the votes.
    All her responsibility is, is to meet the requirements as a driver, show up with a car that is legal and get it on the track and try to be competitive. If you have a problem with her driving you’re targeting the wrong person. Contact the NASCAR officials and whine to them. She may suck so far but there as some guys that suck as well and they aren’t lightning rods for abuse nor do a fraction of what she does for the image of the sport..

  13. Crazy in NY says

    While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in Alabama,…..
    The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine (wiki entries both)

    sorry ..but real facts can be prickly. Point taken though. MF should be applauded for her efforts off the track with the kids. He on track performance has no bearing in that.

  14. You people don’t get it at all. Drivers have to do stuff like this to appeal to sponsors, and are required by sponsors to make these appearances. Danica Patrick did this all the time, as do many other drivers, or sponsored entities. These sponsored entities are doing it because they have to, they are beholden to and required by their sponsors to do these publicity events. There is cost involved. She had to take off from her regular job, as did others. Look on FB, NWMT tour drivers are promoting their sponsor’s products. Look at the hospitality sections at NHMS that are all about product sponsors and drivers promoting the products. This school event was done for the sponsorship dollars… bottom line. And as a result, the sponsor gets the good exposure. This is not done for altruistic reasons, but for capitalism. Don’t forget that. If it was done for altruistic reasons, there would not have been a press release or desire to expose it happened. IT WAS DONE FOR THE PUBLICITY!!!!! Publicity leads to exposure for the sponsor products. Look at the top of this article: PRESS RELEASE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY. Press releases are for PUBLICITY.

    Look at what Kevin Harvick is doing at Stafford. He’s contributing like $250 and getting far more back in incredibly publicity. He would never notice $250 missing… never. But he is reaping publicity as a result. And that gives him leverage when negotiating multi-million dollar sponsorship deals.

  15. “If it was done for altruistic reasons, there would not have been a press release or desire to expose it happened. IT WAS DONE FOR THE PUBLICITY!!!!! Publicity leads to exposure for the sponsor products. ”

    As a musician married to a teacher, I’ve done plenty of things at schools that resulted in press releases and media coverage, but provided no benefit to me, and no benefit was expected.

    Ms. Fifield’s primary sponsor on the WMT website is a towing company. I’m sure all the first and third graders will call that towing company when their Power Wheels Jeep or Escalade needs service or a tow because she appeared at school and the towing company’s profits will skyrocket.

    Maybe she gets a sponsorship bump… Who cares? Kids need all the encouragement they can get, reading is one of the most essential skills in life, and maybe her connection to an elementary school will encourage more teams to support early childhood education. I know when I was in first and third grade, a real modified at school would have sent me to the moon!

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