Coke Zero 400 Media Day: “Is Ryan Newman Smarter than a Grade School Student?”

Ryan Newman took a stroll through the rich history of racing at the International Speedway Corporation’s Archives and then put his formal education to the test by participating in “Is Ryan Newman Smarter than a Grade School Student?” with approximately 250 Volusia Country elementary students as part of Coke Zero 400 Media Day.

Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing and 2008 Daytona 500 champion, kicked off his Coke Zero 400 Media Day activities by visiting the ISC Archives – a treasure chest of racing artifacts and memorabilia.

“It’s neat to see the history,” Newman said. “Seeing some of the special things . . . the different trophies, the different flags, the significance of Daytona in the world of racing, it’s really special.”

Newman has his own dedicated place in that history at the ISC Archives, a unique display of memorabilia from the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500, which he won in 2008 for Penske Racing.

“I’ve always had an appreciation for the history of motorsports in general,” Newman said. “I’ve always been a fan of stock cars. Getting that opportunity to win the Daytona 500 was really special. It being the 50th running was even more special and having my dad spot for me.”

Following his visit to the Archives, Newman stopped by the ISC Contact Center and visited with employees. He even took some ticket orders over the phone to the surprise of a few lucky race fans.

In the afternoon, students from five different Volusia County elementary schools – Indian River, Pine Trail, Port Orange, Spruce Creek and Sugar Mill – were in attendance for the trivia game show “Is Ryan Newman Smarter than a Grade School Student?”

Newman, who graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. degree in Vehicle Structural Engineering, answered 10 first-round questions on a variety of topics such as Science, Math, Social Studies, English and Geography.  For every question Newman answered correctly, DIS donated $100 to Volusia County Schools.

Newman also correctly answered the “bonus round” question and earned a special prize for every student in attendance – a ticket to the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, July 2.

“The Coke Zero 400 is a family-friendly environment,” Newman said. “We want the kids to come out and enjoy the time with their parents. I think a lot of these kids will get that opportunity. It’s fun to have interaction with them even when it’s their off-season in the summer. It was a lot of fun.”