News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

Fifth Grader Surprised with Indy Car Ride to School

Kameron Blanks and Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker

by Arlene Bury

El Monte

Cleminson School fifth grader Kameron Blanks was surprised on Friday morning as he was picked up by Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker in the official Auto Club Speedway Pace Car and given a ride to school. Then he switched cars and made a grand entrance to the school assembly in a real Indy show car. Kameron, along with many other students at Cleminson, was honored for outstanding reading achievement in the Auto Club Speedway’s “Lefty’s Reading Challenge”.

“They rang the doorbell and I was speechless,” said Kameron as he spoke of the morning. Sixty-nine percent of the students at Cleminson School participated in the program, named after Auto Club Speedway mascot Lefty Turner. The program was launched in 2010 with a goal of showing the importance of reading as a foundation for future student growth.

Librarian Kathy Evanilla said, “Kameron epitomizes what Lefty’s Reading Challenge is all about. He made huge strides in English/Language Arts, with his state testing scores going from Proficient to Advanced – an improvement of 46 points.”

Lefty’s Reading Challenge, offered to schools in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles Counties, rewards school winners with thousands of dollars for their school libraries. For more information or to register for the reading challenge, visit

Kameron Blanks in the Indy Show Car

Kameron Blanks in the Indy Show Car

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