When Brock Zearfoss quit his job as a refrigeration mechanic to start his racing career, he leaned on veteran driver Greg Hodnett to mentor him through that journey.
Now, the Jonestown, PA driver has the opportunity to provide that same support for Pennsylvania students trying to navigate their own journeys.
Through his and the World of Outlaws’ partnership with the Milton Hershey School (MHS), Zearfoss, and other Sprint Car drivers, will visit the school to speak with students on May 11 and welcome a student as an honorary crew member at Williams Grove Speedway on May 13.
Milton Hershey School – founded by Milton S. Hershey – is one of the world’s best private schools, where qualifying pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students live on campus and receive an exceptional education with top-tier classes and facilities—with all costs covered.
This is Zearfoss’ second straight year of working with the MHS students. Last year, student Rayshawn Shuler join his team as an honorary crew member during the National Open in October.
“It was a cool experience for both ends I think,” Zearfoss said. “Rayshawn was a big help for us. Just cool to see the excitement he had to join us and be a part of our team for the night. It’s important to engage kids into racing. It’s a cool opportunity Milton Hershey gave Rashawn and the other kids involved and got a chance to go to the races and be a part of teams that night. It is something he still talks about, even a year later. Hopefully we can continue doing something like that.”
That wasn’t the first time Zearfoss has worked with Hershey, though. While working as a refrigeration mechanic – before his racing career – servicing compressors, and dealing with anhydrous ammonia, part of his job involved working on compressors for The Hershey Company. Now, full circle, Zearfoss gets to use his story of quitting that job to follow his dream of being a race car driver as inspiration for the students to follow their own goals.
“[Hopefully] spark an interest or help them understand it is OK to not really know what you want to do,” Zearfoss said. “As long as you have goals, you can achieve whatever you want. It’s all about hard work. Just trying to present the right mindset for kids. I never thought I’d be like what we’re doing right now. Fortunate to be in that situation.”
Along with talking about career focused initiatives, Zearfoss brings another unique perspective as an entrepreneur. Having run his own team for the majority of his career – and entire World of Outlaws career – Zearfoss brings a unique perspective of what it takes to build, run and maintain a business.
“I deal with all the behind-the-scenes stuff too,” Zearfoss said. “It’s just a different way of approaching it. It’s a little more of an entrepreneurship. I think it gives me a little extra to talk about with the kids if they have a dream of owning their own business or something… Just gives me a little bit extra to talk about. The kids that are interested in being an entrepreneur, it might be helpful for them.”
He, along with Carson Macedo, Giovanni Scelzi, Logan Schuchart, and Brent Marks, will visit with the students in the afternoon before going several more drivers at Hersheypark Stadium – initially known as Hershey Stadium Speedway – for the inaugural Hershey Sprint Car Experience. The event (May 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.), which is free to everyone, and features meet-and-greets with the drivers, honors the 84th anniversary of the stadium’s racetrack opening.
Then, on Saturday, during the Morgan Cup at Williams Grove, Zearfoss and three other drivers will welcome a student for a hands-on opportunity as an honorary crew member.
“The kids, they’re going to be all ears,” Zearfoss said. “They’re going to be excited. The last time we were there you could see the excitement in the kids’ eyes, whether it was the young kids in the fourth grade or the seniors. It didn’t matter what age they were. They were all excited to see us and see the race cars. Getting excitement in the kids’ faces and getting them engaged around the race car and just engaged in general.
“It’s all about being positive and having a positive mindset for the kids and just encouraging them to do good in life and succeed. If we can come out of the day by doing that and getting the kids engaged and really enjoying what they do and looking forward to succeeding in life and in school, that’s all we can really ask for.”
For more about Milton Hershey School, visit mhskids.com.
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns to Eldora Speedway this weekend, May 5-6, before turning to its Spring Pennsylvania Swing, including Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday, May 10, and Williams Grove Speedway on Friday-Saturday, May 12-13. For tickets, CLICK HERE.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every race live on DIRTVision.