GRETNA (WSLS 10) - The sound of an air gun being used to rapidly change a tire is what Gretna Elementary students heard Friday afternoon as NASCAR pit crew members preformed a pit stop in the parking lot outside of the school.
"It's very exciting. We're very pleased to come out here and show them what we do on a race weekend," Seth Saunders, a rear tire carrier on Paul Menard's pit crew, said.
The students were equally pleased to get to see the action up close and personal.
"Some of them interacted with our guys, especially our jack man, Derrell Edwards. He showed them how to jack it up, how to drop the jack," Saunders explained.
This pit stop was more than just for entertainment though.
It is part of Richard Childress Racing's Pit Stops For Hope campaign, which was founded in 2013 to help promote education and combat child hunger.
"We raise money. At the racetrack, we sell used lug nuts. We sell race-used shirts, gloves," said Pit Stops For Hope founder Ray Wright.
All of the money raised goes back to local organizations like the Salvation Army and Second Harvest Food Bank.
In the weeks leading up to today, students were asked to sell candy bars and the top eight sellers were given tablets from Pit Stops For Hope.
The pit crew members also talked to the students about the importance of education.
"I had to...do well in school," Derrell Edwards, the jack man on Paul Menard's pit crew, told students as he explained how going to college led him to a career in NASCAR.
But, most importantly the campaign hoped to raise awareness about child hunger, especially in North Carolina where Richard Childress Racing is based.
"There's a lot of kids that are going home hungry. They're going to go home, they're going to come back to school Monday; possibly haven't eaten since Saturday or Sunday," Wright emphasized. "So, we need to raise that awareness in this community."