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SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 19 of 77

CONNECTING YOUTH TO THE DIRT  The Off-Road Motorsports Youth Foundation Gets Kids Involved In SCORE BaJa Racing By SCORE Journal Staff Most kids from Indiana have never been to Baja California, Mexico, yet alone thought they would ever become involved in off-road racing, but Preston Lewis, founder and Executive Director of the Off-Road Motorsports Youth Foundation (OMYF), offers youths the opportunity to learn and get involved in the off-road racing and aftermarket industry. “We became a nonprofit organization in 2019, and with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I formed the OMYF after my battle with Leukemia,” said Lewis. Lewis’s journey with the OMYF began after he was diagnosed with the disease in 2016. His personal love for motorsports came from growing up in his parent’s automotive repair shop in Oakland City, Indiana. The family were also avid motocross racers and Lewis kept riding until the day he was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Spending most of his teenage childhood in hospitals, Lewis managed to become certified in Solid Works and wanted to give back, raising more than $200K for the Curing Kids Cancer Organization. Inspired by those that gave he wanted to form his own youth foundation, and found ways to make it happen. In the meantime, his mother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2018 and passed away a year later. Despite the hurdles, he proceeded to create the OMYF with the goal of introducing kids to his passion, and in hopes they can also move forward in a career in the off-road industry. “We get kids involved in just about all aspects of the motorsports industry, teaching welding, fabrication, and even marketing techniques,” said Lewis. “The racing part is the ‘pie-in-the-sky’ to keep them excited and pushing them to learn as much as they can.” The OMYF is working on a Ford Ranger that will be entered in the Heavy Metal class at this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by K&N. The team is all made up of Lewis who is the driver of record for the No. 8013 truck built by Geiser Brothers in Phoenix, as well as Caleb McKinney, 24, Boonville, Ind., Sheldon Lewis, 20, Oakland City, Ind., Taryn Hamilton, 23, Evansville, Ind. And Ayden Clark, 17, Francisco, Ind. This will be the first SCORE race for the entire team. “We’re coming down from Indiana and the gameplan is for all of us to meet in La Paz, Mexico where everyone will be divided into teams of 12 people,” said Lewis. “Our goal is to finish the race and thanks to sponsors such as BFGoodrich Tires, we have race tires for our truck as well as the ability to use the BFG Pits along the route. Baja Pits has also allowed us to utilize their pit stops as well and we calculated we will have to average 30-32 MPH to finish the race in the allotted time. If we can do this with our team of kids, it will show them, as well as SCORE fans, that anything is possible and kids can do great things.” If all goes well, the OMYF will plan on getting a new chassis and racing in the SCORE Trophy Truck class. For more information, visit the OMYF website at

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