Daytona Beach nonprofit dedicated to teaching kids about racing

Minority Racing Association drivers, from left, Kamari Odom, David Dalton Jr, Noah Blake, Francis Brown and Wesley Brown prepare to race at Daytona International Speedway in early April.  Wesley Brown started the nonprofit in 2014 to help kids get involved in racing.

DAYTONA BEACH — At the age of 11, Wesley Brown developed a love for cars.

“I’ve always been passionate about racing,” said Brown, now 56. “My older brothers introduced me to racing when I was 8 years old.”

Now Brown, a Palm Coast resident, has turned that passion into a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching kids in the community a love of racing and all things automobile.

Brown founded the Minority Racing Association in 2014, working with children of all ages, from elementary through high school, teaching a variety of car-related skills at no cost.

Wesley Brown, left, and his son Francis show off their Minority Racing Association jerseys as they prepare for the ChampCar event at Daytona International Speedway in early April.

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‘something for everyone’

“A lot of the kids don’t want to drive,” Brown said. “But there is something special for all of them. When I did my first summer program, one of the kids didn’t want to work on the car. So I asked a manager from one of the O’Reilly’s (auto parts store) to come over. He taught the kids how to research and order auto parts. There is more than racing when it comes to cars. There are mechanics, computer engineers, technicians, marketing management, logo design. There is a place for every child.”