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      NASCAR drivers visit Darlington students

      Two special guests were revving up students at the Darlington County Institute of Technology (DCIT) Tuesday.

      NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Jeremy Clements and Justin Allgaier visited DCIT. They also visited Mayo High School, W. Hartsville Elementary, and Hartsville Middle School.

      The guests talked about the importance of education and gave the kids a first hand look at what it is like to be a NASCAR driver. Students said they were surprised and impressed.

      "It caught me off guard. It gave me a kick in the bum. I am ready to get started," said automotive student Joshua Rakestraw.

      Allgaier and Clements both were inspired at young ages by driving go-karts. Allgaier hopes to share that inspiration with kids.

      "Growing up, I had people that came in and did events kind of like what we did. It always meant a lot to me. I always enjoy learning."

      The appearance was especially important for Clements, who is a Spartanburg native.

      "I went to a school back at home like this one, R.D. Anderson, and took Machine Tool Technology. The more you can learn, the better off you will be. It propelled me into NASCAR. We want to encourage them because they are the future of the sport," said Clements.

      The drivers discussed everything from car and engine parts to their experiences on the track. They even gave students advice on the variety of jobs available in the sport.

      Allgaier said it may convince people to consider NASCAR.

      "Hopefully, there is someone that said, 'Hey, I want to do this,' and maybe we gave them the ambition. It's days like this that really make you realize how much fun you have, and how special your job really is."