Honda Performance Development (HPD) is expanding its support of NXG Youth Motorsports (NXG) by providing a fresh supply of 30 Honda karting engines for the program’s expanding efforts to bring motorsports to minority students and underrepresented communities.
Headed by co-founder and chief instructor Rod Reid, NXG (Nexgeneracers) and its programs feature science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to create opportunities and experiences for its youth participants through motorsports while focusing on minority students from underrepresented communities.
HPD will provide 30 new Honda’s GX200 series engines, which NXG already uses to power its karts. Advantages of the Honda GX200 include lower noise levels, lower vibration and lower emissions – without sacrificing power output or performance.
“HPD and Honda have long been supporters of youth in motorsports,” said John Whiteman, HPD’s manager of commercial motorsports. “As NXG Youth Motorsports continues to grow and expand into new markets, we’re pleased to be able to assist them by providing Honda engines for their racing karts.”
After building a successful Indiana-based program over the last 15 years, NXG became an official partner with INDYCAR and Penske Entertainment Corp. through its Race for Equality & Change initiative in 2020. The academy has targeted the Detroit community as it expands its reach in 2021, and NXG hosted its inaugural Detroit program June 5-6 at Belle Isle Park, site of the annual NTT INDYCAR SERIES race weekend.
“We’re very grateful to Honda and HPD for their continued support of our efforts, and we’ll be putting these new engines to immediate use,” Reid said. “The Honda engines have proven to be an excellent teaching tool for us, with performance and reliability that far exceeded our expectations.”
The NXG program includes five levels – MA100, MA200, MA300, MA400, and MA500 – to progressively introduce boys and girls to the fundamental aspects of racing that include advanced driving techniques, track geometry, understanding mechanical equipment and self-control – each transferable to their future daily lives.
All five levels include STEM-related education and English and critical thinking assignments revolving around motorsports. Each level takes place over two days on the weekend, providing eight hours of classroom and on-track instruction.
“The program is designed for a boy or girl who hasn’t driven anything, not a go-kart, not a mini-bike,” Reid said. “We take them from 0 to 45 mph, as that’s the maximum speed of our karts. We pride ourselves on being very patient, very tolerant and very safety-conscious.”
NXG Academy participants who want to continue into advanced competition then are reviewed by Reid and his crew. Up to 10 competitors are selected to race in the NXG Grand Prix series, which consists of eight to 10 races from April through September on temporary road courses at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Purdue University.