From Classroom to Racetrack: Vintage Motorcycle Race Gives Florida Students First-Hand Learning Experience

Volusia County, FL students visit New Smyrna Speedway as part of Northern Tool + Equipment’s Tools for the Trades™ program 

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fl., March 1, 2024 — 50 students enrolled in Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses in Volusia County took a field trip to New Smyrna Speedway thanks to Northern Tool + Equipment and their Tools for the Trades™ program, designed to help address the trades labor shortage by igniting a passion for the trades in the next generation. 

Northern Tool & Equipment

Students met with Sons of Speed racing series founder Billy Lane and professional motorcycle drag racer Dystany Spurlock to learn about their path into trades-related careers and how those careers are in demand. Jon from Blockhead Moto also spoke to the students about his own career journey.

“I used to think kids today just wanted to be social media influencers. But, as I’ve met kids in different parts of the country through Tools for the Trades, their interest and passion for working with their hands has inspired me,” said Lane. “The kids here at the track were so excited to learn and hear about the many trade options out there for them.” 

“To become a professional motorcycle drag racer, I’ve had to work on my bikes myself,” shared Spurlock. “We’re showing these kids that you can get a good job in the trades no matter your gender or background or where you come from. These are great careers, and it was an honor to tell the kids about my career path and to let  them know they can use these skills to be anything they want to be.”

Students watched dozens of racers and their crews as they worked on their motorcycles during practice runs. All students were given tickets to attend the main race scheduled for Saturday. 

Northern Tool & Equipment

“Volusia County Schools is excited for our CTE programs to partner with Northern Tool + Equipment and Sons of Speed to provide this unique opportunity through the Tools for the Trades program. As students spend the day at the track, they gain firsthand experience and explore exciting career paths in the trades. This collaboration between Tools for the Trades and our CTE Program promises to inspire and empower the next generation of skilled workers,” said Volusia County Schools Superintendent Dr. Carmen Balgobin.

The Tools for the Trade program began in 2021 to help address the growing trade labor shortage across the country. The program is designed to give teachers and students access to professional-grade tools, equipment, and learning opportunities like the field trip at Sons of Speed. 

“Our mission with the Tools for the Trades is to help generate excitement and passion in the trades with high school students,” said Suresh Krishna, CEO of Northern Tool + Equipment. “We work with trade professionals in our stores every day and hear firsthand about the lack of skilled laborers entering the workforce.” 

For more information, please contact Holly Steffl at 

About Northern Tool + Equipment:

Northern Tool + Equipment is a family owned company serving both DIYers and trades professionals tackling the tough projects. A leading supplier of more than 100,000 high-quality tools and equipment for over 40 years, the company’s highly-trained team has an immense breadth of knowledge to help customers in-person at 140 retail stores, online, and over the phone through their fully-staffed contact center. From helping customers get the right tool for the job to assisting with parts and repairs that keep tools running at peak performance, customer service is at the foundation of Northern Tool’s mission. With a passion for serving their communities and helping to fill the trades labor shortage, the company’s Tools for the Trades™ program donates high-quality tools directly into school classrooms, helping teachers show students the value of working in the trades. Learn more about Northern Tool + Equipment at and stay connected through social media: Facebook (@northerntool), Instagram (@northern_tool), TikTok (@northerntool), X (Twitter) (@northerntool), YouTube and Pinterest.

About Sons of Speed:

Founded in 2017 by Billy Lane, owner of Choppers Inc., Sons of Speed invites racers to compete on steeply banked tracks hitting speeds of up to 80 mph. The race series takes inspiration from the early 20th-century board track racing that showcases pre-1950 V-twin American motors and stripped-down bikes from some of the industry’s biggest names.

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