Earlier today, 10-year-old Layla Popoff of Orlando, Fla., zoomed to victory in the MINILAND 400 against veteran NASCAR driver Casey Mears, during a special event #BuiltForKids to celebrate the giant new Daytona International Speedway model at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.
Driving the No. 00 car in honor of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, which returns to the “World Center of Racing” on July 2, Layla was a tough competitor for Casey, who drove a kid-sized version of his No. 13 GEICO car for Germain Racing.
After taking off from between LEGO® models of the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol in MINILAND USA, Layla and Casey quickly reached a top speed of nearly four miles per hour in the electric vehicles borrowed from our popular Driving School attraction.
Neck-and-neck they zoomed past the New York City skyline, remaining close as they barreled down the Las Vegas Strip. With the finish line in sight at the new Daytona display, Casey suddenly plowed into a pile of giant LEGO bricks near Kennedy Space Center while Layla raced ahead to claim victory. Her prize? A giant LEGO trophy accepted with a triumphant smile. Take a look:
Layla was selected for the one-of-a-kind race with the assistance of Merlin’s Magic Wand, a global charity that has helped nearly 300,000 children and their families enjoy a magical day out at more than 100 attractions operated around the world by Merlin Entertainments, parent company of LEGOLAND. Earlier this year, Layla’s dream of a huge backyard playhouse was fulfilled by Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida.
Afterward, the friendly competitors headed to the theme park’s new Imagination Zone. Let me tell you, this place is what your LEGO dreams are made of. It’s filled with hands-on LEGO building activities where kids can put their imaginations into overdrive.
Since Casey is a racing expert (even if he did get beat by a 10-year-old) he gave several young fans great tips for building creative LEGO vehicles to race down timed ramps in the new Wheels Zone. I wonder who had more fun, Casey or the kids?