- Associated Press - Thursday, April 11, 2013

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (AP) - Jeff Gordon is well-versed in reading Dr. Seuss‘ “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” to his own two small children.

On Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway, he read part of the book to 1,500 students from three local elementary schools. Gordon joined them for a celebration of individual, class and school achievements in a NASCAR-themed reading program created by the track.

The kids from those schools, ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade, combined to read more than 283,000 books.

Gordon said he was a good reader growing up, but admits he wasn’t a big reader.

“I was so focused on racing that if it had to do with racing, I’d read page-to-page. I was pretty decent in math, but when it came down to books and reading, I really now look back wishing I had done a lot more reading,” Gordon said.

The top overall student was a 2nd-grade girl who read 2,890 books in the program.

“I don’t think I’ve read that many books or will in my lifetime,” Gordon said. “That’s impressive. That’s very impressive.”

Gordon was also accompanied by “The Cat in the Hat,” the title character from another Dr. Seuss classic and a natural pairing.

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation recently collaborated with Dr. Seuss on the “Hats Off To Hope” program, a year-long campaign to support and celebrate children with cancer. That included Gordon reading “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” at the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library in February.

“This just happened to work out this way for what Texas Motor Speedway is doing. … It’s awesome,” Gordon said.

“With our new partnership with Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, it’s something we’ve really gotten involved in this year. How they affect children and how they play such an important role in all of us growing up,” he said. “It’s given us a great opportunity to bring more awareness to pediatric cancer as well and funding that.”