Patricio O’Ward’s visit with IPS students at Meredith Nicholson School 96 went so well the first time that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wanted a repeat.


So, on Oct. 31, the rookie driver interacted with the school’s fifth- and sixth-grade students, attended a Halloween party and even hung out in gym class.


Assistant Principal Cara L. Chandler said 19-year-old O’Ward, who grew up in Mexico, discussed with students what it’s like for him as a young race car driver and how he started racing go-karts at 3 years old with his grandfather.


“He spoke in Spanish to our students, which absolutely delighted them,” said Chandler. “They asked a lot of questions about what it’s like to be a race car driver, and he answered them with great personality; he connected well and easily with them.”


O’Ward also passed out candy and autograph pictures to students.


Meredith Nicholson, located on the city’s Westside, has a large Hispanic population.