Dash 4 Cash raises stakes for drivers

The first Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash race is Friday at Martinsville Speedway with the Cook Out 250 (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Four full-time NXS drivers will battle it out among the rest of the field for not only the overall race win but an additional $100,000 if they finish the highest among the Dash 4 Cash-eligible contingent. Those competing in the race within a race are Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson.

There are four Dash 4 Cash events over the next several weeks, bringing the prize money to $400,000 total, courtesy of Comcast.

RELATED: Martinsville weekend schedule

Drivers eligible for the Dash 4 Cash are determined by the results of the previous race. Allgaier, Allmendinger, Burton and Gragson were the top-four full-time finishers (among drivers that have declared to be running for the Xfinity Series championship) in the last series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. Whoever has the best finish of those four at Martinsville will win the $100,000 bonus and qualify for the next Dash 4 Cash event. The next three highest full-time finishers will join the winner in competing for the bonus at Talladega Superspeedway. Darlington Raceway and Dover International Speedway will make up the back half of the program, with the final race coming at the “Monster Mile.”

In conjunction with the Dash 4 Cash program, the telecommunications company is continuing its commitment to closing the digital divide by unveiling plans for a brand-new WiFi-Connected Lift Zone in the Martinsville community. Lift Zones, created in partnership with local community organizations throughout Comcast’s service areas, provide safe spaces for students to access the Internet for free so they can participate in distance learning and do their schoolwork. Comcast is accelerating its timeline to connect 1,000-plus Lift Zones in community centers across the country by the end of 2021, more than a year ahead of its original plan.

“At Comcast, we’re committed to closing the homework gap and digital divide for families across the nation and we’re looking at all of our company’s channels to help raise awareness and break down barriers to access,” said Matt Lederer, Comcast’s Vice President, Brand Partnerships and Activation in a release. “We’re proud to commit to building 1,000-plus Lift Zones by the end of the year, including one a few miles from Martinsville Speedway, to help low-income students and families get online to access the resources and education they need to reach their goals.”

Since 2018, Comcast has donated more than $200,000 during NASCAR’s Dash 4 Cash to help close the digital divide. The efforts have enabled local non-profits in each Dash 4 Cash market, from Veteran’s Service Organizations to Boys & Girls Clubs, to make Internet connectivity more accessible for low-income families and individuals.

“We are working to ensure all of our young people can access and enjoy change-making digital opportunities and experiences at our Clubs and beyond,” said Joanie Petty, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge. “We’re excited for our Teen Center to be outfitted with high-speed WiFi as a Comcast Lift Zone, for we’ve seen the benefits of critical digital literacy skill-building in closing the digital divide and preparing our young people for the labor market they will enter.”