The American Speed Association, Dells Raceway Park and Ford Racing recently teamed up to feature short track racing to Wisconsin Collegiate DECA and Skills USA college students. The seminars took place at their respective Fall Leadership Conferences on Thursday, October 22 at the Hotel Sierra in Green Bay, WI.
Joe Graziano, co-owner of Dells Raceway Park an ASA Member Track in Wisconsin Dells, WI, along with Kevin Ramsell, ASA's Director Public Relations, met with Collegiate DECA students to talk about the business of operating a short track. Both shared how their careers grew to where they are now through short track racing. Graziano talked extensively about what he and his fellow co-owner Lance Fielitz have done to make Dells Raceway Park one of the more entertaining racing facilities in the Midwest. While Ramsell talked about how ASA is working on branding itself more as a sanctioning body in short track racing and helping short tracks get more noticed as a place for entertainment for about the same price as going to a movie.
Graziano also talked about how short tracks need to have fresh and new ideas when it comes to marketing it to a new audience. He encouraged students interested in careers in sports and entertainment marketing to look at short tracks as a way to gain experience. The curious students got involved in the presentation by asking questions and sharing their thoughts about the trends they are seeing today.
"I was honored to have the opportunity to exchange ideas with such an enthusiastic group," Graziano said. "I'm betting that we meet again some day because I saw a lot of bright futures in the crowd."
"Just being in a room with people as passionate about what they do as Kevin and Joe are, is more than beneficial to those of us that aspire to follow in their footsteps," Andy Hayes, Wisconsin Collegiate DECA State President said. "The workshop and opportunities they presented were well received and affirmed many reasons that people get into this organization, especially the new students who were experiencing the Fall Leadership Conference for the first time."
Later that day, college Skills USA students got a unique opportunity to learn more about the technical side of super late model racing. Mike "Lumpy" Lemke, ASA Midwest Tour and ASA Transcontinental Series Tech Director, put together a Tech Talk which included a live chat via Skype™ with Mike Delahanty, Program Director Sportsman Circle Track Racing at Ford Racing, along with the opportunity to get a close up look at ASA Midwest Tour Touring Star Jamie Iverson's super late model. Jamie along with his wife, Julie were also on hand to answer the students questions.
From his office in Dearborn, MI, Delahanty talked about Ford Racing's plans to become more involved in short track racing and talked about how they partnered up with the ASA Midwest Tour and Jamie Iverson with testing their new short track engine program. Delahanty also offered suggestions to the students about they can get involved in short track racing and network their way to a career in the sport.
Lemke and Iverson then invited the students over to see the Ford engine that is currently in Iverson's Ford Fusion super late model. The students were not afraid to ask very detailed and technical questions to both Lemke and Iverson. At the request of the students, Iverson started up his car so they can see the engine operating. Many students and advisors also had a chance to sit in the car.
"What a great group of students. Very knowledgeable and some great questions. It was funny when the advisors running the whole deal said at the end of the night that was one of the best hands on programs they have seen and wants us to go to their state conference in April," Lemke said. "Thank You all for the time spent. It was not only an eye opening presentation for me but the students alike. Very well done. It shows to me the commitment of our sport of auto racing by all that helped put it together. It looked like the students had a blast and did not even want to leave. It was also cool when they stayed even to help load the car in the trailer."
"This is a great opportunity for ASA to get its brand out to an audience who we need in short track racing," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "That generation of students that got this opportunity to meet with people within ASA and Ford Racing is that generation we are losing in short track racing to different forms of entertainment. We need to reach out more when opportunities like this is available. In one day, we were able to show the marketing and technical side of our sport to many students who may have not of short track racing as a great starting point to their dream careers. Many of our ASA Member Tracks and Series promoters are looking for fresh ideas and help. We just need to reach out and show them that the door is open for that opportunity."
The American Speed Association started as a single racing series in 1968 and is a fast growing racing sanctioning body today. The ASA Member Track program is comprised of dirt and asphalt short tracks along with road courses around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. To learn more of the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based American Speed Association call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. For news and information from all the racetracks and regional tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com.
About Collegiate DECA
Collegiate DECA is the college division of DECA. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.
DECA enhances the co-curricular education of members through a comprehensive learning program the integrates into classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition.
DECA's activities assist in the development of academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders.
DECA Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit student organization with more than 200,000 members in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The United States Congress, The United States Department of Education and state, district, and international departments of education authorize DECA's programs.
For more information, visit www.deca.org.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. It helps each student excel. It is a national nonprofit that strives to provide a quality work force in trade, technical and skilled service occupations with 13,000 chapters in 54 state and territorial associations. The nationwide organization serves more than 300,000 high school, college and postsecondary students-and their instructors-in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 1,100 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level. Over 10 million people have been members of SkillsUSA since its founding as The Vocational Industrial Clubs of America in 1965. SkillsUSA instructional programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. For more information, go to http://www.skillsusa.org.