A few years ago, it started as a pilot program at Madison International Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Oregon, WI. Last year, it grew where Dells Raceway Park, another ASA Member Track in Wisconsin Dells, WI, got involved. In 2011, both tracks will continue to participate along with some new ASA Member Tracks coming on board and participate in the ASA - Student Educational Series.
"The second year of the ASA-Educational Series with Ohio Technical College was a great success. We were able to introduce the program to new tracks and a larger number of students," Larry Pond, ASA - SES Executive Director said. "The Program was re-structured to improve the student experience by adding measurable requirements and competition between the students. These additional requirements were instrumental in developing the students skills and also provided an in-depth model to measure each students performance while in the program. The points earned on all activities were used to establish the level of scholarships earned. The program will continue to develop for 2011 based on the success of 2010."
"The reward to the ASA race teams, ASA Member Tracks, ASA officials and the Ohio Technical College officials is shown in the strong group of students that are now enrolled in OTC," Pond continued to say. "These students are all excelling academically and showing the value of what they learned in the ASA-Educational Series Program. We are very proud of them!"
The ASA - Student Educational Series is a partnership between the Student Educational Series, LLC and Ohio Technical College with licensing by the American Speed Association. Currently, 22 students are attending classes at OTC with many on the honor roll.
Madison International Speedway started the program in 2008 where it hosted the pilot program during their 2008 and 2009 seasons. In 2010, Dells Raceway Park came on board and had a successful start. A total of 15 students, ten from MIS and five from DRP received a scholarship ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 for their hard work last season. A total of $135,000 in scholarships were handed out.
"Madison is very proud to be the track where this whole program started. Pete Raskovic brought the program to Madison a few years ago and is now growing with ASA on the national level," Terry Kunes, MIS track owner said. "This is a win-win as we get young students involved in short track racing while giving them a great opportunity to obtain a scholarship to one of the best automotive colleges in the United States. This has helped our audience grow at MIS as those students are bringing their family and friends to MIS. It is creating a new fan base in short track racing and we are excited that we help start this and now seeing it grow to other ASA Member Tracks."
Part of the success of the program is the partnership between ASA and Ohio Technical College. Students must first be accepted by OTC before they can participate in the program. "We are working hard to get more recruiters around the ASA Member Tracks," Randy Dziadowicz, OTC Midwest Regional Admissions Manager said. "ASA is opening the door for us to recruit more students around the United States. We feel that we have one of the best trade schools in the United States. In fact, we were named School of the Year in 2009. Just like this program is opening the door for new race fans, it is opening the door for us to recruit the best students as well."
Students interested should visit www.asa-racing.com and click on the Student Educational Series link on the right side of the front page for more information. Students will need to be approved to attend classes at Ohio Technical College before being part of the ASA - Student Educational Series. Once they are in the series, they will be scored on two essays, a logbook documenting what they are doing during the season with the team, and the on-track performance of the team they are with.
Ohio Technical College offers programs in Automotive, Diesel, Auto-Diesel, Collision, Restoration, PowerSport, Manufacturer, and Welding. They also have special added programs like the BMW FAST Track which is an ASE/NATEF-certified BMW automotive training program.
OTC recently partnered with Edelbrock and now offers the Edelbrock Academy. It is a specialized school training certificate program that focuses on training students on several Edelbrock aftermarket performance parts.
"We are seeing more interest from all sides. We have students, our ASA Member Tracks, competitors and fans all interested," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "Last year, the program has helped see some students and families dreams come true and at the same time we created some new fan interest in short track racing as well. We are seeing very positive results from this program and are pleased with the growth as we have more ASA Member Tracks wanting to be a part of this. In fact, at some of current participating tracks, some of the teams want two or more students to help them. The intention of the program has not only been met but exceeded all expectations and we are proud to be a part of it."
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 asphalt and dirt 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For news and information from all the racetracks and regional tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com