"It's rewarding to work with young racers," said program founder and instructor Tony Blanchard. "The level of ambition among these racers is hard to measure. They definitely are eager to learn and put their knowledge to use."
|Mahaney stunned the field at Fonda|
Mike Mahaney, who graduated in the RACE 101 Class of 2011, set the bar high in March, winning the Ice Jam at the famed Fonda Speedway in New York. Mahaney races dirt modified, and continues to turn heads in the northeast with his consistency. The university graduate races an average of three nights per week.
On Tuesday night, the Summer Shootout Series kicked off at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with current RACE 101 students Trey Jarrell and Tyler Lester winning their respective divisions.
"It's great to see our students succeed," said RACE 101 media and public relations instructor Adam Ross. "The classes seem to sponge from each other as well. Success is contagious, and they all get excited when another student does well."
While success in racing is often measured in wins, the RACE 101 curriculum covers a broader scope, since students need to find and create opportunities before they can capitalize on them.
"It's great to hear about wins, but it's even better when we hear of a student getting a new opportunity to go racing," said Blanchard. "This spring, Derek Robbie announced he will be racing for a new team this year, as well as campaigning his family-owned car. That's a huge step for a young racer."
Robbie, a 16-year old racer from Bellingham, Massachusetts graduated with the RACE 101 class of 2011, and credits his new ride with accelerating his learning curve, saying more racing gives him more opportunities to test, tune and develop.
Graduates from RACE 101's initial group in 2010 continue to influence the newer classes. Ryley Seibert races in the ARCA OK Tire Series out of Williams Lake, British Columbia. He holds two track records in the series, and will soon make his season debut with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, competing in five events this year.
"Our main goal is to help young racers achieve greater success in racing," said Ross. "Some students come with goals of racing at NASCAR's highest level, while others want to make the most of their opportunities on a local scale. Every situation is different and we're excited about the prospects for each of our graduates. They work hard, and it pays off."
|Trey Jarrell scored at Charlotte|
Later this month, Class of 2011 graduate Luke Whitteker is scheduled to test the RACE 101 Super Late Model in preparation for action in North Carolina. The three-race deal is a coveted prize for Whitteker, after being named Premier Driver among his graduating class. For the young man from Iroquois, Ontario, the experience will be his first behind the wheel of a super late model and his first on asphalt. He normally competes in dirt modifieds in Eastern Ontario and New York.
"A good racer adapts to his situation," said Blanchard. "We teach fundamentals that apply to dirt racing or asphalt racing, and they work with any type of car. I have no doubt Luke will get a feel for his new ride very quickly."
For more information on RACE 101, and its current and past students, visit www.race101.net. The school will soon accept applications potential members of the class of 2013. For interview requests or further information on the program, send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credits: dirttrackdigest.com, RACE101