Students enrolled in Alfred State College’s motorsports technology program  recently traveled to Mooresville and Concord, NC, to get an insider’s view of professional racing.
“Trips such as our Race Country trip are designed to broaden the education of the motorsports technology students,” says Tom Taber , instructor, Automotive Trades Department , who accompanied them. “We expose them to the real, professional part of the motor sports industry—the down and dirty yet fun and profitable part of their chosen future.”
While there, students were exposed to the inside “track” and back rooms of several NASCAR shops and the people, from management to worker, who make the industry operate.
The students and Taber paid their own way and supplied their own transportation and housing, making the trip an exercise in planning and organizing as well as budgeting.
“The trip lasted a full seven days,” says Taber. “The students toured Earnhardt/Ganassi Motor Sports thanks to Alfred State graduate Mike Sweet (class of 1981, construction engineering technology ) EXTENZE Racing shop thanks to Kevin Conway, driver of the #26 Nationwide NASCAR car; and Robbie Gordon Racing thanks to Kenny Briggs, head mechanic for all of Gordon’s many racing exploits. Robbie Gordon also spent time talking with the students and posing for pictures. Students toured Stewart/Haas Motor Sports thanks to Sean Haggerty, one of Tony Stewart’s lead people, who is an ASC automotive graduate from ’98 and a Motor Sports Advisory Board member for Alfred State. Students also attended the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Races, Nationwide Races, and Sprint Cup Races during the trip.
Pictured here, l-r: Robert Bright, Riverhead; Kell Orlando, Seneca Falls; Jerry Perry, Andover (in back); Daniel Eck, Scio; Christopher Mills-Pangburn, Richburg; Joshua Beardsley, Dansville; Daniel Burgdorf, Ava; Michael Erbelding, Webster; Dalton Herrick, McDonough; Ariel Lovejoy, Bloomfield; Sweet, Belfast, research engineer for Earnhardt/Ganassi; (Car #42, sponsored by Target, driven by Juan Pablo Montoya, an Indy car champ now racing in NASCAR).