NHRA, Clemson U. alliance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 Steffen Rogers, Clemson (864) 656-3243 NHRA, CLEMSON UNIVERSITY FORM INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE GLENDORA, Calif. -- The National Hot Rod Association and...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 Steffen Rogers, Clemson (864) 656-3243

NHRA, CLEMSON UNIVERSITY FORM INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE GLENDORA, Calif. -- The National Hot Rod Association and Clemson University have formed an educational partnership that will place students with top NHRA drag-racing teams and tracks.

This is the first alliance between a national motorsports sanctioning body and a university. Clemson, located in Clemson, S.C., has 16,500 students. The partnership initially will create co-op opportunities and scholarships for undergraduate students interested in motorsports' careers. Clemson students will spend six months to one year working directly with top NHRA race teams and racing facilities. Students most likely to benefit are those with majors in engineering, marketing, business and recreation-tourism. "We think this partnership will give competitive edges to both the NHRA and Clemson," said Kendall Pyle, NHRA director of Youth & Education Services. "Our teams will gain the technological edge of working with a noted motorsports program. Through co-oping, Clemson students will gain the work experience that will give them an employment edge after graduation." The Close Call Phone Card team of Top Fuel driver Jim Head, 1997 U.S. Nationals winner, and the Hartman Motorsports team already have agreed to participate in the co-op program. Hartman fields a Top Fuel dragster for Rhonda Hartman and a Funny Car for Richard Hartman and is based in Williamston, S.C., less than 20 miles from Clemson's campus. "I'm a civil engineer by training, so I know the value of engineering," Head said. "I fully anticipate that Clemson's expertise will help give me the research-and-design edge I need to stay competitive." Future areas of the partnership may include campus recruiting, seminars and workshops, technology development, senior project internships, equipment grants, research grants, mentoring programs that pair Clemson students with youngsters involved in NHRA's Jr. Drag Racing League and educational outreach programs that target school-age youngsters. "This partnership gives our students real-world opportunities in a high-pressure business environment," said Steffen Rogers, Clemson's vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Motorsports is the nation's fastest-growing spectator sport and will provide our students not only learning opportunities but access to top jobs. "Our educational mission is the primary emphasis, but I think the inherent excitement of motorsports will help make this learning opportunity popular with our students." This partnership expands NHRA's successful education programs to the university level. NHRA already reaches more than 200,000 elementary and secondary students each year through innovative science education programs. -30-

9/23/97-GR38-156

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Richard Hartman
Teams Williams