April 9 2008
The university will sponsor the first race of the season at the clay oval, The Clabber Girl Don Smith Classic Presented by Indiana State University. An agreement with DHK Promotions LLC, which signed a three-year deal with the Vigo County Fair Board in February to operate the track, also calls for students to be heavily involved in the facilityâ€™s operations.
The partnership will allow Indiana State students to experience the business of motorsports first hand through interactive participation in the planning and execution of events. This "laboratory" environment will give students the opportunity to gain valuable real life knowledge for the future as they seek employment in a chosen motorsports-related field.
â€œWe want to provide a real-world portal to future careers in motorsports,â€ Guy Faulkner, director of Indiana Stateâ€™s motorsports initiative, said. â€œThis is a historic partnership.â€
The universityâ€™s agreement with DHK Promotions will supplement what students learn in the classroom via internships; student mentoring and project research, Faulkner said. The university also will work with DHK to secure industry speakers and classroom guests.
The Action Track hopes to play a key role in helping Indiana State develop a program intended to serve the needs of an industry the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has targeted for growth, Mike King of DHK Promotions said.
â€œHopefully, what is now a motorsports minor will soon become a major. Students would then be able to come to Indiana State and, upon graduation, go out into the business world knowing every facet of motorsports management from the ground upâ€, King said.
In addition to King, the radio voice of the Indianapolis 500, DHK principals include former major league baseball player and Indiana State alumnus Brian Dorsett and open-wheel racer Davey Hamilton.
Already, some students are gaining experience in a variety of areas thanks to Indiana Stateâ€™s partnership with DHK, Faulkner said.
â€œManagement information systems students are working on new ticketing systems,â€ he said. â€œIn addition, marketing students will conduct market research on fansâ€™ likes and dislikes and report their findings to the trackâ€™s management.â€
Indiana State will also use events at the Action Track to inform future students of the opportunities for study in the motorsports field.
Launched in 2006, the motorsports program at ISU is multi-disciplinary, including students and faculty from the College of Business; College of Technology; and College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, and shortly the College of Education. It has been designated a â€œProgram of Promiseâ€ under a program funded in part by a gift from the Lilly Endowment intended to highlight the universityâ€™s most distinctive programs.
Photo: Racing partnership Guy Faulkner, director of motorsports initiatives, discusses the university's partnership with DHK Promotions, new operators of the Terre Haute Action Track, during a Feb. 29 news conference at Clabber Girl in Terre Haute. Seated behind Faulkner are DHK partners Brian Dorsett (left), Davey Hamilton and Mike King.
Photo gallery Additional photos from the news conference announcing the 2008 season at the Terre Haute Action Track
Contact: Guy Faulkner, director of motorsports initiatives, Indiana State University, 812-237-2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or email@example.com
A unique affiliation with the new promoters of the Terre Haute Action Track will provide motorsports studies students at Indiana State with valuable experience in a racing venue.