Donor offers to match gifts for racing team

February 13, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Team Sycamore Racing, Indiana State University's drag racing team, is gearing up for a new season with a generous offer from a private donor to match up to $50,000 in financial gifts from others.

"This anonymous donor recognized the value this experience offers students and wanted to encourage others to give," said Eric Motycka, director of development for Indiana State's College of Technology.

In its rookie season, Team Sycamore finished 18th out of 163 teams in NHRA Division 3 Super Comp and raced in two national events. The students brought home two Wally awards, one for best appearing crew and the other for best engineered car from the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio. According to the NHRA, the last time both awards were given to the same team was at the race in Phoenix, 1992.

Students are active in all areas of the team management and business aspects, including engineering components, acquiring sponsorships, marketing, creating graphics, event planning, and driving. Indiana State's motorsports management minor, as well as membership in Team Sycamore Racing, is open to all students, regardless of major.

Indiana State alumnus Michael Simmons, a sports car racer, is a firm believer in the program and is proud of its early success.

"I'm impressed with the accomplishments they made in their rookie season," Simmons said. "They made a few rookie mistakes, but they learned by doing and seeing the results."

Simmons is a supporter of the real-life opportunity Team Sycamore Racing provides.

"You're combining classroom education with actual execution," he said. "They don't just talk about it in the classroom - they put it in the trailer, take it to the track, unload it and race it."

All gifts to Team Sycamore Racing are tax-deductible and may be sent to the Indiana State University Foundation, Gillum Hall Room 320, Terre Haute, IN 47809. Gifts are also accepted online at www.indstatefoundation.org/givingonline.aspx .

Make checks payable to the ISU Foundation and note that it is a donation for Team Sycamore Racing. Please be sure to include your address so all gifts may be acknowledged.

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Contact: Eric Motycka, ISU Foundation, (812) 237-8983 or emotycka@indstatefoundation.org

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or pmeyer4@isugw.indstate.edu