New dragster will help automotive students, racers

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
August 17, 2010

On the drag strip and in the classroom, Team Sycamore Racing's newest dragster will benefit the racing experience as well as increase student learning about racecar engineering technology at Indiana State University.

Moser Engineering, a Portland, Ind.-based company that makes rear-end components for racing applications, donated the vehicle, a 2002 Undercover dragster. Moser employs Indiana State alumni.

"This is a cool time for us," said Randy Peters, associate professor in the department of applied engineering and technology management within the College of Technology. Peters also serves as team principal of Team Sycamore Racing.

Team Sycamore Racing launched in 2007 as a student organization providing hands-on learning opportunities about both the sport and business sides of auto racing.

Moser first noticed the student-led race team in 2008, its first season on the track, Peters said. The company expressed its support and earlier this year replaced the rear-end component for the team's original dragster, a 1991 Spitzer.

Two weeks later, Rob Moser, president of Moser Engineering called to offer a turn-key 235" rear-engine dragster.

"I said something along the lines of ‘absolutely'," Peters said.

The vehicle has a patriotic theme, emblazoned with the American flag and a bald eagle decal on the side. It is a swing-arm style chassis with a 488 cubic inch General Motors big-block carbureted engine, setting it apart from the original's hard-tailed design and 427 cubic inch small-block fuel-injected engine.

"Both the swing arm chassis and the carbureted engine are the industry standards and should give the students even more knowledge when it comes to learning all about the drag racing industry," said Jeff Anderson, marketing director for Moser.

Automotive engineering technology students will compare and contrast the features of both vehicles, with the differing features providing a variety of learning experiences.

ISU is the only public university in the state with a motorsport management minor program, in which all Team Sycamore Racing members are required to be enrolled. Founded in 2006 as a collaboration between the Colleges of Business, Technology and Nursing, Health and Human Services, it has since expanded to encompass the remaining two colleges, said Joyce Young, director of the motorsports program.

Fifty students are currently in the program, up from 16 the first year.

"We now have students who are choosing to come to Indiana State University because of the minor," Young said.

Anderson said his company wants to make a lasting impression on those students.

"We feel that by connecting and introducing ourselves early we can forge a connection that will help us to remain in the students mind moving forward so that they remember Moser Engineering as an early partner that they will hopefully want to work with in the future," he said.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Motorsports-Announcement/081710motorsportsmoser-4614/973242735_ejcoJ-L.jpg - Representatives of Moser Engineering and Team Sycamore Racing pose with the new dragster Moser donated to the Indiana State University automotive engineering technology program and racing team. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Additional photos: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Motorsports-Announcement/13381033_5PgMv#973227323_33jsY

Contact: Randy Peters, associate professor of automotive engineering technology; 812-237-4962 or Randy.Peters@indstate.edu

Writer: Nick Hedrick, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3773 or nhedrick2@indstate.edu