Miami Prize: Team earns trip for winning NASCAR competition

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
November 29, 2010

As racecar driver Jimmie Johnson celebrated his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup title after the Ford 400 race in southern Florida on Nov. 21, five Indiana State University students celebrated for a different reason.

The students and two faculty advisers of the ISU NASCAR Kinetics group spent five days in Miami as the prize for winning the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion competition. The ISU group beat out students from nine other universities across the country to win the contest that started earlier this semester. It was the first time Indiana State participated in the competition.

"I honestly know we put in a lot of hard work and dedication, and we hit the ground running as soon as school got back in session," team member Kaci Lientz said. "Our goal was we wanted to have this experience."

The team consists of seniors Sarah Adams of Terre Haute and Lientz, from Rockville, Ind., who are communication majors; junior David Lund of Rockville, Ind., an accounting major; senior Justin Chappell of Indianapolis, Ind., an automotive technology management major and senior Courtney Patberg of Huntingburg, Ind., who is majoring in recreation and sport management.

The group embarked from Terre Haute Nov. 19 for Miami. ISU professor Joyce Young, one of the team's faculty advisers, rented a limousine for the students to ride from campus to the airport in Indianapolis, as well as one for when the students returned on Monday. While the limo was a bonus for Lientz, who never had ridden in a limo before, it was just the beginning.

On the trip, the students met with officials from NASCAR; Mars, the company that makes M&Ms and a NASCAR sponsor; and other companies. They also had an enviable amount of access during the race, Young said. The team had access to the pits, where work such as tire changes takes place, and the garage area during the race. They are usually off limits to spectators.

"That's a rare thing they got to do," Young said, "so they were thrilled about that."

The students also met several racecar drivers, including Dale Jarrett, a former racer who now provides race analysis for ESPN. The team also got to see the ESPN production crew prepare clips to be broadcast.

Lund said that the group got to participate in a lot of activities, and the trip was better than he expected.

"I knew we were going to do some neat things," Lund said. "I wasn't sure exactly how much access we were going to get, but we got quite a bit, more so than anybody else that goes to a racetrack would get, so all in all, it was a really good experience."

During the competition students completed three case studies and hosted a viewing party for a NASCAR race. The ISU group was the only team to place in the top three for each case study and also won the viewing party.

"We did not expect to win," Young said, "but there were high expectations that we possibly could win."

Lund, who was designated as the team leader, was the first team member to learn that ISU won the competition. The e-mail he received that announced the results of the final case study also indicated that they would learn who won the contest later in the day. So Lund spread the word that they would be finding out.

It "probably wasn't the best idea because everybody was on edge the whole day, and it was about probably a good eight to 10 hours later before we found out," Lund said.

The message eventually arrived, and the Sycamores learned they had won.

"I knew we had a decent chance knowing that we did well in all the case studies, but there's always a chance that somebody could've snuck in there," Lund said, and "there's a few other teams that were pretty good competition."

ISU students will be participating in the NASCAR Kinetics competition for five more semesters. Young said that the team and motorsports program is grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the competition.
In addition to being a great item to add to a résumé, the win helped the students make contacts that could help them professionally. During scheduled meetings with the team, different representatives provided advice about entering the workforce and answered questions, Lund said.

The team's NASCAR representative also provided contact information of people the students met and encouraged team members to submit their résumés, Lund said.

"So I'm pretty optimistic it could lead to something," he added.

Several representatives spoke to the students about internships and possible job opportunities.

"It's about them," Young said, "and if this gets them to the next step, this is why I do what I do."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1108547362_Ms3VQ-L.jpg (Courtesy Photo)

Indiana State University senior Kaci Lientz, junior David Lund and seniors Sarah Adams, Courtney Patberg and Justin Chappell pose for a photo at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The ISU students visited the course as part of a trip they won for winning the NACAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion contest, which pitted the group against teams from nine other universities across the country.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/1108846390_9cFBX-L.jpg (Courtesy Photo)

Indiana State professor and NASCAR Kinetics team co-adviser Joyce Young and ISU seniors Kaci Lientz, Sarah Adams, Courtney Patberg, racecar driver Kyle Busch, ISU junior David Lund, senior Justin Chappell and ISU professor and Kinetics team co-advisor Kim Bodey pose for a photo before the Ford 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The NASCAR Kinetics team attended the race and won a trip to Miami for winning the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion competition.

Contact: Joyce Young, director of motorsports studies program, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University, 812-237-2000 or joyce.young@indstate.edu.

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or austin.arceo-negrich@indstate.edu.