Students are gaining experience on the race tracks with the help of the first Historically Black Colleges and University’s motorsports management program at Winston-Salem State University.
The program, which currently has 10 students, was originally created in 2007 and allows students to earn a bachelor of science degree in motorsports management.
Students take classes such as “Finance and Economics of Sport” and “Facility Design and Crowd Management” to get their degree.
Clay Harshaw has run the program at WSSU since 2012 and the program is very diverse.
“It’s men, women, anybody that’s interested in it. At one point, I kind of laughed and I said, ‘We’ve got the most diverse program of any university program,’” Harshaw said, according to HBCU Buzz.
Former student Derrick Rice said through the program he raced at Bowman Gray, and in 2016 won the Street Stock Division Title. Rice is now a sports marketing teacher at a high school and said he looks forward to a more diverse future for motorsports.
“I feel like it’s going to become more of a kind of gem toward the institution because it’s a gateway for kids to get in there and to understand, A) what the product is, which will be the car and the racing, and then, B) how to run it, how to utilize your resources, have the right business model, and things like that,” Rice said, according to HBCU Buzz.
NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program is currently working with WSSU for an initiative that supports minorities and women at higher levels of motorsports.
“I’m hoping there could be some positive effects for us,” Harshaw said. “I’m hoping that we can connect our students with their team for field experiences and internships.”