Views & Notes: November 2014 Edition | Performance Racing Industry
Views & Notes: November 2014 Edition
By Dan Schechner on November 19, 2014

* Bronco Boost: There must be something in the water (race fuel perhaps?) at Boise State University. Last month we came across a story in The Arbiter, the school’s student-run newspaper, about a pair of BSU freshman that planned to start a drag racing club in the spring. Kylie Jenkins and Leah Johnson first met in high school, where the pair bonded over a love of fast cars, the article said. Both come from racing families: Kylie’s father Larry has been involved in the sport for 20 years; Leah’s mother is a racer herself. And an affiliation with the local drag strip—Firebird Raceway in Meridian, Idaho—helped provide an outlet for the kids’ passion, one that will carry them into next semester and, hopefully, far beyond. “I want to be able to show people that this is really fun,” Jenkins told the paper of her new endeavor, “and you don’t have to have a massively expensive car. You can just go out and do it for fun; you can even just go out and support people you know.” Meantime, another Boise State freshman—Hannah Newhouse from Twin Falls, Idaho—recently became the school’s first on-scholarship race car driver when she signed the university as a sponsor for her Late Model Chevrolet Impala SS. Newhouse, who also took part in this fall’s NASCAR Drive For Diversity program, is in the midst of a full race schedule on the Spears SRL Southwest Tour, which visits tracks like Madera Speedway, Pikes Peak International Raceway, The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Irwindale Speedway, among others. When she isn’t touring, Hannah brings her #46 car—outfitted in Bronco blue with a large orange “B” on the hood—to various school activities. “We’ve got her at the tailgate for this Friday night’s game, where she’ll be out with the car signing autographs,” university spokesman Greg Hahn told us in mid-October. “In fact, we tried to get her for the homecoming parade but she was racing that weekend!” Here’s to Boise State for clearly recognizing the benefits of motorsports and supporting its students as they pursue their passion for racing.  

* 50 Years For Lane: Not to be overlooked among this year’s milestones is the golden anniversary of Watervliet, Michigan-based Lane Automotive. The company founded by George Lane in 1964 started out like so many in the industry—one man building dragsters out of the small garage at his family home. As the story goes, Lane turned his enthusiasm for racing and hot rods into a part-time business supplying speed equipment to local racers. A reputation for reliability and top-quality race parts carried the business into its next phase, which included full-time hours and a traditional storefront to better serve customers. Lane Automotive continued to outperform its confines, however, and a series of relocations and renovations would ultimately lead the thriving retail and ensuing wholesale operation (Motor State Distributing) to become one of the world’s top suppliers and warehouse distributors of speed equipment. It’s still very much a family business, as George’s two sons, Doug and Dave, handle primary duties while George and his wife Janet assume advisory roles for Lane and Motor State. And with a third generation now being groomed to continue Lane’s tradition of excellence, the road ahead looks promising indeed.   

* One Of A Kind: Graduates of the over-the-wall training program at Performance Instruction & Training (PIT) in Mooresville, North Carolina, can now say they received instruction at the only state-accredited pit crew training school in the country. PIT officials were notified earlier this year that the eight-week program had been officially licensed by the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges, an objective more than five years in the making. According to GM Bob Plott, PIT has placed some 70 percent of its students in racing jobs over the past 12 years, “and during the past three years, we had at least one—and often several graduates—in victory lane 93 percent of the time in [NASCAR’s] Truck, Nationwide and Cup races.” That’s certainly worth a tip of the graduation cap.

About the Author
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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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