Indiana State University Newsroom

Young drag racers vying for Indiana State scholarships at Terre Haute track

May 31, 2012

Young racers competing at Crossroads Dragway are vying for more than the typical accolades this season.

Indiana State will award $1,000 scholarships to this season's winner of the high school division and the top two finishers of the junior dragsters division at the Terre Haute track. The initiative continues a program started last year, when three young racers received the financial awards for how they finished the season.

"These kids are really passionate about motorsports and what they're doing, and I really wanted to help them further their careers," said Randy Peters, co-owner of the dragway and ISU associate professor of applied engineering and technology management. "I felt that ISU was a great connection, especially since ISU has a motorsports management minor."Peters approached the admissions office with the idea, which was well-received. Indiana State gave the inaugural awards last fall at the conclusion of the drag racing season.

"Students who are committed and who are motivated to succeed are exactly the kind of students that we're excited to have at ISU," said Sarah Wurtz, director of scholarships. "They are the students who are going to succeed at the college level. We're just really excited to be able to work with this group of students."

The scholarship recipients can win up to four of the awards, and apply one per year up to four years at Indiana State, Peters said. Though the racers will win the scholarship, that does not guarantee that they are automatically accepted into Indiana State. The award recipients must be unconditionally admitted to ISU to be able to use the scholarships.

"The more we can get our name out to specific populations, the better," Wurtz said. "This is a great way for us to get not only on the minds of young students, but the minds of their parents who are obviously so involved in this program as well."

Racers at Crossroads Dragway were initially told about the additional awards during the season last year, as they were competing. They and their parents were enthused about competing for more than simply racing awards.

"I think it's a very good opportunity," said Amara Tewell, who won the 2011 high school division and is currently trying to repeat her championship performance from last season, "and more people should come out and [race] so they have a chance to come out and do what I've done and win a scholarship."

Tewell, a junior at Terre Haute West Vigo High School, said that the award will make her more likely into looking into attending college at ISU.

"It makes me want to be more determined to go out and win this championship again," she added, "so I can get another scholarship."

The current season was scheduled to begin in April, but inclement weather canceled the competitions. The racing began in May and will conclude this fall. The winners will receive the awards during a banquet after the season.

"It's been very well received by the racing community," Peters said, "and I really believe that it's going to help raise awareness to the racing community as to Indiana State University's commitment to excellence."

Photo: (Courtesy of Pam Lobb Photo)Drag racers Donnie Giovanni (left) and Kevin Adams with Randy Peters, co-owner of the Crossroads Dragway and ISU associate professor of applied engineering and technology management, at the dragway's awards banquet last year. Giovanni and Adams each received a $1,000 scholarship to attend ISU for finishing in the top two spots in the junior dragsters division.

Photo: (Courtesy of Pam Lobb Photo)Drag racer Amara Tewell, left, with Crossroads Dragway co-owner Tami Peters. Tewell received a $1,000 scholarship to attend Indiana State after winning the high school drag racing division at the Crossroads Dragway in 2011. She is currently racing in the division again with hopes of repeating her achievement.

Contact: Randy Peters, associate professor of applied engineering and technology management, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-4962 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or