Daniel Harried was one of the big winners walking away with a $25,000 to OTC.
Series Co-founder Peter Raskovic directed his message to the race teams that have participated in the program the past two years. "We couldn't have put this together without race teams willing to make this work. We are going to be able to help a lot of children across the United States in the future. It's so great for me to go around the pits to hear comments from teams like, 'this kid is working out great.' This is truly a family affair."
Raskovic and Grueneberg both alluded to the biggest announcement of the night which involved the future of the ASA Educational Series program. "It's the success from what's happened at this fabulous racetrack (MIS) the past two years that will allow us to take this program nationwide," said Pond. "We will be adding tracks next year and have already begun the process. We also have to really thank Ohio Tech which is going to give out a couple hundred thousand dollars in scholarships tonight and has made a commitment to the future to ensure the program's success."
Beyond scholarships and expansion, a real significant benefit of the ASA Educational Series lies within the values of the relationships that have been established through the participants' involvement. "Look around and see who your mentors are on your team," Raskovic said to the students. "This is a big part of all of this. Mentorships are lifelong relationships . . . always value this bond you have developed. These are people who believe in you." Raskovic even described how he still consults his mentors regarding some of the racing challenges he comes across from time to time. "It's important for all of you to keep these contacts."
Series Director Larry Pond addresses the crowd.
One of the drivers from the Late Model division at MIS, Zack Riddle of Brooklyn, Wisconsin, shared his feelings about having Educational Series members working on his team. "This is our second year in the program. The students we have had working with us have been outstanding. We couldn't do it without them. They learn from us and we learn from them. On behalf of all of the drivers I would like to thank MIS and ASA for giving us this opportunity."
However, the opportunity for a winning race team to work with the students is just one aspect of the program. Perhaps one of the winners of a $25,000 scholarship put it best. Aaron Moyer of Eden, Wisconsin, a driver in the weekly Pellitteri Waste Systems Legends division, said, "Without this program some of us may never get the opportunity go on to college. It lets us stay connected to a sport we love. The dedication from ASA, MIS, and Ohio Tech to keep growing this sport from the grass roots up is awesome."
Moyer's father, Tony, echoed the appreciation felt by his son. "I can't think of a more positive way to give kids an opportunity to further their education than having it connected to something they love and have a passion for," said the elder Moyer. "This is just that-an opportunity-not a hand out. They will still have to work hard to meet their goals as young adults."