It's a brand new day for racing at Patrick Henry Community College as the community can expect to see some changes from the motorsports program.
PHCC Motorsports, now called Racing College, is rolling out a new car this season along with a new name and website: www.racingcollege.com. It goes live on March 15, which coincides with the beginning of race season for the Patriots Race Team.
The new website is an opportunity for PHCC's Racing College to showcase its award-winning and knowledgeable faculty, state-of-the-art equipment, and a chance for prospective students to read about successful Racing College alumni.
"A quality website is the first tool we have in recruiting new students to our program at Racing College and letting the community know what we're all about," said Dr. Angeline Godwin, PHCC president. "It's extremely important that potential students can easily navigate our website and find out how our program can help them succeed in a motorsports career."
The new website features short biographies on Racing College faculty, specifics on classes and motorsports programs, the rundown on the Patriots Race Team, and a listing of all equipment students have access to throughout their education at PHCC.
Denver Smith, a fabrication technician and instructor at Racing College, said the website is very beneficial for someone looking to attend college for a career in motorsports. "Whether it's circle track or any other racing, we showcase the entire scope of the industry on this new website," he said. "Not only does it have more background on our program, but it also had information on what we (instructors) have done in our careers and what we plan on doing with this program in the future."
Looking to the upcoming season for the Patriots Race Team, Smith said he's feeling pretty good.
"This year should be even better than last year," he said. "We've learned so much, not only with the car, but with the driver and crew working together... This year should be a little easier because we know more about what's going to happen."
The Patriots Race Team will travel back to South Boston Speedway to compete in a full season for the second year in a row. With No. 73 driver Bruce Anderson, they finished fourth place in points in the speedway's Late Model championship last season.
Along with a new outlook, Smith said they're bringing a new look to the races this year.
"Racing never stops - it's a year-round thing," he said. "As soon as the Martinsville race (Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300) was over near the end of 2013, we tore the whole car apart, went through all the pieces and replaced anything that was damaged, bent or broken."
The No. 73 car has a new decal scheme with new colors that will debut at South Boston on Saturday, March 15 in the first race of the season. Anderson also will have a backup car this season that's been completely repaired, restored and updated.
"We're ready to go," Smith said. "We also plan on making another appearance at Martinsville, and this time we want to win it. We were one spot away last year from qualifying on the pole, and a late race collision hindered our chances at a top five finish. I'm hoping we can sit on the pole and even win the race."