Taking a break from preparing the Race Camp Academy car for its first week of racing are Jarrid Curtin of Shawn, Wisconsin, Andy Doherty of Elgin, Illinois, Ashlee Todd of Zanesville, Ohio, Jordan Arnholt of North Vernon and Brett Cantrell of Ellijay, Georgia. The 16-20 year olds have been learning about stock cars and racing during a two week hands-on learning at MasterSbilt Race Car Chassis in Crothersville.
Where can teens interested in motorsports go to learn more about the sport and have a hands-on experience with racing?
It was a question that brothers Keith and Adrian ‘Tader’ Masters, owners of the Crothersville based MasterSbilt race car chassis asked then answered by establishing Race Camp Academy.
The inaugural two-week camp winds up later this week with five young race enthusiasts from as far away as Wisconsin and Georgia learning about preparing cars for the dirt track and playing pit crew on race day.
“When we were growing up there were several garages in town where we could learn about engines and cars and building stock cars,” said Adrian Masters. “We grew up in the back of dad’s garage working on and learning about cars. With today’s cars being computer controlled much of the work is done at dealerships so there’s not much opportunity to learn about engines or racing.”
“We’ve noticed that some kids want to help work on race cars they are often turned down by local and national race teams because they are seeking individuals who already have some knowledge and experience,” said Keith Masters. “They cannot afford to teach and race at the same time. Our industry needed an outlet to let kids learn about racing and give them a chance to fall in love with it. Race Camp Academy is our step in that direction.”
The Masters’ converted an extra building to a dormitory for young race campers to stay at their manufacturing complex on the south edge of town and have devoted space in their manufacturing complex for campers to work on the race car.
The four boys and one girl at Race Camp Academy’s first session are getting a basic understanding of the entire race process from car construction, preparing the vehicle for a race, serving as the pit crew, and learning about track promotion as well as sales, marketing and merchandising of the race team to fans.
And from the enthusiasm of the 16-20 year olds at the first camp, the MasterSbilt Race Camp Academy concept is a winner.
“This is fun and I’ve learned an incredible amount about the cars,” said Jarid Curtin who is from Shawno, Wisconsin.
Brett Cantrell of Ellijay, Georgia agreed. “This is a great experience that I would not have had the opportunity otherwise.”
Race Camp Academy’s lone female participant, Ashlee Todd of Zanesville, Ohio joins with the other campers in her enthusiasm as well has working on the car. “This is just an awesome time,” she said.
In addition to classroom learning and tours of race tracks, Mastersbilt provided a car for the campers to prep for weekend racing. This past weekend the Race Camp Academy car competed at the short track at Junction City, Kentucky on Friday where the Race Camp Academy car, driven by Brad Erwin of Crothersville, finished third. On Saturday at nearby Brownstown Speedway where the competition was stronger, the RCA car finished 8th.
“Both nights we finished better than any of us expected,” said Jerrilyn Masters.
The race campers are back at it this week, preparing their car for the coming weekend’s racing program.
Masters said other race camp Academy sessions are planned for next summer. For more information, interested race fans can log onto www.racecampacademy.com.