NASCAR entered the classroom at the University of South Florida Thursday.
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood met with USF MBA students and talked racing, marketing and even Twitter.
Though – Kenseth admits he doesn’t tweet as much.
“I’m not on it as much as I used to be,” he said. “I do get some pressure to be on it more often.”
Chitwood spoke more to the business side of NASCAR, though Kenseth had some ideas.
“If you would have had all the fans install their own seats, imagine all the money you could have saved?” he asked Chitwood with a laugh.
Kenseth and Chitwood also met with students from the USF Society of Automotive Engineers. The student organization builds and races Formula SAE cars.
“This is really neat,” Kenseth said. “Growing up, I had a little garage behind my dad’s house where I used to work on my own race cars, so it kind of reminds me of that except the people here are way smarter and they have nicer equipment than I had.”
Alexander Kim is president of student organization. He was star struck to meet Kenseth and Chitwood – and amazed that they were amazed.
“It’s crazy, it’s a wonderful opportunity,” Kim said. “The fact that we can share our experience and our passion with someone is very exciting for us, and on top of that being Matt and Joie, it’s like ‘Oh my gosh, can we keep talking?’”
For Chitwood, who graduated from USF 20 years ago, to see the potential coming out of his alma mater is thrilling.
“You see these young people in here who are working unbelievable hours after a full course load to put a car on the race track,” Chitwood said.
They’re the future of NASCAR – and the future is bright, almost intimidating. Kenseth welcomes them with open arms, but with a catch.
“As long as they’re not drivers,” he said. “As long as they make my cars faster, absolutely.”
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth in a Formula SAE car built by the USF Society of Automotive Engineers.