ATLANTA - NASCAR will offer 21 internships with the sanctioning body and companies associated with the stock car circuit this summer as part of its young diversity program.
Applications for the internships will be accepted through April 14.
The NASCAR Diversity Summer Internship Program will employ college students for an eight-week session during the summer to introduce them to NASCAR and the job opportunities available in and around the sport.
Nineteen different companies will participate in the program - NASCAR's offices in Daytona Beach, Fla., Charlotte, N.C, and New York, as well as Bessey Motorsports, the Daytona International Speedway, Conseco, Dover Downs International Speedway, Gatorade, General Motors, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., The Home Depot, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, MB2 Motorsports, Motorola, New Hampshire International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Pocono Raceway, Roush Racing, Street and Smith's Sports Group, Talladega Superspeedway and the Texas Motor Speedway.
The program is being administered by Neostar Sports, a minority-owned marketing company based in Plantation, Fla. Neostar also created the same type internship on the PGA Tour.
The program is open to men and women of all cultural backgrounds, and it exposes students to career opportunities throughout the motorsports industry, NASCAR officials said.
Each company will design its own internship, and students will be paid during their eight-week session.
Students who are interested in the internship should have completed their junior year in college and must be in good academic standing. Each student is required to provide an official copy of their transcript and be legally permitted to work in the United States.
Applications can be found on the Internet at Neostarsports.com.
FEELING STRONGER EVERY DAY:
NASCAR President Bill France Jr. turned 67 last Tuesday. His present was good news in his battle with cancer.
The man who runs both NASCAR and the 10-speedway-strong International Speedway Corp. has made progress through treatments after being diagnosed with cancer in December, according to published reports in Daytona Beach, Fla.
"I'm still walking around," France said. "Things are still moving in the right direction, but I'm still taking some treatments. I'm not done with treatments yet. I'm in a different phase of treatments. The diagnosis, as I move along on this, is moving in the right direction, and that's a positive sign."
Part of France's treatment includes chemotherapy. France has refused to disclose the nature of his disease.
"I've had some pretty good doses (of chemotherapy), but I've got that part behind me now," he said. "I'm not going to give you all the details. All I can say is that things are moving in the right direction. But it's not like I've been let all the way out of jail.
"I don't have any restrictions about work or travel. I'm still in the treatment process, so I don't get too far away from home base. I'll go away a day or so. I don't go away for an extended tour."
MADE IN THE USA:
Encore Textiles of Monroe, N.C., is trying to get race fans to stop buying souvenirs made by foreign companies.
The company has purchased billboards at some of the speedways on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series that state: "Foreign T-shirts sold at this track" (Assembled in Mexico). Across the bottom of the billboards, which will debut this week at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, are the words "Buy Made in USA only."
Oddly enough, Encore doesn't make any NASCAR apparel.
"What we want to do is let people out there know that a lot of the T-shirts they buy at the tracks are made offshore," said Dan Bulluck, Encore's president. "We hope that by doing this campaign that when they are aware, then the fan will insist on `Made in U.S.A."'
Bulluck started the campaign because he said foreign companies have forced many textile companies out of business in the United States, including the Tultex Corp. in Martinsville. Billboards also are planned next week at the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, near the home of Russell Corp., where one-third of its work force was laid off.
One of the biggest merchandiser of T-shirts on the Winston Cup Series is Action Performance. Their shirts are assembled in Mexico.
Jeff Fuller couldn't sustain his job aboard the Viagra Pontiac. The rookie was fired this week from Eel River Racing and replaced with another rookie, Mike Bliss, who was dropped a month ago from A.J. Foyt's Conseco Pontiac. "It just didn't work out," Fuller said. "Everybody in (the garage area) wants to go out and run up front and win if possible. And it just didn't work for us." ...According to figures released from The Sponsors Report, a company that monitors and places a value on a sponsor's presence in the media, said Mark Martin's Valvoline Ford got $49 million worth of "free" advertising during coverage of the 1999 Winston Cup Series season. Not bad for a company that reportedly paid about $15 million in sponsorship. The total value of the sponsor's presence on the circuit was estimated to be $1.4 billion ... BACE Motorsports won three consecutive NASCAR Busch Series Championships starting in 1995. Now they're out of business. Team owner Jim Baumgardner closed the doors on the No. 74 Chevrolet this week, releasing the crew and driver P.J. Jones. He cited a lack of on-track performance and an inability to land a full-time sponsor ... Gateway International Raceway completed a $1.4 million tunnel from the infield as it continues to make a push for a Winston Cup Series date in the future. The raceway, located in Illinois, across the river from St. Louis, already has NASCAR Busch and NASCAR Craftsman Truck series races.