RANDLEMAN — Four scholarship winners were among 45 Surry Community College students who visited Richard Petty Motorsports Monday.
The Automotive Systems Technology and Collision Repair/Refinishing Technology students, along with SCC President Dr. David Shockley and other college staffers, were there to tour the facilities and to witness the scholarship presentation.
Richard Petty, the all-time NASCAR win leader, presented the $1,250 scholarships to students Dylan Atlwood, Robert Meyerhofer, Tim Waid and Ronald Wall, The money will cover their tuition and supplies for the 2013 spring semester.
“Mr. Petty was available for photographs and then graciously signed autographs for the entire group,” said Shockley. He said Petty insisted he be there in person for the ceremony to support the students. Petty encouraged each student to realize the value of learning all they can so this knowledge can be carried into the workplace.
“Life is full of learning, a continuing process,” commented Petty.
Petty Garage Director of Business Development Allen Styers led a tour of the state-of-the-art facility. Students and instructors appeared thrilled to see Petty’s car collection and speed shop complex which, encompasses the original race shop Petty’s father, Lee Petty, opened in 1949. Richard Petty is a seven-time NASCAR champion with 200 career wins. The collection includes racing history and personal collectibles from Petty and his wife, Lynda.
Students met Petty staff members who were actively building projects for customers and heard stories of the Petty family legacy with racing and automotives.
The group next toured Victory Junction, which provides a camp experience for children 6-16 with chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses. According to officials, the camp has enriched the lives of more than 14,000 children and families since it opened in 1988.
Earlier this year, Surry announced it had become an education partner to Petty’s garage. School officials explained the partnership would be a great incentive to the student body and help train the next generation of students interested in automotive systems, collision repair and refinishing technology.
Styers, a Yadkin County native, was instrumental in planning for Surry students to be involved with the garage. This fall the garage brought its 53-foot National Performance Tour Rig to the campus. The partnership includes job shadow opportunities for three students as well as an opportunity for three students and an instructor to be guests at a nationwide race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In June of 2008 Petty’s facility was launched to begin restorations on race car chassis from owner Richard Petty’s private collection. For more information visit www.pettys-garage.com.