Athena Racing has announced Chuckwalla Valley Raceway as the exclusive sponsor of the “Education Track – Driving” for 2021.
The sponsorship, beginning immediately, is an ideal fit for both companies. Chuckwalla Valley Raceway (CVR) will be instrumental in providing driving education and getting Athenians on-track. The chance to have one student on track, during the pandemic, to film the experience and share it virtually with the Athena Racing STEM education community, through their online learning portal, is key to engaging students.
“The pandemic has not slowed us down,” states Athena Racing CEO, Loxley Browne. “In fact it has sped things up! There is such a huge need for exciting educational experiences and our extracurricular program is providing that for female students across the USA. We have enriched our offerings, provide free classes and camps to female students, and have built a true community that connects girls in STEM. I have watched our member’s spirits and confidence soar being involved in our program.”
Getting girls on the track is a rewarding experience for CVR co-owner Micky Grana, but as he mentions, most don’t know where to start. As a husband of a motorsports businesswoman and father of a daughter who loves racing, he understands the importance of a program like Athena Racing first-hand and how it can inspire leadership and develop skills in our future female leaders. His daughter is a shining example of a motorsports businesswoman as she has worked alongside him since the age of four. “She’s really good with people and problem solving,” notes Grana. “If she’s learned anything working alongside me, it’s the ability to think about the other person and be sensitive to their needs. She’s been racing her whole life, so she understands the business that we are in due to real world experience, not only from the client standpoint but from the management standpoint.”
CVR provides a variety of services including track days, press intros, arrive and drive events, film production for manufacturers (cars and motorcycles), video production for TV, in-house driving events, a driving school, third-party events, industry races, along with a membership model much like a country club. For Athena Racing being able to host fundraising track days, film education segments, have members train to race (car and kart), and participate in the day-today business of the track is instrumental to the program. Being based at the track will allow Athena Racing students to go behind-the-scenes (and the wheel!) to experience all of the job opportunities that are available in motorsports and related industries.
“When I was younger, I did some racing and used to play around in the club levels,” said Grana. “I found my place in the racing world as a track owner. I realized my strength was to be behind the scenes to support other people. I have been lucky to participate with my members who have raced the 24 Hours of Daytona and other pro races. I love my position of being able to watch other people grow. I love motorsports because when people are doing it, they are doing things they like to do – fulfilling dreams.”
“It is this spirit that drew our two companies together to forge the perfect partnership,” states Browne. “As a sponsor of Athena Racing, Micky Grana and his team at CVR will be providing a positive educational imprint on young girls who never believed they would be able to race or experience the opportunity to get on the track. These real-life experiences are the turning points in our girl’s lives that will help direct them along their career path. It is imperative that they see at a young age all of the opportunities that are available. It is because of the generosity and support of our sponsors that we are able to reach so many girls and give them the confidence to follow a new path. In the male-dominated STEM world it can be terrifying as a young girl to broach the idea of something new, to believe that a subject they enjoy studying in school can turn into a lifelong passion and career. Our companies are here to change that – together.”
As Grana states, “Never get too good to keep learning and remain teachable. No matter how good or fast you are on the track, there is always someone better and someone slower.”
“We appreciate Micky and his team at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for getting behind our program as a sponsor,” said Browne. “It is because of their generous support that we will be able to reach more students this year in a time when they need community and encouragement more than ever. Our 15 education tracks expand upon what our girls are taught in school providing them with the essential life skills and training in career development that will catapult them years beyond their peers. We ask all interested companies and individuals to support as sponsors and donors us as we teach our future female leaders to excel and persevere.”