Gibbs cycling race gets help from Catawba students

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

Catawba College News Service

Catawba College students enrolled in a class titled “Introduction to Sport Management” could be spotted across Concord, Huntersville, Mooresville and Kannapolis on Sept. 24, serving as volunteers for the inaugural Gibbs Cycle Charlotte.

The race began at the Charlotte Motor Speedway and continued to three NASCAR race shops, including Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Stewart-Hass Racing, with the final stop back at speedway.

In all, the participants covered 76 miles across Mecklenburg, Iredell and Cabarrus counties. What made Gibbs Cycles Charlotte unique was the opportunity for riders to cycle alongside sport celebrities from NASCAR, the NFL and professional cycling.

What made the event unique for Catawba College was that it served as an experiential laboratory for more than 25 students enrolled in the sport management course.

“Working with Gibbs Cycles Charlotte was a great learning experience and networking opportunity,” sophomore Logan James of Belmont said. “I loved being a part of the day; the entire event revealed a subsection of the sport industry (event management) that I wasn’t aware of.”

Duane Aagaard, associate professor of sport management, said the race “provided our students an opportunity to witness the leadership and management skill needed to host an event of this magnitude. I was proud to see our students step up in assisting with registration, hospitality, awarding of medals, and staffing the hydration/fuel stations at the various race shops.”

First-year student Nathan Simmons of Mocksville added, “Working at Stewart-Haas Racing and being around the professionalism of a NASCAR team was a great experience, I’m glad I didn’t miss out.”

Student Lyle Pfingst of Clemmons said, “This was a great overall experience. Being at Kyle Busch Motorsports opened my eyes to see how much goes into the production of a car to become race ready. I fully recommend students in the future to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Gibbs Cycles Charlotte was sponsored by Joe Gibbs Racing to benefit the Game Plan for a Life, a men’s ministry and nonprofit started by former NFL head coach and current NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs.