Thanks to a new program, students at Coronado High School in Las Vegas are learning what it's like to operate a real-life NASCAR race team.  During the 2008 school year, the students will apply the skills they are learning in technical career classes to develop Team Coronado Racing with the goal of operating a Super Late Model race team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's 3/8-mile asphalt oval, the Bullring.

The program offers students with interests in a variety of career paths the opportunity to gain on-the-job training.  Industrial CADD engineering students will employ their computer-aided drafting and design skills to design a race car.  Mechanical students will apply physical science and geometry skills to fabricate and maintain the race car.  Graphic design students will design all logos and the graphics in an effort to maximize visibility for the team and sponsors.

Coronado High School computer engineering technology teacher Billy Mitchell - a stock car driver who competes in the Super Late Model class at the Bullring - created and heads the program, integrating the respective departments at the school to field the race team.

"A successful race team requires much more than a well-maintained, fast car," Mitchell explained.  "A strong marketing effort and attractive graphics package is crucial."

Mitchell has enlisted Coronado's sports marketing students to develop a plan to solicit community involvement through sponsorship to provide financial assistance or services in exchange for advertisement on the race car. All revenue generated through sponsorships is tax deductible and will enable Coronado High School to fund programs for all students.

"Originally, I was going to just bring a car into the auto shop and let the students practice repairs on it," said Mitchell.  "Then after meeting with the Coronado administrators, I realized the school had other programs that could be included. I spoke with the appropriate teachers and the team was off and running. It has really snowballed into an exciting program that will hopefully help support other after-school programs with revenue generated from this NASCAR program."

Port City Racing has donated a chassis to the team, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway is supporting the team with marketing instruction. Web design students will design the team's website in order to promote sponsors and publish the team's race results and news.  The results stories and press releases will be generated by Coronado's public relations students. Media students will produce a television commercial to promote Team Cougar Racing in addition to filming several documentaries which will illustrate the excitement of racing a NASCAR team.  Business students will manage all aspects of the team's organizational and financial security as a company, with the participating teachers acting as the board of directors and department heads.

"All Team Cougar Racing students will gain real-life experience in their career field and the necessary team skills to be successful in life, but most of all everyone will have fun," Mitchell said.
The 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series season at the Bullring begins March 29. Race fans may follow the team's progress by visiting www.CoronadoCougars.net.