Rudd Announces Partnership Between Texaco And N C AT

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Texaco and the NASCAR driver it sponsors, Ricky Rudd, announced a partnership Wednesday with historically black North Carolina A&T as part of an effort to attract more minority fans to Winston Cup racing.

Rudd's Robert Yates Racing team will donate a Legends car, a five-eighths-scale version of early NASCAR racers, and a stock car to the school's Intercollegiate Auto Racing program. Rudd's Charlotte-based team also will provide an internship to an A&T student. In addition, Doug Yates, the engine builder for Ricky Rudd and defending Winston Cup series champion Dale Jarrett, will be a guest lecturer at the school.

Rudd said that as a driver and former owner, he knew firsthand the need for engineers. There are few schools "where you can find an engineer that not only has a degree, but has hands-on race car experience," he said. "And that's what this program will do for us."

Earlier this year, NASCAR announced a minority internship program at its offices in Daytona Beach, Fla., Charlotte and New York. NASCAR also is forming a diversity council to find ways to attract more minority fans.

"For a long time, we've said we want everybody to be a NASCAR fan, and we still say that, so we didn't market to any particular group. We just marketed the sport," Kevin Triplett, NASCAR's director of operations, said last year. "In a way, as late as a couple of years ago, we realized it's more of an awareness issue."

A&T is one of six colleges with racing programs and that compete against each other a few times each semester. The others are Duke, North Carolina State, North Carolina-Charlotte, South Carolina and Virginia.

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