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profiles archive
Ringo Adamson ’78
Michael Adler ’83
Jeff Bender ’81
Jack Collins ’64, ’67
Marvin Creamer ’43
Joe Conte ’74
Renai Ellison ’89
Kevin Feeney ’78, Gregg Feistman ’80 & Sandy Maxwell ’69, ’84
Michael J. Fowlkes ’81
> Georgina Blake Fries '60
> Louise Hammel ’95
Mike Iaconelli ’94
> Billy Lange ’94
> Termaine Lee ’03
Mark Milan ’89 & Dave Gorham ’89
> Kenton ’85 & Kathy Iadicola Nice ’85
Elaine Reed ’85
Lindsey Roy ’04
> Mike Stengel ’78
> Dean Thomas ’72

Alums start their engines
By Daniel Murphy ’97

n a cool April morning at the Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, racing teams with the IndyCar World Series have arrived to do battle on a one-mile oval course. As the cars race down the track, three Rowan alums watch from the sidelines. Each is concentrating on the race and concerned about the outcome—but for different reasons.

Revvvv Relations
Kevin A. Feeney ’78 stands in the pit area of Team Alumax/Bettenhausen Motorsports. He watches intensely as his team’s driver maneuvers for the lead position in the race. A win here will mean better name recognition for his company and, possibly, increased marketshare.

Feeney, director of corporate affairs for Alumax Aluminum, Inc. in Norcross, Georgia oversees his company’s sponsorship of the Bettenhausen Motorsports racing team. Their support allows the race team to keep up with the latest high-tech equipment and innovations. In return, Alumax’s name and logo is prominently displayed on the blue, white and orange race car.

Before and after the race, Feeney entertains clients and guests at the company’s hospitality motorcoach on the inside field of the racetrack. “I know I’ve done my job when I get a letter or phone call a week or two after a race from one of our salespeople thanking me for taking care of a customer,” he says. “My help may have resulted in obtaining an additional sale.”

Alumax, an international company, also benefits from international exposure provided by IndyCar racing. “This year, IndyCar has races scheduled in Brazil, Canada and Australia,” says Feeney. “In fact, we even have an international race team. We have an American owner, a Swedish driver, a German chief engineer, and a British team manager.”

Seeing an auto race in person is quite different than watching on television. “You have to be in the stands to experience the whole race environment—the blur of color as cars speed past, the smell of burning fuel and the sound of engines pushed to their limits,” Feeney says. “Once you’ve experienced an IndyCar race in person, you’re hooked.”

Photo Finish
Gregg Feistman ’80 positions himself on a spectator bridge overlooking the racetrack. High above the cars as they race past, he looks through his camera’s scope, waiting for the perfect moment. The picture he takes could be on the next cover of IndyCar Racing, AutoWeek or Auto-Racing Digest.

Feistman, a vice president with Anne Klein & Associates, a public relations firm, is usually found behind his desk providing strategic communications for clients. But on race days, he roams the racetrack, shooting pictures for race magazines and local newspapers.

“I consider myself fortunate,” Feistman says. “I started taking pictures as a hobby, but I was able to combine it with my passion for racing. Plus, not only am I a member of the media but when I get back to the office, I work with the media.”

Feistman believes auto racing embodies the essence of true sportsmanship and athleticism. “It’s unlike any other sport—it’s exciting, intense, high risk, and very unpredictable. These drivers go all out, their lives are on the line at all times. They are absolutely the fittest athletes in the world in terms of physical endurance, reaction times and strength.”

“That’s what I try to capture in my race photos,” Feistman adds. “People want to see a driver take his talent and skill right to the edge—and keep it there. That’s what is so exciting about racing.”

Feistman feels the true nature of racing can never be photographed—the camaraderie between the race teams. “It’s what the fans don’t see. Drivers and pit crews will knock each other out to win on the track. But, when there’s a problem, the whole race community pulls together. You just don’t see that in other sports,” Feistman says. “It would be like the Philadelphia Eagles lending the New York Giants equipment—it just doesn’t happen.”

Safety Check
Sandy Maxwell ’69, ’84 stands on the sidelines of the racetrack, watching the cars speed past. She takes a long, deep breath and exclaims, “I love the smell of methanol in the morning.”
Maxwell is rooting for the underdog. “I love an exciting race, especially when the underdog pulls ahead. Auto racing is a lot like the ancient chariot races. Only, the chariots are the Indy cars, the gladiators are the drivers and the horses are in the engine,” she says.

Maxwell is not just a fan in the stands—she is also a technical observer. A counselor with the Penns Grove School System, she became involved by volunteering for Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), now known as IndyCar, the organization that governs all the events in the PPG IndyCar World Series. As a technical observer she is responsible for enforcing safety regulations. Before a race, Maxwell is assigned to a team to check the car’s fuel tank, safety valves and seals. She searches for possible fire hazards and verifies the removal of team equipment from the track.

During the race, Maxwell stands in the race team’s pit and looks for safety violations as the car pulls in to quickly refuel and change tires. Her number one concern is for the safety of the drivers and crew. “It is the most incredible 15 seconds you can imagine,” she says. “The stress and tension levels are almost unbearable. This is a life and death sport—my job is to make sure that no one gets hurt.”

Maxwell took the past season off, but frequents as many races as she can, and plans to return to racing soon. “I have a demanding professional career and I’m raising a family, but I can’t stop. I have racing in my blood,” says Maxwell. “Racing allows me to blow off steam and let go of the stresses of the day.”

fall ’96

> in memory