start their engines
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 outcomebut for different reasons.
Kevin A. Feeney 78 stands in the pit area of Team Alumax/Bettenhausen
Motorsports. He watches intensely as his teams 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 companys 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, Alumaxs 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 companys hospitality motorcoach on the inside field
of the racetrack. I know Ive 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
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 environmentthe blur of color as cars speed past,
the smell of burning fuel and the sound of engines pushed to their
limits, Feeney says. Once youve experienced an
IndyCar race in person, youre hooked.
Gregg Feistman 80 positions himself on a spectator
bridge overlooking the racetrack. High above the cars as they race
past, he looks through his cameras 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. Its unlike any other sportits
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.
Thats 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 edgeand keep it there. Thats
what is so exciting about racing.
Feistman feels the true nature of racing can never be photographedthe
camaraderie between the race teams. Its what the fans
dont see. Drivers and pit crews will knock each other out
to win on the track. But, when theres a problem, the whole
race community pulls together. You just dont see that in other
sports, Feistman says. It would be like the Philadelphia
Eagles lending the New York Giants equipmentit just doesnt
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
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,
Maxwell is not just a fan in the standsshe 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 cars 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 teams 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 sportmy 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 Im raising a family, but I cant
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.
from fall 96