With no corporate sponsor willing to pick up more than a tiny share of the $150,000 cost of mounting a stock car racing campaign, New Hampshire College sophomore Adam Friend turned last summer to an unlikely source of support for his rookie season on the American-Canadian Tour. "I knew it was crazy to think a Pepsi or a Pennzoil was going to sponsor me," says the 20-year-old Friend, who begins racing the ACT circuit on April 2. "Of course, I don't know what made me think a college was going to sponsor me."
Despite the fact that no major U.S. college has an NCAA-sanctioned auto racing team, NHC granted Friend, a sports management major, a full athletic scholarship, thus freeing up more than $15,000 to pay for his racing costs. In return, Friend painted the school's name on the side of his Thunderbird. "It gives the school wonderful exposure," says Norton Phelps, the director of NHC's sports-management program. "Plus, having seen Adam's success, students are actually showing up for my class now."