"The average person involved in racing has no idea what these kids' lives are like—the poverty, the drugs, the crime, the challenges they face every day to stay out of trouble," says Rosenblum. "This program gives them something to work for and a chance to see what else is out there."
Rosenblum, who divides his time among working in his Northy Philly clothing store, racing and making promotional appearances for ICY Racing sponsors Saturn and Quaker State, often appears to move faster outside of his cars than in; as someone who 15 years ago kicked a cocaine habit, Rosenblum believes his frenetic work schedule is well worthwhile if it helps turn around a life. Says Kris Skavnes, who along with Rosenblum drives the ICY Racing Saturns on the 10-race circuit, "A lot of guys in the racing community say Dave pushes too hard, but I'll tell you, he's straight up. He gives these kids a chance."
Chris Persaud, for one, has seized that chance. Persaud, 22, joined the ICY program six years ago, when he was a ninth-grader at Edison, and now works full time as an assistant operations manager. "When I started, I had a bad attitude," he says, "but I learned quick that that wouldn't get me anywhere. This is about team."
He Should Stand Pat
New York Knicks fans were heartened last week by the news that All-Star center Patrick Ewing, 34, had signed a four-year, $65 million contract. But there's a downside to Ewing's guaranteed deal: He offered a guarantee with it, saying, "I fully expect we'll win a championship next year." Why should that worry Knicks fans? Let us count the ways:
April 3, 1994. The promise: "This is our year," Ewing announces in anticipation of the postseason. The payoff: Knicks reach Game 7 of the Finals, but the Houston Rockets win 90-84.
Feb. 27, 1995. The promise: "We're going to win," Ewing says before the Knicks face the Magic in Orlando in an Atlantic Division showdown. The payoff: Shaquille O'Neal outplays Ewing as the Magic cruises 118-106.
May 18, 1995. The promise: "I'll see you on Sunday," Ewing says before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Indiana. The payoff: New York does survive until Sunday's Game 7, whereupon the Pacers wave goodbye to the Knicks, 97-95, after Ewing misses a layup in the closing seconds.
May 17, 1997. The promise: Ewing tells reporters, "See you in Chicago," before Game 7 of the conference semis. The payoff: The Miami Heat blasts the Knicks 101-90 and goes on to face the Bulls. Ewing does get to the Eastern finals, but with a ticket and in mufti.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]