The University Of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, Ohio is probably the most unique accredited college in the nation.
It’s not the great praise for academics that this college receives, nor the fact that it was the first university to offer a degree in Automotive High Performance that really set it apart; No, what really makes UNOH stand apart is their awesome speedway and race teams.
That’s right, the University owns multi-car Stock Car and Modified teams as well as Limaland Raceway Park where drivers from all over the Midwest battle it out every Friday night.
Combining classroom knowledge with real-life experience gives students a head-start when pursuing a career in motorsports.
While I was at Eldora Speedway I got a chance to catch up with Kevin Bradshaw who has been the Crew Chief for the UNOH #2 Modified for the entire 2010 season.
For the 2007 Pennifield High School graduate the biggest draw to UNOH was, “Definitely the fab shop! I came down to take a tour and was just amazed by the Fabrication Shop. That is what I enjoy and excel at so it was a big selling point”.
The Battle Creek, Michigan native came into UNOH with some understanding of stock car racing from watching his uncle Brian Bradshaw at Kalamazoo and Galesburg Speedways, but his main passion was 4-wheelers and dirt bikes. Dirt track racing wasn’t even something he had considered until becoming a student, now Bradshaw fully intends to attempt piloting a car on dirt himself once he has become established in a career. He says that is thanks mainly in part to team coach and instructor Mike Streicher. Streicher, a former midget racing standout pushed Kevin towards the dirt team and Bradshaw has certainly found his niche.
In just a few short weeks Kevin will be graduating with an Associates degree in Automotive High Performance with a certification in Alternative Fuels as well as his CDL. And although he doesn’t have any concrete plans after school, he is excited for what the future may hold, “I’m just looking for a position within motorsports. It doesn’t matter to me straight-line, dirt, asphalt, four wheels or two. Racing is racing and I love it all”.
This year Bradshaw definitely broadened his horizons, first getting the nod to move into the role of Crew Chief for the #2 Impressive Modified beginning at Speedweeks, and then earlier this summer he and few other members of the UNOH crew were given the opportunity to be part of the #12 Camping World Truck Series over-the-wall team for driver Mario Gossilin.
Kevin believes that the key to the success of students graduating from the University of Northwestern Ohio is the college’s involvement with each and every student, “UNOH is a school that is really diverse. We have specialized programs for Engines, Fabrication, Suspensions, and Business and our Career Service Department does a really good job of getting students introduced to not only race teams, but anything related to any of the specialties. The college has a good relationship with some pretty big drag racing teams also and many of our alumni are now working in those ranks”
This fall the 30-plus students on the Motorsports team will be gaining even more exposure through ‘Motorsports U’ a reality television show following the UNOH teams. ‘Motorsports U’ has already begun airing on FoxSports Sunday’s at 11am and Monday’s at 4pm. The show will broadcast new episodes through the last weekend in December, with previously aired episodes viewable at http://www.masterstv.com/MotorsportsUtv.html, so there is still plenty of time to learn more about Kevin and the rest of the guys changing the face of racing and academics.