Max Siegel will be accelerating the careers of local youth with Rev Racing Motorsports Academy, opening its new location in Fishers this spring. Siegel’s vision reaches beyond business and academics; he is focused on helping women and minorities break into this lucrative occupation while broadening the perspective of motorsports jobs. Read on to learn how he’s doing it.
You’ve been quoted as saying that “involvement in sports and entertainment saved my life.” Could you elaborate on that?’
There are tons of distractions and negative influences available to our young people. Getting involved in athletics, I learned a lot about getting involved in leadership, discipline, teamwork and self-esteem building. I have been fortunate enough to get involved in sports from the time I was in middle school, and it’s a profession now. I think that it’s a powerful and exciting way to introduce young people to careers with huge earning potential, in non-traditional ways. The sooner young people learn about all of those elements that put it on [racing] not just the competition, it gives them some context for learning. So if math is not something you necessarily like, but you understand it, it will help you become a big race engineer. It gives more meaning to classroom learning.
Do you have any favorite success stories of people who have been through the Motorsports Academy so far? Have there been any surprises?
On the athletic side of things, Darrell Wallace Jr, a young, high-profile African American driver; Kyle Larson, a young Japanese-American Driver, and Daniel Suarez from Mexico are all in the NASCAR national series. None of them would have been able to participate if it weren’t for the program. Walter Thomas III, who is a fairly well-known young man – about 14 years old here in Indianapolis – is now racing late model stock cars, but he started with us.
A lot of the girls are gravitating toward the industry. It’s been really exciting. I have a fair number that have come through with an interest in being race car drivers that really love all the other elements of it. Some of them have gravitated toward the marketing side of the sport.
And the Academy is known for providing opportunities for people who otherwise may not have them?
The MSI Youth Foundation provides scholarships and stipends for the Academy. And then there will be 25 camp scholarships for at-risk youth.
Is there a minimum age requirement for the application?
We start at eight years old, all the way up through professionals who participate in the industry in a number of different capacities. It’s a rolling application process, and then we have summer camps and will be offering classes throughout the year.
To learn more about Max Siegel and the Rev Racing Motorsports Academy, visit their web site at http://revracing.net/rracademy/.