MARTINSVILLE (WSLS10)-- NASCAR fans are arriving in Martinsville ahead of this weekend's big race. The Racing College of Virginia is working to attract some of these fans to attend the school and become part of the sport.
The Racing College of Virginia is run through Patrick Henry Community College. During the two years of classes, students learn all of the aspects of racing and working on these fast cars. The college is just minutes away from the Martinsville Speedway and a couple of hours from Charlotte, the biggest NASCAR hub in the nation.
Students at the Racing College get the chance to learn hands on, especially when the races are in town, like this weekend. The students will head over to the track and work, doing everything from social media campaigns to concessions, all in an effort to get their foot in the door with the sport.
The school also has its own racing vehicles that students get to work on and take out to the tracks and test. From working on a pit crew, to learning to weld and even the engineering aspect of building these racing vehicles, students at PHCC learn all of the various roles that go into the sport.
"The students are 95% hands on when they're at the racetrack," says instructor, Denver Smith. "All of the cool stuff you see on TV, our students get to do it all at the racetrack. It's all of the engineering and the pit crew work, our students get to do all of it."
JC Sanders is a student at the Racing College and has been a fan of racing all of his life. He says taking these classes has helped him and other students learn more about the way the cars drive and why they behave differently on different tracks across the nation.
"They're in the same situation I am, where they saw it on TV also," says Sanders. "You tell them more about it and it just makes sense to them as well."
This weekend, the Racing College of Virginia is hoping to pull in some of the NASCAR fans in the region. There will be an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday night at the Racing College. It's located at 67 Motorsports Drive in Martinsville.