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Love of cars leads brothers to program
Dr. Jackie Scruggs Taylor (second from left), spokesperson for the Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation, stands with three brothers who received scholarships from the foundation. They are taking classes in motorsports technology at PHCC. The brothers are (from left) Galen Winesette, Andrew Winesette and Benjamin Winesette. (Contributed photo)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
With a shared love for loud cars that go really fast, three brothers have found themselves attending classes in the same program at Patrick Henry Community College at the same time.
Andrew Winesette and Benjamin Winesette, 20-year-old twins, have joined their older brother Galen Winesette, 22, in the Motorsports Technology program at PHCC. Benjamin said they always have loved “anything with four wheels and a steering wheel.”
Galen said since he is a couple of years ahead of them, he didn’t get to enjoy the school environment much with his brothers.
“I guess it would’ve been a lot better if we would’ve been the same age because we could’ve helped each other out with (school) and stuff like that,” he said.
Both Andrew and Benjamin said they are all about the engines, but Galen said he enjoys learning about the entire industry.
“Learning to fabricate materials, coming up with stuff to engineer and learning how to build things really interests me,” he said. “And it doesn’t even have to be on cars. I just like learning how everything works.”
All three brothers want to end up with a job in motorsports or a related industry.
Andrew said, “I’ve always been into engine building — I’ve got a Jeep with a 76 small-block Chevy in it that I built myself — so I’m definitely interested in it. Maybe I could open up my own machine shop someday.”
Benjamin added, “I’m right there with him.”
Galen said he is the type to learn everything and keep his options open.
“I’m more willing to learn it all than just a certain part of the industry — from welding, fabricating to the whole setup,” he said. “My dream job would be working for a NASCAR shop one day, but I’m just going to take it one step at a time. Hopefully, it will fall in line.”
Galen, Andrew and Benjamin all participated in Day Trade during their studies at Magna Vista High School to prepare them for PHCC’s Motorsports Technology program. Motorsports Instructor Talmage Thomas said they all are great students.
“Galen is looking at going to ODU (Old Dominion University) next year, and those other two haven’t made their minds up,” Thomas said. “But they’ve all been wonderful students. They’re detail oriented, they’re good about taking care of equipment and they do what they’re supposed to be doing. They are 100 percent good kids.”
Galen said he will pursue the Motorsports Engineering Technology Program offered through ODU and New College Institute (NCI) in Martinsville. Andrew and Benjamin also expressed interest in attending the program once they finish their two-year degrees at PHCC.
Galen, Andrew and Benjamin all received scholarships to attend PHCC’s Motorsports Technology Program from The Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation.
Dr. Jackie Scruggs Taylor, spokesman for the foundation, was married to Bobby Scruggs, who died Jan. 22, 2005, after a 13-year battle with cancer. Bobby Scruggs worked for NASCAR for nearly 40 years, and during that time, Taylor said he was one of those people who liked to help others.
“You would see him going through the pits with his arm around Jeff Gordon or somebody saying, ‘Today wasn’t good, but tomorrow will be better.’ He loved that kind of thing,” she said. “Throughout his illness, Bobby’s motto was, ‘Never give up.’”
Galen received a $500 scholarship in 2010, and Andrew and Benjamin each received a $1,000 scholarship in 2012. They all expressed their gratitude to Taylor during Patriots Racing Information Night, a PHCC-sponsored event held earlier this month to highlight the motorsports program.
“We look for a variety of students, but we also look at need, academics and career goals,” Taylor said. “We have students who are getting their certificates, associate degrees or four-year degrees. We give them a chance.”
To be eligible for the Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation scholarship, students must demonstrate financial need, be a graduating high school senior in Virginia, enroll in an accredited technical, two-year or four-year institution to pursue a career in motorsports or related industry, and demonstrate the capacity to complete college-level studies.
The foundation has given out 58 scholarships at 23 different high schools across the state since 2005.
Applications for each academic year are due annually in March. To find out more, visit www.bsmfoundation.org.