At a Friday, Jan. 29 press conference, Howard Gage, of Altamont, was announced as one of 15 scholarship winners in the inaugural class of Research, Analyze, Consult, Educate, 1 on 1, or RACE 101.
According to information from RACE 101, RACE 101 is a one-year advanced motorsports education program designed for aspiring racecar drivers looking to advance their careers.
The program was founded by Tony Blanchard, who is known for his work as a crew chief in the early career of NASCAR phenom Joey Logano.
"Achieving a career in motorsports requires much more than racing talent," said Blanchard, in a release, "Young racers need to understand the mechanical side of their cars, and they need a solid public relations foundation."
Gage, an 18 year old senior at Guilderland High School, applied to the program after hearing about it from Adam Ross, a dirt track racing enthusiast and media coach for the RACE 101 program.
Gage said his love of racing runs in the family, and influenced his start. "My Dad's into drag racing, and I became interested in circle track racing," said Gage
He started racing go-karts when he was about 10 to 11 years old, after which he moved up to racing with "modifieds", a hybrid between an open-wheel car design, like a go-kart, and a stock car design.
In 2007, Gage became the New York State Stock Car Association's Rookie of the Year.
"I just want to thank my parents and all of my sponsors for getting me here," said Gage, at the press conference. Gage said his mom and dad are the "backbone" of his racing career.
According to Blanchard, most of the instruction will take place over online seminars, called webinar's, due to the students' school and work commitments. The students will also travel to the home site of RACE 101 in Denver, North Carolina, in February and March, for a more hands on learning experience.
Gage said he hopes to learn anything he can from the program to help him advance his racing career. Due to the highly competitiveness of the racing industry, Gage said he is keeping an open mind to other career tracks.
"If I can't race professionally, I would like to be an engineer," said Gage.
He does not have a racing schedule yet for the upcoming season but he said he hopes to racing in different tracks around the state from Fonda Speedway, to Glen Ridge, and Utica-Rome.