Baylor Sponsors Car In The History Channel Great Race

May 25, 2000

by Alan Hunt

Baylor University and its distinctive Baylor Bear logo will take to the highways and byways of America--from the east coast to the west coast--as The History Channel Great Race 2000 roars across the country June 11-24. A 1947 Ford convertible owned and driven by a Richardson man will be co-sponsored by Baylor during the 4,000-mile race.

The solid black Ford, which is fitted with a flathead V-8 engine and standard transmission, will carry signs bearing the Baylor name and logo as its crew, owner/driver Doyle Rogers and navigator Gene Hunziker of Huntsville, cover the race route from Boston, Mass., to Sacramento, Calif.

In addition to the Baylor name, the promotional signs on the convertible will include the letters SAR, standing for SAR Properties, a real estate property company owned by Rogers and his son, Scott Allen Rogers, a 1997 Baylor business graduate, who is a senior consultant with Ernst & Young, Dallas. Doyle Rogers also owns WSR Financial Services, a Dallas accounting firm. His daughter, Wendy Madden, graduated cum laude from Baylor in 1995 and serves as accountant and business manager at Scofield Memorial Church of Dallas.

More than 40 cities, both large and small, will stage community-wide celebrations to greet the Great Racers in 12 states. Spectators numbering in the hundreds of thousands traditionally attend the events during the 14-day run.

This is the second time Baylor has been involved in the transcontinental rally-race, which is in its 18th year. In 1996, the institution became the first university ever to co-sponsor a vehicle in the event. That year, Baylor co-sponsored a 1938 Packard Limousine owned by Wacoan Timothy Flynn.

The History Channel Great Race 2000 features a collection of vintage vehicles valued at nearly $3 million, entered by owners from countries around the world. The field of cars, trucks and motorcycles dating back to the early 1900s up through 1951 includes such rare vehicles as a 1917 Hudson Racer, a 1949 VW convertible, 1934 Ford Indy Racer, 1930 Pierce Arrow and a 1925 Rickenbaker. Drivers and navigators will be competing for a purse valued at $275,000.áMotorcycles, sports and race cars through 1959 became eligible this year.

The Great Race is a controlled speed endurance event, with the antique vehicles running "against the clock" over timed daily stages, covering up to 450 miles a day. Winners in the race are not determined by who finishes first; rather, entrants are judged on their adherence to specific time and distance instructions, given to drivers shortly before each leg of the race. To enhance the competition, contestants are allowed to use only a speedometer (with no odometer) and an analog clock to judge their performance and make necessary adjustments. No maps, computers, calculators, cellular phones, or other navigational aids are allowed.

The route will take competitors through the states of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. Members of the public will get an opportunity to examine the vintage machines at pit stops, lunches and overnight stops along the route. Family-focused activities include parades, local car shows, festivals, and band performances.

Larry D. Brumley, associate vice president for communications, said the event gives Baylor an opportunity to market itself in an innovative way. "It enables us to share the Baylor story in parts of the country that we normally could not visit on a regular basis. Hopefully, we can attract some very talented students in those areas."

Brumley noted that two of the states along the route--Iowa and Nebraska--are home to member schools of the Big 12 Athletic Conference. He said as the conference's lone private institution, he anticipates great interest in Baylor's Great Race participation.

The progress of the Baylor Ford can be followed daily on the Internet at http://pr.baylor.edu/greatrace .

For more information about The History Channel Great Race 2000, visit www.greatrace.com .

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