WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - Local race car driver and team owner Eric McClure has found a fun way to put his passions together. The final touches being put on his team's car for this weekend as teams race in for the world's fastest half mile.
In Abingdon, Martin-McClure racing is preparing the number 39 car bearing a sponsorship for Emory & Henry College. It is a memorable place for co-owner McClure.
"I can directly correlate the skills at I learned at Emory & Henry through my degree and WEHC is what gave me the opportunity to be a race car driver and now a team owner and business leader," McClure said.
Now, he is finding a way to give back to the college and its radio station. WEHC is a 9,000 watt radio station operating from the campus found on the FM dial at 90.7. It is a public station which runs largely on support from the community it serves.
General Manager Teresa Keller said, "Public means non-commercial, and we have a partnership with the listeners even though they didn't sign a paper, we have to have support from the community."
According to Keller, it takes about $100,000 annually to keep the station on the air. McClure is now using an online auction to ease the burden on his alma mater. Items up for bid include the driver's suit, suite tickets, and a drive around the track.
"The opportunity to use everyone's love for one to provide a benefit for the community and the students through the Emory & Henry brand isn't something we haven't taken lightly. We've put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be successful in that marriage, and so far it's working out," McClure said.
It is an opportunity for fans to take home souvenirs, while this racing team hopes to take home the hardware.
"The experience is really good for everybody, I think it gives us a community voice," Keller said.
If any of those items sounded like a must-have, the auction is live at http://www.wehcfm.com. The auction will run through Thursday.
Chad Finchum will look to defend his title for the Martin-McClure racing in the Emory & Henry car in the Zombie Auto K&N Series race. That race is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday.
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