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Benches with a purpose greater than just a place to sit

Road America’s new seats come with scholarship offers


Those of us of a certain age appreciate having a place to sit at automotive events, whether they be car shows, concours or races

During the recent off-season, the Road America race track installed 15 benches, but there’s more to these seats than a place for we old-timers to park our behinds.

“Each bench carries a lasting message,” the track points out in its news release. 

“Lisa Weinberger, the wife of renowned automotive enthusiast, racer, and entrepreneur John Weinberger, who died last September, is offering a series of scholarships to benefit students who aspire to follow in his footsteps,” the track points out.

Weinberger built his Continental Motors Group into one of the country’s leading dealership companies. 

“The John Weinberger Drive to Care Legacy Scholarships — offered in partnership with TechForce Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization — will administer the scholarships, with awards of up to $10,000 across four automotive career disciplines: Automotive Engineering; Vintage Automotive Restoration; Automotive Dealership Management, Marketing, and Communications; and Automotive Technician. The 2021 application deadline is April 30.

“The inspiration for this project came from John Weinberger’s wife, Lisa,” said Mike Kertscher, Road America president and general manager. “The intent was to beautify the grounds while providing subtle messages that visitors can discover new opportunities and dream big while enjoying their time at Road America. We think it is a wonderful tribute.”

“We want young people to dream what they want to dream,” Lisa Weinberger is quoted in the race track’s announcement.” John loved racing at Road America, and he was able to turn his passion into his profession and was just so positive in everything he did. He measured success in smiles. He glowed. 

“I hope to see a glimmer of my husband in every one of these students. That would fill my heart with his light.” 

For more information, visit the Driven to Care website. Driven to Care is the Weinberger’s program that has donated nearly 100 refurbishing cars to those who have overcome such challenges as homelessness and substance or physical abuse.

“John wanted car dealers to be seen in a different light,” Lisa Weinberger said. “If every dealer in the country followed his example of reaching out to the community, of mentoring young people, and of providing networking opportunities, we could change a lot of things for the better.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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