sealPurdue News

April 12, 2002

Alumni return for Grand Prix race at Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – When it comes to the "Greatest Spectacle in College Racing," some alumni can't get enough.

As many as 20 Purdue University alumni are expected to participate in the Grand Prix Alumni Race on Saturday, April 20, at the kart track north of Ross-Ade Stadium. The 50-lap race, held every five years, will start at approximately 1:30 p.m. The parade will follow at approximately 2 p.m., with main race scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.

Nine alumni – eight from Indiana and one from Ohio – have registered so far for the race. Yet Josh Morgan, alumni race chairman, says several more are usually standing by, ready to use carts that don't qualify for the main race.

"At the last alumni race we had several alumni step up at the last minute," Morgan says. "You never know who's going to show up on race day, jump in a cart and drive."

Jerry Weida II, an alumnus from West Lafayette, Ind., who graduated in 1991, says he can't wait to get back behind the wheel at his alma mater.

"It should be fun," Weida says. "I lived about two miles from the go-kart track as a kid. I would go over and watch them practice. That's what sparked an early interest."

Weida's two brothers, James and John, both raced last year. James graduated last May, but John, a junior, hopes to qualify for this year's main race. Alumni must wait for two years after graduating to be eligible to compete in the alumni race.

Steve Prifogle, an alumnus from Fishers, Ind., says he also is looking forward to racing again.

"During my senior year in 1999, they had an alumni race." Prifogle says." I saw the fun they were having, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get out there and have some fun of my own."

Prifogle's brother, Scott, hopes to compete in the main race. Steve says he and his brother have had fun preparing for race day and that he hopes to be competitive.

"I've put a lot of work into my kart," he says. "I think it's in better shape than when I was in school because I have had more time for it."

Plaques will be awarded to the first, second and third place finishers.

Grand Prix tickets are available at Stewart Center, Room G2, or by calling (765) 494-2708. Tickets are $5 in advance and $6 at the gate.

The Purdue Grand Prix Foundation is a student-run, nonprofit organization that conducts the kart race and related events to raise money for student scholarships. The foundation also receives support from Ford Motor Co., Coca Cola Co., Kimberly Clark Corp. and Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics.

CONTACT: Josh Morgan, (765) 743-7887,; Jerry Weida, (765) 743-0489; Steve Prifogle, (317) 250-6999,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media who need credentials to cover Grand Prix should contact Casie Walukonis, Grand Prix promotions director, at (765) 494-2708,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page