Several Hokies featured in SI college football preview
August 10, 2001

The hobby of a few Tech players received national attention this past week when Sports Illustrated took photos of the Tech players at the Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race held at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

The photos were part of a story about team bonding and how various groups of players get together during the offseason and hang out. Tech players Browning Wynn, Ben Taylor, Bob Slowikowski, Brian Welch, Matt Wincek and Steve DeMasi have traveled up and down the Mid-Atlantic going to Winston Cup races this summer. The group has been to Pocono, Charlotte, Martinsville, Bristol and Richmond, though not all of them have made every race. Wincek, in fact, missed the Pocono race because of a family reunion held nearby in his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The rest of the group, though, camped on some land owned by the Winceks near the speedway and went to the race the next day.

The SI photographer was able to get the players into the garage area, where they got to meet drivers Ricky Rudd, Ward Burton and Jeff Burton. According to some people - the magazine hasn't arrived in Blacksburg yet - Sports Illustrated used a photo of the players with Rudd and also used one of them camping.

"The photographer called me up to set up a time to meet," said Wynn, the ringleader of the NASCAR group. "I never thought he'd show up, but it worked out and he got us into the garage area.

"We got to meet Ricky Rudd and the Burtons and had our picture taken with them. They're really nice guys. I was impressed with them. We had a blast that weekend. It was a neat experience, one I'll never forget."

The players now turn their attention to football. Two-a-days start tomorrow, beginning at 9 a.m.