Music City Grand Prix CEO Crews

Music City Grand Prix CEO Matt Crews, a former Jones College of Business student and Blue Raider football player, said he’s thrilled to see concrete, an innovative academic program from his alma mater, benefit from the exposure. MTSU’s Concrete Industry Management program is one of the best in the nation. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Officials from Middle Tennessee State University and the new Music City Grand Prix signed a partnership last week allowing the university’s acclaimed concrete program to create environmentally conscious mixes for barriers and pit road for the August 2021 race in downtown Nashville.

Music City Grand Prix is working with MTSU to create safer and lighter blends of concrete using recycled materials and better molds for racing barriers in the upcoming IndyCar Series event.

“By connecting our School of Concrete and Construction Management with the Music City Grand Prix, we bring the expertise of our faculty and the bright young minds of our students together with the deep knowledge and skills that prompted Grand Prix CEO Matt Crews and his top-notch team to create the infrastructure needed for a spectacular international festival,” University Provost Mark Byrnes said.

The agreement calls for MTSU to provide consulting about concrete barricade forms, barricade manufacturing and emerging concrete technologies helping to reduce the Grand Prix’s manufacturing, construction, transportation or event set-up costs.

“I’m more excited about showing 160 countries what MTSU has accomplished on a daily basis,” said Crews, an MTSU alumnus and former Blue Raider football player.

MTSU will provide the Music City Grand Prix with guidance on barrier construction and suppliers and vendors. The Music City Grand Prix has agreed to offer a minimum of two internships to MTSU undergraduate students per year, helping them gain experience in the areas of track design and construction project management.

“We are working to create environmentally conscious concrete mixes while not sacrificing durability and strength for the race barriers and pit lane,” said MTSU concrete professor Heather Brown, who will be on the Music City Grand Prix Advisory Board.

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