Archive for the ‘Motorsports Education’ category

Attention Gearheads: Magazine Sale!

September 1st, 2011

If you love racing and mechanics, you will love the sale that Amazon is running magazines this month! Now through September 30, you can get three great magazines on sale for a year subscription for only $7 each: Popular Mechanics, Road and Track and Popular Science. They also offer Cycle World for $7 if you’re into bikes.

Road and Track MagazineCheck them out here!

Careers in Racing Part Two: Creating the Perfect Motorsports Résumé

August 24th, 2011

This is the second in a series of posts about Careers in Racing and how to achieve your dream of working in the motorsports industry. Whether you’re interested in being a racecar driver, working in NASCAR garage or being in the front office, you can use the information from our Careers in Racing series to get you there!

One of the first and most obvious things you’ll need to do when applying for a racing job is create a resume. You probably already have one for internships, college application or real-world job, but I bet you haven’t thought about creating one online.

Having a web resume is one of the best ways of setting yourself apart from other applicants, and it will actually make it significantly easier to customize your resume when you go to apply for jobs. It also gives potential employers a way to get more in-depth information about you all in one place, and gives them a better feel for who you are beyond what you can put on paper. It also leaves you open to the possibility of getting noticed before jobs are even advertised or available – creating a pull effect instead of pushing your resume out to potential employers.

Creating your own website that will serve as a digital resume is surprisingly easy, cheap and painless. It should be simple, direct, well-edited and up-to-date, and you don’t need graphic design skills or loads of content. You’ll need three things to do this – a domain name, a web hosting company and a WordPress blog. Then, you’ll need to pick a WordPress theme and populate with content.

Check out the easy steps below for how to set it all up:

Step One – Purchasing a Domain Name and Web Host Services: We’re only going to cover one way of doing this because what we’ll describe is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to go. Our web host, is a one-stop shop for hosting services, domain names and WordPress setup, covered in the next step. Hosting with BlueHost is extremely reasonable at $6.95 per month, paid for annually with one payment of $83.40. Most companies will charge you upwards of $10 per month, and you don’t get all the bells and whistles like you do with BlueHost. If you are willing to commit to two years with BlueHost, which I definitely recommend, you’ll pay only $5.95 a month with one payment of $142.80.

Your domain name, if possible, should be your While it’s important for most websites to have a .com name to show up in search engines, it won’t be that important in this case because you won’t be trying to rank for keywords. If you can’t get your full name, try adding something fun and simple like or Signing up for BlueHost has another immediate advantage – your domain name will be free! You’ll save yourself a little chunk of change by hosting through BlueHost here, too.

Step Two – Install WordPress: Like I said earlier, I will be covering how to complete these steps if you host through BlueHost because of the ease and simplicity of the process.

Once you login into your Control Panel, you’ll see a box labeled SimpleScripts Installations (see photo). One of the options will be WordPress – select that. Choose “Install WordPress” and then you’ll have a few options. Choose the stable version of WordPress, which should be selected already. The next option you should also leave at the default – your domain name with the ‘www’. The only Advanced Option you should change is the user name and password. Otherwise, the install will randomly generate a password for you, which isn’t as easy to remember. Then, agree to the Terms and Conditions and you’re ready to go! The install will be complete in a matter of a few minutes at the most.

Step Three – Configure WordPress: It’s really up to you how much you want to customize your site. I strongly believe that simplicity is key because your site won’t look outdated as it ages, and you won’t have to re-design it multiple times. It will also appeal to more people if it is not design heavy.

Three things you’ll want to do is change the name of your ‘blog’ under Settings: General. I also suggest turning off comments under Settings: Discussion. Under Themes, you’ll want to select a simple, basic theme without a heavy graphic presence. One that I like in particular is Elegant Grunge – you can check out a sample site with this theme on the website for Kristin Swartzlander, a racing social media and marketing consultant.

I also suggest creating a page under Pages labeled Home. Then, under Settings: Reading, select “Static Page: Home” for the Front Page Displays option. That way, you won’t have a blog for your front page that dates the content. You’ll have a simple welcome, like on, and the opportunity to host a blog, if that’s what you want, on another page.

Step Four – Add Résumé Content: Depending on how in-depth you want to get, you can add one additional page or multiple. To start out, you can copy and paste your current résumé onto a Bio or Résumé page, removing any personal information you don’t feel comfortable with sharing.

Simply including a list of completed school projects, updates on your Formula SAE team, job or internship experience and similar information will be plenty for viewers to keep up with on your site, and it’s a great way to add a personal level to what used to be a regular, one-dimensional résumé.

As always, please be sure to share only your basic information and not your address or phone number with the world for your personal safety.

Once you’ve created your personal website, feel free to share it in the comments section! And, of course, if you have questions please post below as well.

Want a motorsports scholarship? Now is the time to apply…

June 24th, 2011

Are you looking for scholarships to help you pay for or reduce the cost of school? It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, whether you’re returning to school in the fall or it’s winter break, now is the time to start looking and apply for scholarships, whether they are motorsports scholarships or just funding a motorsports education.

No matter where you’re going to be attending school, what age you are, or what you’ll be studying, there are scholarships out there that you can qualify for. But many of the scholarships have deadlines far in advance of the semester so that they can go through applications, decide on a winner and prepare paperwork with your college.


The first step in getting a scholarship is doing a search on what’s out there. One of the best places to start is Fastweb, an online scholarship search tool. It’s a great way to see what kinds of scholarships are out there, and what it takes to apply for them. You can also purchase a scholarship book but you want to make sure that it’s up to date with the latest information, like The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2012: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes.


Once you know what kinds of scholarships there are, from essay to application, you’ll want to narrow your search down to your strengths and anything else that makes you unique aside from wanting a motorsports education. Do you go to a church? Do your parents belong to a club or work for a large company? See if those organizations have scholarships available.

Did you grow up farming potatoes? Have you been involved in student government? Are you a skilled photographer? If you’re interested in a motorsports education, you’ve obviously shown some interest in racing. Motorsports scholarships are out there in addition to scholarships targeted towards your other interests and skills. Some include the Ricky Hendrick Scholarship, the Automotive Women’s Alliance Motorsports Scholarship and many more.


Do a google or Fastweb search for terms with your standout points along with ‘scholarship’. There are lots of scholarships out there and, whether they offer a $500 prize or a gift card to, every little bit helps when it comes to paying for college.


Once you identify a few scholarships that you qualify for, it’s time to get to the applications. The strategy that will work the best for most people is to pick less than 10 scholarships and give those the best application you can instead of spreading yourself thin by applying to every scholarship out there.

And the best way to apply? Start. That’s often the hardest part for most people, but it’s the most important. Draft an outline of what you’ll write or do for the scholarship. Then start filling it in slowly. You’ll have a draft of your essay or application. Then, edit it. Then have your parents read it. Then edit it more. Then have a teacher read it. Have everyone you can get look over your application. Very few applicants will do this, so it will improve your application, and chances of getting a scholarship, greatly.


Set aside 15 minutes every day for your scholarship search, and make that happen. If you feel like working longer, and often you will, that’s great. If not, at least you’re creating a habit out of it.

Good luck with your scholarship search as you pursue a motorsports education, whether it is at a motorsports engineering school or otherwise!


UNC Charlotte Motorsports Engineering

June 16th, 2011

Although UNC Charlotte does not offer a full motorsports engineering degree, the North Carolina school offers a motorsports concentration as an addition to the Mechanical Engineering degree program.

If you’re enrolling in the Mechanical Engineering program with a concentration in motorsports, you can expect to take the normal course load of mechanical engineering classes including chemistry, physics, English, math, economics, mechanics and other engineering basics courses in your first two years. As you become an upperclassman, many of your courses include the advanced engineering courses and motorsports technical electives.

The motorsports concentration requires participation in motorsports-specific technical elective courses, which include Automotive Power Plants, Road Vehicle Dynamics, Aerodynamics and many other choices depending on what is offered that semester.

In the fourth year of the Mechanical Engineering degree program, motorsports engineering students are required to participate in a two-semester Motorsports Clinic. The Motorsports Clinic is an intensive automotive/motorsports engineering related project.

In addition to the undergraduate program, UNC Charlotte also offers a BA in the new Sport Marketing and Management program in the Belk Business School. This won’t give you a motorsports engineering education, but a business approach to a motorsports education.

There are also four motorsports engineering competition teams available for students to participate in, and motorsports engineering students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one. UNC Charlotte’s programs include Formula SAE, SAE Mini-Baja, Legends and Drag Car racing.

If you’re interested in a motorsports job, a motorsports education at UNC Charlotte will provide a great start. According to the school’s website, roughly 10% of NASCAR engineers are graduates of UNC Charlotte. You can view a video overview of the school and its resources here.

Motorsports Engineering and Formula SAE

June 8th, 2011

Are you working to become a motorsports engineer or pursuing a degree in motorsports engineering? Or interested in a career in racing? Then you’ve probably heard of Formula SAE. But do you really know what the program entails? Let’s explore Formula SAE and what it can mean to your motorsports engineering future.

Formula SAE and Motorsports EngineeringFormula SAE is a racecar design competition for students that is organized and run by SAE International (formerly known as the Society for Automotive Engineers). The original concept was that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. But today, the main undertaking is to design, produce, test and race a prototype race car at the annual competition in May.

There are two competitions each year – one in California and one in Michigan. The Michigan competition is the largest and longest running.

Chances are, the school that you are attending already has an existing Formula SAE team. If not, you can form one, but that’s a much more involved topic and will require contacting SAE International directly.

The great thing about joining an existing Formula SAE team is they already have a foundation laid for the organizational structure of the team – they have a faculty adviser, an established workspace and equipment, and upperclassmen that have already participated in a Formula SAE competition.

Both the faculty adviser and the upperclassmen are great resources for you, and should be appreciated and utilized as you begin your Formula SAE journey. They will be valuable both in terms of the competition and in the future, as they clearly have interest in motorsports engineering like you do (and it’s a very small industry!).

Preparation for the competition (designing and building the car) usually begins within the first few weeks of the semester so it’s important to identify the person in charge of the team quickly to sign up and get started. One of the first things the team does is identify potential team members and look for sponsorship. Getting in on the ground floor will expose you to a variety of aspects of motorsports education.

Before you enter into this process, you should also understand the safety risks of participating in the project. You will be exposed to a variety of machinery and tools in addition to the actual race car. Being careful and aware of your surroundings at all times is crucial to the success of the program overall.

Then comes the fun part: motorsports engineering! You design the car from the ground up. Very little on a race car is new, and Formula SAE isn’t the place to develop new technology. Unfortunately, teams do not have the time or budget to come up with technological breakthroughs. But that’s not a bad thing. Designing and building a car from scratch takes a lot more time and effort than it would seem, and it’s more important to understand the basic principles of motorsports engineering than jump directly into automotive technology breakthroughs.

No matter what function, if you are interested in motorsports engineering or a career in racing, you should be taking advantage of one of the few applied motorsports education activities that are available at some schools and participating in Formula SAE. Don’t worry – you’ll enjoy it!

Automotive Women’s Alliance Motorsports Scholarship

June 1st, 2011

The Automotive Women’s Alliance offers a scholarship of varying amounts (although the majority appear to be $2,500) quarterly to female students who show a passion for the automotive industry or are pursuing a motorsports education based on a written application.

While this scholarship isn’t specifically a motorsports scholarship, it certainly can be applied to motorsports education if the committee deems it fit. There is no age limit on the scholarship and it can be applied to any type of program as long as the applicant will be applying her education to the automotive industry.

The application is pretty straightforward. In order to apply, students must fill out the application and provide a college transcript or high school transcript and proof of college enrollment, a cover letter (essay-style), and a resume.

There is no deadline, although the description shows that it is awarded quarterly.

Scholarship winners must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA for the year in which they receive the scholarship.

Past scholarship winners have applied their awards to: Colorado School of Mines Mechanical Engineering, Oakland University Human Resource Management, Northwood University Automotive Marketing and Business Management, University of Northwestern Ohio Performance Motorsports and Automotive Management, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology Mechanical Engineering, Eastern Michigan University Graduate School Quality Management, Kettering University Mechanical Engineering and many more.

As you can see, it’s not necessary to be in a motorsports or even automotive technology program to qualify for the scholarship. It’s enough to show interest in the automotive industry and have the intent to apply your education to that field. This is a great way to help fund your motorsports education, even if you’re not attending a motorsports engineering school.

Video Overview: UNC Charlotte Motorsports Engineering

May 26th, 2011

Today, we have a new video from UNC Charlotte’s Motorsports Engineering program. The video gives some insight into the motorsports engineering degree as opposed to a regular engineering degree and what that means: motorsports engineering projects.

The video takes a look into the The Alan D. Kulwicki Motorsports Laboratory, which is completely outfitted with a complete engine shop and all of the tools used in major motorsports settings like NASCAR and the IRL. You can also see some of the project cars, including a drag racing car, NASCAR car of tomorrow, legends cars and a Formula SAE car that is completely designed and built by students.

Check it out:

For more insight into motorsports engineering programs, check out the videos on the program at Old Dominion University and watch here for more reviews!

NASCAR Announces College Scholarship Program

May 18th, 2011

Daytona Beach, Fla. (May 12, 2011) – NASCAR today announced the return of the NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program and the University of Central Florida, DeVos School of Management Scholarship.

For a second consecutive year, the NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program is funded in part by long-time NASCAR partner UPS. The program was established to provide financial support to deserving African-American and Hispanic students currently enrolled in college who are pursuing degrees in areas of study related to motorsports, including marketing, engineering and public relations.

The scholarship program is part of NASCAR Diversity Affairs’ integrated initiative that includes a scholarship program, mentorship program and summer internship program.

“We are continually seeking ways to further engage students as fans and as future employees of the sport,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president, public affairs and multicultural development. “The goal is to create permanent employment prospects for diverse college students entering the work force through viable, real-world opportunities.”

The NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program provides annual scholarships administered by the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In addition, NASCAR and UPS support a scholarship program for students attending the University of Central Florida, DeVos School of Management which offers a master’s program in sports management.

“UPS’s commitment to diversity extends beyond our workforce, and we’re excited to continue our support with NASCAR in this important initiative,” said Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president, global sponsorships & events.

The scholarships are based on the following award criteria:
§ 3.0 GPA requirement
§ Documented financial need
§ College juniors, seniors and graduate students with majors in: business, communications, engineering, mass media, public relations or technology
§ Participation in the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) is encouraged but not required

2010 UNCF NASCAR/UPS Wendell Scott Scholarship recipients:
· Dionna Shamecca Everett, Clafin University, Camden SC
· Barry Antoine Formey, Saint Augustine’s College, Raleigh, NC
· Latrice Rashon Levels, Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, TX
· Nerrissa Mitchell, Xavier University, New Orleans, LA

2010 HACU NASCAR/UPS Wendell Scott Scholarship recipients:
· Yesenia Arrovo, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
· Jocelyn Baez, Florida International University, Miami, FL
· Neida Ortiz, Florida International University, Miami, FL
· Vanessa Ramos, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

2010 University of Central Florida, DeVos School of Management Scholarship recipients:
· Caitlin Schneider, Class of 2011
· Cristina Ecks, Class of 2011
· Jesse Gardner, Class of 2011
· Kristin Hurst, Class of 2011

Facts about Wendell Scott
Wendell Scott was the first African American driver to win a NASCAR Cup race. He won in NASCAR’s premier series on Dec. 1, 1963, on a 1-mile dirt track in Jacksonville, Fla. Wendell Scott made 495 starts during his career and posted 147 top-10 finishes before retiring in 1973. Scott died in 1990. As part of an ongoing effort to recognize trailblazers in the sport, Wendell Scott was recognized during the Las Vegas Race the weekend of March 4-6, 2011, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of his first start – March 4, 1961 in Spartanburg, SC.

Video Overview: Motorsports Engineering at Old Dominion U

May 11th, 2011

Today we’ve got an overview of the motorsports engineering technology program at Old Dominion University. Old Dominion, located in Norfolk, VA, teamed up with the New College Institute, in Martinsville, VA, to offer a join program in motorsports engineering. By completing the program, students will earn a B.S. degree in motorsports engineering from Old Dominion. The schools also offer a Master’s degree in motorsports engineering as well.

Here’s a video overview of the program, it’s goals and methods, narrated by Dr. Fred Lopez, the program’s director:

The program is designed to be flexible enough to apply to all realms of automotive technology and engineering, so students can pursue both motorsports jobs and other career paths. Motorsports scholarships are not officially detailed on their website, but general engineering scholarships are available.

The Ricky Hendrick Scholarship Fund

March 28th, 2011

If you happen to have a parent who works for the Hendrick Automotive Group, you might be interested in applying for the Ricky Hendrick Scholarship Fund. The Hendrick organization is giving away up to 50 motorsports scholarships worth $2,500 towards higher education.

The motorsports scholarship is very easy to apply for: just provide a transcript, a personal statement and sign the terms of agreement. The Ricky Hendrick Scholarship can be applied to any college and any major. Motorsports engineering and mechanical engineering are both eligible, so if you’re interested in motorsports education this is definitely worth applying for. The scholarship application opens on April 1 and closes on May 31, 2011. Learn more here:

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