From Technician to Racing Ace: Adrian Perez’s Journey From UTI Graduate to Car Racing


For 23-year-old lead mechanic and racing enthusiast Adrian Perez, no two days in the shop are exactly the same. Ever since he can remember, he’s wanted to live his life in the fast lane and the same goes for his career.

Adrian graduated in 2019 from UTI’s Automotive Technology Program at the Sacramento campus.1 He took a couple turns before landing a job as the shop manager leading a team of nine at Dream Racing, a luxury motor speedway in Las Vegas featuring some of the world’s fastest exotic supercars.

“People come here for an experience and it is our job to make sure that these vehicles are operating at peak performance. That means everything needs to be done to perfection, to the millimeter so we can ensure that we are making this as safe as possible,” Adrian said during an interview at Dream Racing.

His experience and time working at Dream Racing was impressive to say the least. Since then, he has transitioned to Sigier Motorsport where he is one step closer to his true dream. But more on that later!

Curious to know how he got here? Let’s go back to the starting line.

Ready, Set, Learn

Adrian has been working under the hoods of cars since before he could drive. In fact, his uncle introduced him to the garage and taught him the basics about vehicle maintenance and repair. At the time his uncle was attending UTI’s Avondale campus, which Adrian was able to tour. It wasn’t long after walking on campus that his life shifted from changing his oil to making a change for his future.

Adrian decided to follow in his uncle’s tire tracks and enrolled in UTI. “I knew I wanted to work on fast cars but I still had a lot to learn and I wanted to do it quickly. UTI was a key factor in advancing my career,” he stated.

After graduation, he started working as a lube tech at AutoNation Subaru in Roseville, California, a job he found with the help of UTI’s Career Services team. Like other times in his life, he promptly realized that the tempo of work in a dealership was slower than what he was looking for.

So, he shifted gears and took his first position in the racing industry as the shop lead at Overkill Performance in Sacramento, California. Once he got his foot in the door, he continued to work hard and make connections in other shops such as Exotics Racing, which would eventually lead to the opportunity to work at Dream Racing.

“At first, I was just bringing them tools, helping wipe down cars. I did anything they asked and I did it with a smile on my face,” says Adrian. At the time he was helping Dream Racing’s motorsports team, which features professional drivers who compete in the Super Trofeo category of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. “They liked my skill and attention to detail. Eventually, I got brought on to something bigger as the owner of the racing series brought me on full-time in their racing shop.”

Next stop on his career expedition was accepting a position as a shop manager at Dream Racing, which would mean transitioning from professional racing competitions to paying-customer competitions. In this role, Adrian was able to work on vehicles like the 2022 Ferrari F8 and the 2016 McLaren 570S.

Working on Luxury for a Living

During his time at Dream Racing, Adrian gave two UTI Admissions Directors a tour around the shop and a behind-the-scenes look at life in the fast lane for him and his team. He walked through their day-to-day and even explained the diagnostic processes for these vehicles.

“Things change daily,” he said. “You may replace control arms one day, and the next, you’re replacing a gearbox. You really don’t know what surprises lay ahead of you.”

Sounds thrilling! What really got the visitors’ pulses racing was the jaw-dropping fleet that this shop had. At any given time, Adrian and his team worked on 60 to 65 vehicles, including about 10 race cars and 45 street cars. His favorite models included the Lamborghini Hurácan Super Trofeo and the Ferrari 488 Pista.

The immense amount of passion Adrian has for what he does shows when his eyes light up talking about his career.

“My favorite part about what I do is driving the cars,” he said. “It just puts a big smile on my face and it’s a humbling reminder that I get to work with these cars every day. Every new issue is a way for me to learn, which just makes me better.”

Gotta Have Drive

Adrian keeps his head down and mind open as he is determined to learn as much as possible in the hope of landing his dream job one day.

Formula 1 Racing is the ultimate goal for me. Every step in my career is another step closer to Formula 1,” he explained. Adrian is getting one lap closer to his goal of working in Formula 1 as he recently started a job as shop manager at Sigier Motorsport.

Not only does he drive these cars, but he’s got drive.

In celebrating his career progression, Adrian shared some advice to others looking to get into the same industry:

“Learn as much as you can. Prioritize your education like it is a job. Show that you’ve got drive by your desire to learn and willingness to push through the trials and tribulations.”

You’ve Got the Green Flag to Start Your Career

If you have the same passions as Adrian, UTI’s Automotive Technology program may be a great place for you to start!

“I was really able to apply a lot of my skills that I learned at UTI into every step of my career so far. I definitely think that by getting an education in this industry, it sets me apart from others and has allowed me to progress quicker in reaching my goals,” said Adrian when reflecting on his career journey so far.

Start training for a career with UTI! For more information about our Automotive Technology training and how you can graduate in less than a year,7 visit our program page or request more information here.


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1 ) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
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7 ) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

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