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What a Day Looks Like for an Automotive Grad From NASCAR Tech

Feb 21, 2023 ·

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Auto enthusiasts love just about anything that runs on wheels.

That’s why at Universal Technical Institute, automotive aficionados can complete our core Automotive Technology training program in less than a year!7 We offer this program at 13 campuses across the country, including at NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina.

In addition to core automotive training, UTI students can apply for our specialized training programs. At NASCAR Tech, options include the NASCAR Technology, Ford FACT and Mopar TEC programs. These programs can help students build a technical foundation that can prepare them for careers with leading automotive and racing-performance manufacturers.24

One of these manufacturers is Roush Yates, a creator of NASCAR engines based in Mooresville — just like NASCAR Tech.

So, what does a day at Roush Yates look like, specifically for those who have completed their technical training at NASCAR Tech?

Continue reading to learn about a typical workday for three NASCAR Tech graduates who are now at Roush Yates! You'll learn about the importance of an education from an automotive training school, as well as what life could be like after program completion.1

Automotive Career Opportunities

Automotive program graduates from NASCAR Tech and UTI can pursue a variety of careers in the auto industry. Most of our grads start out working as entry-level technicians or in other entry-level roles. As with any industry, over time, you may be able to advance in your career with hard work.77

Some entry-level careers could include:

  • Automotive technician
  • Service writer
  • Smog inspector
  • Parts associate

As you gain experience, some more advanced automotive careers might include:

  • Service manager
  • Master technician
  • Fleet technician
  • Drivability technician
  • Diagnostic technician
  • Heavy line technician
  • Quick service technician
  • Shop owner

Read more: How to Train to Become an Auto Electrician

A Typical Day for 3 Automotive Grads

Ranson Owens, who works in the cam and lifter department at Roush Yates, follows a fairly straightforward, yet stacked, schedule. “Get here at seven, then check the schedule, see what needs to be done. Inspect cams, inspect lifters,” he says.

“It is very busy!” says Bradley Douthit, who works as a ring technician. “Every week, we get a production list of engines that need to be built.”

“I do all of our post-race inspections for the bottom ends of the engine,” says Madison Conrad, a powertrain reliability specialist. “So basically the pistons, the bearings. When engines come out, I’m responsible for looking at these components.”

She also compiles information gained from her inspections. This data is crucial to innovating results. “We can talk to our department heads and our company leaders about next steps to make them better.”

Read more: Automotive Shop Safety Rules

Developing a Passion

Ranson Owens

Ranson Owens is from the small town of Grande, Virginia, and grew up in a family that encouraged him to race. This passion was passed down to him by his father, who has professional drag racing experience. As a result, Ranson has been racing since he was a kid.

He also learned to work on engines at an early age. Ranson says he’s had crystal-clear goals about building a career in the automotive industry for a long time and even underwent automotive training in high school, which he continued by training at NASCAR Tech.

Bradley Douthit

Bradley hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During his junior year at a local vocational school, he was approached by a representative from UTI. He was informed that UTI was establishing a technical training campus in Mooresville, about an hour away.

His interest had already been piqued, but it wasn’t until his senior year that he realized what made this upcoming training option so special. Bradley learned that UTI was establishing NASCAR Technical Institute, the sole educational provider for NASCAR.

In 2002, NASCAR Tech’s campus opened its doors. Bradley was eager to enroll. That’s exactly what he did, subsequently becoming one of NASCAR Tech’s first students!

Read more: How Do NASCAR Engines Work?

Building Essential Skills

Ranson Owens

Ranson first became aware of NASCAR Tech through advertisements on Monster Jam. His mother and father, clearly aware of his lifelong automotive passion, supported his enrollment in the Automotive Technology program. They also helped him with finding housing and financing his education!10

Once enrolled, Ranson received an engaging, productive education from instructors who were both personable and knowledgeable. His training included courses that helped him develop the technical knowledge and know-how needed to work on engines directly after graduation.6

Madison Conrad

Madison is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and comes from a family of race car professionals and enthusiasts. It’s why she used to drive race cars herself!

Madison took NASCAR Tech’s 48-week core Automotive program before completing the 15-week NASCAR elective. She says her instructors were incredibly helpful and that her fellow students made great teammates! All this helped her practice the camaraderie and technical skills needed to work on a team of fellow auto mechanics and eventually land an internship with Roush Yates.

“You get to use a skill set that’s usually difficult to get and can be taken anywhere. Not just with racing, not just with the dealership,” Madison says. “It’s a skill set that’s universal, and I think that’s really vital for anyone getting into the industry.”

This skill set involves professionalism and hands-on finesse, essential components of NASCAR Tech’s curriculum. With these skills, Madison was ready to get her hands dirty and jumped into her auto mechanic career after graduation.

Read more: Investing in an Automotive Trade School Education

Diving Into the Industry

Madison Conrad

Madison took a slightly unusual path to where she is now. Like many other Roush Yates interns, she started off in the parts department, trying to learn everything she could about the company and its engines from day one.

After graduating from NASCAR Tech, she advanced into a full-time role in the engine teardown department. Then, she moved around different departments at Roush Yates, working in everything from post-race to marketing to her current role as a powertrain reliability specialist. She’s also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering at a local college to assume more responsibilities in engine development.

During her time at Roush Yates, she helped her team secure the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Madison even recently joined a female-forward independent car team driven by Beth Paretta Auto Sport.

“To see it pay off and get that championship was incredible.”

Bradley Douthit

A couple months before graduating from the Automotive Technology program offered at NASCAR Tech, Bradley got an internship at Roush Yates. That internship then turned into a part-time job, which turned into a full-time job after graduation.

During his first few years at Roush Yates, Bradley worked in teardown, working on engines from the NASCAR series, various road-racing programs and much more. He eventually moved into the subassembly department, which he now oversees. Bradley enjoys his job’s constant challenges since they keep him on his toes and encourage him to think outside the box.

Read more: What Is a Powertrain?

Imparting Words of Wisdom

Madison has previously faced discrimination because of her gender. Fortunately, people at both NASCAR Tech and Roush Yates have been extremely welcoming. Nonetheless, she has some advice for other aspiring female technicians with eyes set on the racing industry.

“Focus on what you can control. You can control your work ethic and you can control your attitude.” She also mentions that all auto professionals in the racing industry must work hard and be willing to learn, do and try new things.

“Always do your best. Realize that everything you do matters, no matter how small it is, even if nobody sees it,” Bradley says, noting that every bit of a technician’s work makes an impact on the final product.

Ranson also has some tips for meeting the racing industry’s standards for professionalism.

“At school, make sure you try your hardest,” he says. “Show up every day, on time, well dressed. Behave accordingly. Just be dedicated and have the desire to push here.”

Read more: Mechanic Skills: Top 7 Skills for Future Auto Technicians

Begin Your Automotive Training at NASCAR Tech!

Students can complete the Automotive Technology program at NASCAR Tech in 48 weeks. They can then choose to apply for specialized automotive training, which can take 12 to 15 weeks. During that time, students learn hands-on skills that automotive manufacturers look for in their technicians.

We also have resources other than training. UTI and NASCAR Tech offer Career Services to help students and graduates learn about and prepare for available job opportunities!1

So, do you have a passion for the automotive industry? Do you love the prospect of being close to the racetrack? Request information about NASCAR Tech’s automotive training programs to learn more!
With classes starting every 3-6 weeks, no need to wait to start your career.
Hands-on training. Get hands on experience with the industry's leading brands.
No Pressure to commit. Get answers to your questions without any obligations.
Request More Info Or Call Now 800.834.7308

1) NASCAR Technical Institute is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit

6) UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.

10) Financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.

24) NASCAR Technical Institute prepares graduates to work as entry-level automotive service technicians. Some graduates who take NASCAR-specific electives also may have job opportunities in racing-related industries. NASCAR Tech is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.

77) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary. UTI prepares graduates for entry-level careers using the provided training. UTI graduates’ achievements may vary. Some UTI graduates get jobs within their field of study in positions other than those listed.

Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved by the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


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