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NASCAR Tech Turns 20: See Our Favorite Memories

Jul 5, 2022 ·

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It’s been 20 years since we opened the doors at NASCAR Tech here in Mooresville, North Carolina. What a ride it’s been.

NASCAR Tech Campus President Jennifer Bergeron has been here since the beginning to witness it all.

“I started working at the campus in May 2002, just before we opened our doors to the first class of students,” Bergeron says.

“I've had the honor of serving as campus president the last 12 years and have overseen a lot of growth in our student population and programs,” she says.

Paving the Way for Thousands of Graduates

In the past two decades, our NASCAR-endorsed training has paved the way for more than 13,000 graduates to start careers in the automotive, welding and CNC machining industries, and reach some of the highest levels of motorsports in America.24

"What started as an automotive technician training school expanded into motorsports then CNC machining. We launched our Welding Technology Training program just a few months ago,” Bergeron says.

It’s clear that NASCAR Tech has cemented its place as a workforce solutions provider in the transportation industry in our region, she says.

“And, we recently won the 2022 ‘Best Place to Work’ award for Iredell County, which was a great way to kick off this celebration,” says Bergeron, referring to the Mooresville Tribune’s recognition in its over 50 employees category.

“I know we’ve started a lot of great careers and changed a lot of lives since 2002, but to know we’re also providing our community with a great place to work, where employees feel valued and know they’re making a difference is icing on the cake,” she says.

Our History Is Fueled by Passion

Since 2002, NASCAR Tech students have helped instructors build race-winning engines while grads have gone on to work as technicians for brands like Ford, Dodge and Jeep, as well as join racing teams that bring home trophies.

It’s a powerful history fueled by the passion and talent of our students and educators. And it’s one worth celebrating.

That’s why we’re looking back at some of the most exciting milestones from our past 20 years as the exclusive educational provider for NASCAR.

Take a Lap Down Memory Lane

From the starting line to today, here are 20 of our most memorable moments from the past two decades at NASCAR Tech.

1. May 20, 2001 - Groundbreaking ceremony in Mooresville, NC

We’ve come a long way since that shovel first hit the ground in Race City USA. The completed campus now features 146,000 square feet of classrooms and labs. You can take a virtual tour here.

2. July 1, 2002 - NASCAR Tech opened its doors

Our campus was created to become home of the only place in the country to offer NASCAR-endorsed specialized training. Besides Automotive Technology, the core programs grew to include CNC Machining Technology and Welding Technology.

3. August 2003 - NASCAR Tech held its first graduation ceremony

The year 2003 was a big one. We had our first class of graduates and launched both NASCAR Engines I and Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT). Students began learning the techniques for assembling and disassembling a competitive NASCAR engine, as well as authorized Ford Motor Company technician training.

4. 2005 - NASCAR Tech graduated 2,000 students

Enrollment had increased exponentially, growing from 120 to 1,600 students in just three years.

5. June 25, 2008 - NASCAR Tech launched the all-new Spec Engine program

The Spec Engine program was created to give honor students the opportunity to help instructors build engines designed to meet the needs of racing.

6. December 21, 2009 - 5,000 NASCAR Tech graduates are employed in the automotive and motorsports industries

Hear from one of those grads, Travis Law, who graduated in 2006 and then became crew chief in 2007 for four-time Indy 500 winner Hélio Castroneves.

7. April 28, 2011 - Our Spec Engine program got its first victory

The driver who took the checkered flag was Bubba Wallace.

8. July 2012-August 2013 - NASCAR Tech celebrated 10 years of career training

And we threw a big party to celebrate. Students, graduates, instructors, executives of UTI and NASCAR, and even NASCAR drivers gathered on the 10-year anniversary for an on-campus party.

9. 2012 Race Season - The Spec Engine program won … again

Kyle Larson won the NASCAR K&N East Championship with Rev Racing while using spec engines assembled by our very own NASCAR Tech instructors and students. Larson had two wins, one pole and 12 top 10s in 14 races.

10. December 2012 - NASCAR Tech hosted the 23rd Annual Stocks for Tots holiday event and fundraiser

The goal was to collect toys for kids and raise money to support Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children, supporting parents and improving the community.

11. September 2014 - NASCAR Tech grads joined Kevin Harvick’s pit crew

Three NASCAR Tech grads joined Kevin Harvick’s pit crew to strengthen his Sprint Cup title chances in his first year with the Stewart-Haas team.

12. January 13, 2015 - We opened the doors to an onsite Veterans Student Center

It’s no secret we love our vets. The center was designed to serve as a central location to honor the school’s veteran students, and provide a dedicated space for veteran support services, resources and a place to just relax with a cup of coffee.

13. November 3, 2015 - NASCAR and UTI announced 10-year relationship extension

This move helped ensure our ability to keep providing training for students looking for careers in the automotive and motorsports industries.

14. October 17, 2016 - We began offering Mopar Technical Education Curriculum (TEC)

The 12-week Mopar TEC Manufacturer-Specific Advanced Training program was designed to prepare students to pursue careers in the Stellantis dealership network. Through hands-on experience, students learn how to diagnose, service and repair Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram cars and trucks.

15. January 13, 2017 - We celebrated our first 13 Mopar TEC graduates

Mopar TEC graduates marked the end of their training that’s valued by Stellantis dealerships nationwide.

16. April 27, 2018 - Our first class of CNC Machining Technology students graduated

The CNC Machining Technology program was created give students the hands-on training and high-tech skills they need to prepare for careers as computer numerical control (CNC) machinists.

17. October 2019 - NASCAR Tech is recognized for excellence

We were named a 2019 School of Excellence by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) — one of the most prestigious institutional achievements that can be awarded by the accrediting body.

18. November 20, 2020 - NASCAR Tech held its first drive-in/drive-thru graduation ceremony

Shout out to all the grads for making it through, despite the pandemic.

19. December 2021 - Nick Hoffman got his 40th win in Modified Feature

Our very own NASCAR Tech Spec Engine Instructor Darrell Hoffman won both the UMP Engine Builder of the Year award and UMP Mechanic of the Year award, each for the third year in a row.

20. January 31, 2022 - NASCAR Tech welcomed the inaugural class of its Welding Technology program

NASCAR Tech began offering its 36-week Welding Technology program, where students learn four different welding processes. Training was developed with Lincoln Electric, an industry leader in welding technology.

The year 2022 also is when NASCAR Tech became a degree-granting campus, offering an Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) degree approved for all automotive programs.

All right students, instructors and graduates: We want to hear from you! What are your favorite memories from the years at NASCAR Tech?

Share them with us on social using #NASCARTech.

Ready to Start Making Your Own History Here?

NASCAR Technical Institute is the world’s first and only technician training school that combines a complete Automotive Technology program with NASCAR-specific motorsports training. And we’d love to have you here.

To learn more, visit our website or request information to connect with an Admissions Representative today.

 

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

2) For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.

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.

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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