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From NASCAR Fan to NASCAR Professional

"There's always something to keep an eye out on. The electronics of everything is getting more and more advanced, so you have to keep your head up and continue to educate yourself."

 

When Jason Ingle was a kid living in Alabama, he'd go to the Talladega Superspeedway to watch NASCAR races. His favorite driver was Dale Earnhardt.

Today, Jason works in the NASCAR industry, as an engine dyno operator for Hendrick Motorsports in North Carolina. The Hendrick Motorsports organization fields four full-time Chevrolet teams on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit with drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman.

“Growing up as a fan and now working on the team, it's made a different respect in what the guys do at the race track every day,” says Jason. “You're up at 5, 6 o'clock in the morning, and you don't leave until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. The fans don't get to see all the behind-the-scenes.”

Before his NASCAR career, Jason always enjoyed working with his hands, tearing things apart and putting things back together. He served 8 years in the Army, including a 9-month stint in Iraq.

When he moved back to the States and was looking at places to get an education, NASCAR Technical Institute provided a way for him to follow his passion for NASCAR. He has been with Hendrick Motorsports now for more than 12 years.

No Experience, No Problem at NASCAR Tech

Jason loved racing, but he had zero experience in working with engines when he started school at NASCAR Technical Institute. He says he learned essential knowledge about parts and pieces at NASCAR Tech. His education got him a foot in the door at Hendrick Motorsports, where he started sweeping floors part-time while he was in school.

Jason completed the core Automotive Technology Program at NASCAR Tech, as well as courses in the NASCAR Technician Training Program.

After graduating NTI in 2005, Jason's career at Hendrick Motorsports evolved to tearing down cylinder heads, to moving into dyno testing, to going on the road as an engine tuner. He shares some advice for students who are in his former shoes.

“Keep your ears open, keep your eyes open, and keep your mouth shut,” Jason advises.

Always Something New to Learn in Racing

Jason says his favorite part about his job is the variety he encounters.

“Everything is different every day,” Jason says. “We don't have the same thing come through every time.”

Jason adds, “There's always something to keep an eye out on. The electronics of everything is getting more and more advanced, so you have to keep your head up and continue to educate yourself.”

Jason says the NASCAR industry is constantly evolving its technology, so the learning never stops. He and his team work on up to more than 15 engines per week, taking care of all production elements before the engines hit the race track.

Because Jason's team is the last to handle the engines before they go into a race car, the most challenging part of his job is to ensure impeccable work. Missing something means a tuner out on the track has to fix it, which takes away practice time for racers.

From watching in the stands to being such an integral part of the NASCAR world today, Jason's experience shows the growth that is possible when you pursue your love for racing.

Want to Work in NASCAR?

If you love NASCAR and racing, it's possible to work in the industry professionally. NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, is the exclusive educational provider for NASCAR. Countless NASCAR employers say they go to NASCAR Tech for potential employees, because they have taken the initiative to go to school, learn in a professional setting and go after their dreams.

The NASCAR Technician Training Program is a 15-week elective program. Students learn about pit crews, aerodynamics, welding, fabrication and engines. Contact NASCAR Technical Institute for information on the NASCAR program

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