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Graduate Stories

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From Couch-Surfing to Working in the Racing Industry

"How you do at school will influence your ability to get a job."


Jordan Kloety didn’t have many resources when he moved to Mooresville, North Carolina, to attend NASCAR Technical Institute. One thing he did have was drive, to pursue his passion for racing and motorsports by getting his education.

Jordan left his Minnesota home at 18 after graduating high school to head to Mooresville. He lived out of his car for a week, then lived on a buddy’s couch for 2 years as he attended school.

Jordan took the core Automotive Technology Program before taking the NASCAR Technician Training Program at NASCAR Technical Institute. Today, he’s a technician in the engine shop for the Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR racing team. Previously, he went on the road with the team for about a year and has been with the organization since 2013, right after he graduated NASCAR Tech with perfect attendance and a 4.0 grade point average.

Developing a Strong Work Ethic

Before Jordan went to NASCAR Technical Institute, he had worked at a dealership for 2 years back home. Jordan has always had a strong work ethic. His father was in the Air Force for 12 years and taught him the motto, “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

Growing up on a farm, Jordan was up at 5 a.m. every day working outside. When he was 15, he nearly lost his leg cutting wood, when a chainsaw slipped and went through his kneecap. The accident took him out of sports, so he worked with his dad, combining, fixing tractors, mowing grass for people – anything he could do to make money.

“What I learned from my dad and from going to school is keep your mouth shut, head down and work,” says Jordan. “Don't care about the extra stuff going on around you. That doesn't matter. What matters is what you're doing. It's about what you're doing to better yourself as a person, to better yourself through the company and in life.”

Jordan thought, like his father and brother, he would pursue the military after high school. Four-year college was never his thing. But when someone told him about NASCAR Tech, that he could get an education that could lead to a career in racing, Jordan’s future started to evolve.

Carving Out a Career Path

Jordan carried his diligent work ethic with him to school. He had afternoon classes, which ended around 8 p.m. at night. Jordan would stay at the Mooresville campus until 9:30 p.m. sometimes, taking in as much extra knowledge as he could through one-on-one work with his engines instructor.

In his role now, Jordan works on some of the most powerful engines around. He typically gets to work by 5 a.m., just like when he was a kid in Minnesota. Not many other people are at work by then, but Jordan enjoys the peace and quiet and ability to go with the flow at his own pace at that time.

When engines come back from racing, Jordan’s team puts them on a stand, takes the bellhousings off, inspects the engine and makes sure the clutch isn’t burned up. Then the team tears the engine down before it goes through clean-up.

Jordan started his work at Hendrick Motorsports in the clean-up room, cleaning parts, before moving to tear-down. He worked on the road as an engine tuner for about a year, but the road lifestyle wasn’t for him. So he moved back into tear-down and has been there for several years now.

For other students who want to forge a successful career similar to Jordan, take note of his perfect attendance and perfect score in school.

“How you do at school will influence your ability to get a job,” Jordan says.

If you’re interested in a career in racing, contact NASCAR Tech for information.


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