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How Team Penske Technician Wyatt Hatcher Sped Up His Dreams

"If you work hard every day and show you want to be there, you want something more, you'll get to where you want to be."

 

Wyatt Hatcher had an automotive education from Universal Technical Institute (UTI), but he knew there was more to his dreams than working on everyday cars.

“I wanted to go faster, do something out of the ordinary,” says Wyatt.

After completing the core Automotive Technology Program at UTI in California, he looked into NASCAR Technical Institute, the only school of its kind combining a complete automotive technology program with NASCAR-specific motorsports training. He graduated NTI in 2017.

Today, Wyatt works for Team Penske in Mooresville, North Carolina, the same place where he attended and graduated from NASCAR Tech. He helps build race cars, fabricating and installing side skirts, splitters and brake lines.

As a high school student in Valley City, North Dakota, Wyatt took auto shop for a couple of years before hearing from a UTI rep who talked at his school. He decided to pursue a career in the automotive field.

His dreams to work at NASCAR began when he was young.

“Since I was a little kid, I wanted to work on something to go fast,” Wyatt says. “NASCAR tops the list for me. Three years ago, sitting in high school, I never would have thought I'd be here.”

How to Find Success With UTI and NASCAR Tech

At a young age, Wyatt has already achieved a position in the racing world that many dream about. He credits UTI and NASCAR Tech for effectively teaching the basic skills that help entry-level technicians find work in their desired fields.

“They're awesome schools,” Wyatt says. “It doesn't matter your background of knowledge. You can never touch a car before, go to UTI, and by the time you're out, you'll be able to do anything, from the nose of the car to the rear of the car. Even if you think you know a lot about cars, you still learn a lot more.”

Wyatt says the key to success at UTI or NASCAR Tech is to always ask questions. Don't limit yourself to learning the basics. Ask about the why of what you're learning, what the purpose is behind the lesson.

Look Fear in the Face

Wyatt says he thinks for most people his age, the biggest thing holding them back is fear. He says those who are interested in auto or NASCAR should never let fear stop them from pursuing their dreams.

“These schools are all about you get out what you put in,” Wyatt says. “If you work hard every day and show you want to be there, you want something more, you'll get to where you want to be.”

Some of the most important skills Wyatt says he learned at school were attendance and professionalism. Those help him keep his job at Team Penske, where a positive attitude and willingness to learn are also essential.

“You've got to be open,” Wyatt says. “You've got to be willing to go outside your comfort zone. If you never step outside your comfort zone, you'll never grow. You've got to expand your thinking a little bit.”

Want to Join the Racing Ranks?

Wyatt says for anyone who is in high school and considering their future, realize that traditional four-year colleges aren't for everyone. Within a few years at trade schools like UTI and NTI, you can be in your dream job, just like Wyatt.

Wyatt says when he started working at Team Penske, he was surprised by the number of NASCAR Tech graduates who are now his coworkers. But with the doors NASCAR Technical Institute opens for its grads, it's really not that out of the ordinary.

“The knowledge and connections at NASCAR Tech is a wonderful thing,” Wyatt says. “Everybody knows somebody in whatever area you want to go to, whether it's NASCAR or a dealer – they have connections there...It's very doable. Just work hard.”

Learn more about NASCAR Technical Institute.

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