In my senior year of college, I decided I wanted to work in racing after school. Racing jobs are hard to come by, and the industry is esoteric and cloistered, so I needed an unconventional way to find employers and job openings. My strategy was to volunteer to help amateur race teams at the shop and track. Then I could meet more people in racing, learn more about racing technology, get more experience companies would value, discover what areas I’m most interested in, and get exposure to more companies I could enquire about working for.
Mark Nunnally has a time trial Corvette he races with NASA, and he also runs a video production business, mostly catering to racing companies. I worked at his shop with him near Road Atlanta several times, rewiring his TT Corvette and Panoz racecar and doing miscellaneous other work. I assisted him with filming on a few trips where I got some more industry exposure.
I also worked with Dan and Clint McMahan at their shop in Covington. They build and maintain Formula 600 cars. I helped build a few cars and crewed a race at Barber Motorsports Park, supporting three of their cars.
I worked as the fuel catch-tray guy in the pits for a NASA enduro race at Road Atlanta as part of John Putnam and Jim Gorman’s team. My job was to ensure that not one drop of fuel landed on pit road as the fuel guy filled the car up. The fuel-handling standards of this sanctioning body are quite a bit more strict than NASCAR’s, where the car flings fuel all over when exiting the pit stall.
Another time, I helped on RBI Racing’s pit crew for a Trans Am race, also at Road Atlanta.
I met several prospective employers this way, and ultimately the strategy succeeded. While helping Mark Nunnally film a Penske Racing Shocks promotional video at Stewart-Haas Racing, I talked with a few SHR engineers who later connected me with the new crew chief at HScott Motorsports (then Phoenix Racing), a NASCAR Cup team I went on to work for.