Ally and Hendrick Motorsports recently brought 50 Charlotte-area high school students to the Hendrick Motorsports campus to learn more about exciting career opportunities in motorsports and NASCAR.
The annual event, called Fueling Futures, is one of the programs Ally supports with the goal of fostering economic mobility by providing information, resources and inspiration to young people. The event included a full day of hands-on sessions for the students led by well-known professionals, executives and athletes, where they learned about financial literacy, marketing, communications, engineering and continuing education. They also embarked upon a campus tour where one of the highlights was a stop at the “pit pad” where students were able to see pit crew in action.
Exploring Job Paths and Opportunities
The third annual Fueling Futures program kicked off with former NFL safety, Bernard Pollard. He led a discussion on different careers in motorsports with a panel of professionals, including Hendrick’s Director of Competition Services, Alba Colon and Pit Crew Manager, Evan Kureczka. The panelists spoke with the students about their specific jobs, the path that got them to their current position and the advice they had for those seeking the same profession. As each speaker shared their unique fingerprint on the race day excitement, students sat up a little taller and leaned in a little farther. And they learned that the racing business is supported by engineers, marketers, project managers and hundreds of other people in different types of jobs.
Pollard and panelists discuss career opportunities at NASCAR
Following the panel discussion, students had the opportunity to tour Hendrick’s facilities. The tour included a stop at their private manufacturing and testing facility where one West Mecklenburg student exclaimed, “Even If you’re not a car person, this is so cool!” The students also stopped at the pit pad for pit crew practice where they cheered on the crew as they changed tires and added fuel in under 12 seconds.
Students from Charlotte area schools tour Hendrick Motorsports.
Fostering Financial Empowerment and Career Inspiration
Aligned with its mission to help people better understand financial concepts and improve economic mobility, Ally hosted a Money Matters session. The session covered financial basics like budgeting, planning and understanding credit aimed at encouraging good financial habits for the future.
The financial session was followed by a candid interview between Pollard and the driver of the No. 48 Ally machine, Alex Bowman. Bowman highlighted the importance of school, but also the importance of learning and trying. He took time to speak to the importance of every person on the team in getting the No. 48 car to success and told personal stories of his career highs and lows. The overall message from the racecar driver that almost quit on his dream months before landing the driver’s seat for Hendrick was, “Never give up.”
NASCAR driver, Alex Bowman, encourages students to “Never Give Up”