Joining a Dream Team

Some of us dream of driving racecars on the Winston Cup circuit; others dream of turning wrenches that will allow others to get the glory of winning races. For the latter group, the NASCAR Technical Institute represents a unique opportunity to learn what top mechanics already know about keeping cars together while traveling at 200 mph.

The school offers students two programs: a 57-week Automotive/NASCAR technology track and a 69-week Automotive/NASCAR/Ford FACT (Ford Accelerated Credential Training) track. For the first program, which costs $24,350, students will attend 39 weeks of traditional automotive service technology training and 18 weeks of NASCAR-specific training. The Crew Chief Club, an advisory board comprised of NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chiefs, is assisting in developing the NASCAR portion of the coursework. For the 69-week program, which costs $29,100, students will go through the 57-week training, plus 12 weeks of the Ford FACT program.

Coursework includes engine construction, electrical, fuel and lubrication systems, drive trains, body and chassis fabrication, and racing theory principles. Students will also learn the history and rules and regulations of NASCAR, as well as the teamwork needed in today's automotive and racing industries.

"This is a chance of a lifetime for students," said Dennis Hendrix, school director of the NASCAR Technical Institute. "Thanks to UTI, NASCAR, NASCAR licensees, industry sponsors, and many others, we are able to provide students with a modern facility, the latest equipment and training aids, instructors direct from the industry, additional scholarship support and an exciting environment to learn in."

While the school might not boast a great football team or beautiful co-eds, its 146,000-square-foot facility, located on 19 acres, houses more than 45 classrooms, over 49,000 square feet of hands-on shop training areas, various labs and dynamometers, and two automobile manufacturers' custom training programs. There also is a 50,000-square-foot expansion area for future development, so that football stadium might appear if the alums consider it important.

The school offers co-operative education and internship programs within the automotive industry, as well as race teams. This will enable students to develop more hands-on experience, while allowing the automotive industry and NASCAR teams to evaluate and recruit. Scholarships also are available, with the Dodge Motorsports Diversity Scholarship Program offering 10 annual scholarships, including full tuition and board. UPS Racing Technical Edge Scholarships will provide $80,000 in financial assistance to qualified minority applicants.

For admissions or more information about the NASCAR Technical Institute, call toll-free (866) 31-NASCAR or visit the Universal Technical Institute Web site.