CONCORD, N.C. – Wednesday on the Hendrick Motorsports campus, Jimmie Johnson joined his partner Ally Financial to help introduce students to many of the career paths available in motor sports. And the teens learned some money basics along the way.
The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion was joined by many other Hendrick Motorsports team members as they talked local high school students through a wide range of topics including engineering, marketing, automotive tech, computer science and even personal finance.
It was all part of Ally Fueling Futures, a program the No. 48 team partner kicked off earlier this year at Michigan International Speedway.
This time around, students toured the Hendrick Motorsports campus while making “pit stops” at different departments where a professional would educate them on their career. Whether it was seeing live pit stops by the No. 48 pit crew or visiting the Hendrick Motorsports video studio and even spending time with Johnson himself while learning about in-car safety and what it’s like to be a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, the day was full of information and important takeaways for the teens.
“I’m really excited to be involved in the program,” Johnson said of Ally Fueling Futures. “Ally does so much for communities, and to see their focus on financial responsibility and to focus on the youth and starting young is so important. To use our assets here at Hendrick Motorsports and show these kids where a career path could lead – within Hendrick Motorsports there’s so many avenues to pursue, and so much to see here.”
After walking through the engine shop, one of the featured “pit stops” of the day was led by Hendrick Motorsports director of competition systems Alba Colon. Colon came to the organization at the start of 2018 after more than two decades with General Motors, where she served as the NASCAR Cup Series program manager for Chevrolet since 2001. With years of experience under her belt, Colon shared her advice to the high school seniors while giving insight on her successful career.
“To be able to show them that they have more opportunities, that with education, not only staying in high school but far beyond high school and going to college, it can give them an opportunity to open doors and see things they never thought about,” Colon said. “Every time I get an opportunity to talk to students and show them that there is more than what you think, it’s really fantastic.”
After the students finished their tour and educational “pit stops” they had the opportunity to have a question-and-answer session with the No. 48 pit crew along with Johnson, followed by a few photo ops with the driver and his No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
At the end of the day, the students headed home with a new understanding of the operations of a race team and how to grow themselves professionally and personally.