CONCORD, N.C. -- Becoming a professional race car driver is a dream for many, but not everyone makes it to the Cup Series. For one Hendrick Motorsports teammate, he made his dream come true in a different way.
In this week’s edition of Fueling Futures, meet Nick Jobes. A certified public accountant who works as a tax supervisor by day, Jobes is an eNASCAR Heat Pro League Series driver for Hendrick Motorsports Gaming Club by night.
Here we explore the ins and outs of what it takes to work in motor sports as we dive into our new series, “Fueling Futures.” An initiative started by Hendrick Motorsports’ partner Ally, “Fueling Futures” was created in 2019 to help middle and high school aged students learn about careers they might not realize are available.
Hendrick Motorsports: What do you do as a tax supervisor?
Nick Jobes: As a tax supervisor, my main role is to oversee our tax department, specifically on the business side of things for our small- to mid-size businesses. I manage our engagements with our clients, whether that’s getting the tax returns filed or going over their monthly or quarterly financial statements with them, getting them information that they need to go get a loan from a bank is something that’s very important for our clients. Most of them aren’t financially savvy, so typically they rely on their accountant to reach out to the bankers and get them the information that they need.
HM: How did your experience lead you to Hendrick Motorsports?
NJ: In high school, I was naturally good at math. It came easy to me and my mom always said, ‘You’re good at math, you should be an accountant.’ That’s how I ended up going to college, was to be an accountant. It did come naturally and I was lucky enough straight out of school to get a job at an accounting firm, which I worked at for five years. Then I transitioned to the job that I have now, which I have been in for three years. I have slowly progressed my way up the rankings and I’ve loved every second of it. I love the people I work with, I love the clients I get to work with, so it’s awesome.
Growing up, I did play video games, as well. NASCAR’s a very expensive sport and I wasn’t fortunate enough to get in a race car, so that was the outlet - to play video games. Growing up, every kid wants to get paid to play video games and I saw this opportunity and this league grow and I jumped into it. I was lucky enough to get drafted by Hendrick Motorsports and lucky enough to have Ally hop on board.
HM: How did you become a CPA?
NJ: To obtain your CPA license, you need 150 credits. With most colleges, you’ll graduate with 128 or 132. The purpose of the 150 is to try to get you to go back and get your master’s, but most four-year degrees will give you enough accounting credits where you can get those other 22 or 18 credits in anything you want. I wish I could have gone back and got my master’s and I think that’s really what it’s meant for. I went back after I graduated and I went to a local community college. I took classes that interested me like sports officiating or something I could do at night. There was online school, so I was able to obtain the credits. Then you need two years’ experience and afterward you have to pass all four parts of the exam.
HM: What are the skills someone would need to excel in your role?
NJ: To excel in my role, there are a few categories I could fit in here. One, you would have to have analytical skills and problem-solving skills. Dealing with a lot of different clients and their financial statements, you have to be able to understand what they are looking at and articulate that to them and be able to communicate effectively, too. A lot of your clients aren’t going to be financially savvy or really understand the accounting side of things. If they go ask me to build a house, I wouldn’t even know where to start, so you have to be able to relate it to something in their lives and just being able to articulate that has a big role to try to understand that to the clients.
HM: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into being an accountant or a professional eNASCAR driver?
NJ: My biggest advice from the accounting end would be to reach out to local CPA firms and try to get an internship. Our firm has multiple interns in the high school and college levels who come in every year and get to learn. I think the on-hand experience is more valuable than anything. It’s the experience that really taught me everything. You’re going to gain so much from that.
Some advice I would give if you are looking to get into getting paid to play video games or getting into the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Series would be to keep pursuing your dreams, never give up and put everything you got into it. You know, give 110%, no matter what it is. And if you just continue to give it your all, you’ll get there.
HM: What is your favorite part of your day job and racing in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Series?
NJ: My favorite part of being an accountant would be all the clients I visit and getting to see the books and what is underneath that. Going into a store and knowing what it costs to produce that product and also buy it, that fascinates me. We have such a vast clientele all around the board, whether it’s retail stores or fast food restaurants, and it’s pretty cool to get under the numbers and see everything.
My favorite part about racing in the eNASCAR Heat Pro League Series is being part of a team, especially Hendrick Motorsports Gaming Club. Growing up a Jeff Gordon fan, I couldn’t have asked to be on a better team. Just to be able to find my way into the NASCAR realm has been amazing and I have loved every second of it.