DSR welcomes Western Technical College students on the 2021 NHRA tour
Don Schumacher Racing allows students to try out not only what it's like to work on a nitro car, but what the lifestyle is like as well
For many years it's been known that one of the best ways to get into the world of professional drag racing and the Camping World NHRA Drag Racing Series is through technical school. More specifically Western Technical College and in 2021, they have kept that tradition going.
During the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway there were four new faces in the Don Schumacher Racing pits as DSR kicked off it's eighth year of hosting Western Technical College interns.
DSR's first group of 2021 interns, from left to right, Justin Miles, Sarah Arenivar, Thomas Brown, Jesus Gomez
Since 2013 DSR has welcome Western Tech students into the pits to give them a hands work experience and show them what it's like to work in the world of professional motorsports. These students are given the very unique opportunity to prepare the fastest accelerating machines on earth for competition and turn wrenches with championship winning crews.
In addition to the Atlanta race, the current class of DSR interns will be on site for this weekend's NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and the Mopar Express Lane Spring Nationals Presented by Pennzoil. Throughout the 2021 NHRA season, DSR will host a total of 20 interns, five groups of four. This alliance not only allows the students to benefit from the hands on experience which may help them in deciding if a career in professional motorsports is for them, but it gives the DSR nitro teams an extra set of hands during the busy race weekends. Many of the DSR hosted Western Tech interns have gone on to work in professional motorsports, including Cylinder Head Specialist on Leah Pruett's Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster, Josh Munoz.
Josh Munoz, cylinder head specialist on Leah Pruett's Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
Josh became a full time mechanic on the NHRA tour upon his graduation from Western Tech and had this to say about his experience, "I was an intern on Leah's car in 2019, and I can say with certainty that the hands on training I received during the three race program prepared me for what I do out here now as a permanent member of the team. It wasn't just about the actual training, but I got to experience what it was like to actually live this lifestyle where you travel all of the time, so I knew what to expect and all that comes with working a career in motorsports. It's more than just working on a car."
The partnership between Western Tech and Don Schumacher Racing goes back to 2009 when Matco Tools/Toyota Top Fuel Dragster pilot Antron Brown visited the El Paso, Texas campus during their annual Motorsports Day. The relationship grew from there and developed into an internship program in 2013 and in 2014 Western Technical College was named 'The Official Technical College of Don Schumacher Racing.'
Jack Werner, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Western Tech had this to say about the partnership, "We're excited to continue and grow the partnership between DSR and Western Technical College in 2021. As we enter another year with the DSR Internship Program, we look forward to providing DSR with many quality entry level technicians that ultimately can become members of a professional race team. The training and experience our students receive from taking part in the DSR internship can't be duplicated anywhere else in the world. It is truly a remarkable experience for our students."
In order to be selected for the DSR/Western Tech internship program, Western Tech students must possess excellent grades and have a strong attendance record. Additionally they must write a letter detailing why they should be considered for the position and undergo an in person interview. Aspiring mechanics interested in pursuing education at Western Tech should visit www.westerntech.edu.