Rios and Rapp Complete NASCAR Internship with Flying Colors
CONCORD, N.C. (November 4, 2008) – Tyler Rapp and Kari Rios completed their NASCAR internships over the weekend, working alongside the No.40 Fastenal NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) crew and Juan Pablo Montoya Friday and Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Both Rapp and Rios began their week-long learning experience early last week at the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) race shop in Concord, N.C., and then wrapped it all up with a top-15 finish in Saturday’s NNS race at TMS.
Rapp and Rios arrived to the shop on Monday and were immediately treated to a private lunch with Fastenal drivers Bryan Clauson and Kevin Hamlin, along with Fastenal Crew Chief Brad Parrott. During the lunch, Rapp and Rios picked the Fastenal drivers’ brains about how each began his racing career and what have been some of the highlights thus far in their careers.
From there, the interns were put to work, each spending a significant amount of time visiting with each of the team’s departments, observing and working alongside CGRFS team members. They helped build shocks and grind gears. They tore down the past weekend’s race cars and tuned the motors on the engine dyno.
Rios, being a transmission builder, and Rapp, who has a strong interest in learning how to build rear-end housing, both spent a good amount of time with the Sub-Assembly Department. They also observed the CGRFS pit crew practice and then had the chance to learn how to carry and change tires themselves.
Before they left the shop, both had a hand in setting up the No.40 Fastenal Dodge that will race this upcoming weekend at Phoenix International Raceway in the Hefty Odor Block 200.
Come Thursday, Rapp and Rios flew privately with team members to Texas to work with the Fastenal crew at TMS, getting the No.40 blue and white Dodge ready to take the green Saturday afternoon. Come race time, both were in the pits being part of the teamwork that helped Montoya wheel his way to a 15th-place finish.
At the conclusion of their week-long experience, their shirts were oil stained, their fingernails were filled with grease and they both had huge smiles on their faces. It was a win-win situation for all involved.
Fastenal selected both Rios and Rapp based on their academic records and personal essays, following a nationwide application process targeting automotive trade students.
Rios a recent graduate from the University of Northwestern Ohio, was an automotive high performance major and worked with a local ARCA RE/MAX Series crew on the side. She is currently employed as a transmission builder through the week, and then works on dirt-modified cars on the weekends.
Rapp a recent graduate from North Dakota State College of Science, was an automotive technology major and will begin the Motorsports Vehicle Technology program at Lanier Tech in Georgia this upcoming January.