Dollar General, Braun Racing develop one-of-a-kind internship to benefit VUSE Motorsports program

Braun Racing, a two-car operation in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and its sponsor, Dollar General Corporation, have announced a one-of-a-kind internship program with the motorsports program in the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University.

The internship program will not only allow engineering students the opportunity to learn side-by-side from experienced NASCAR engineers, mechanics and crew chiefs, but also provide them with equipment that they may not otherwise have access to.

In addition to a $10,000 donation to the School of Engineering, the internship program will include campus visits from Braun Racing team engineers, mechanics and crew chiefs in an effort to provide personal, hands-on training to the engineering students and faculty.  To give students a true-to-life learning experience, select students will have the opportunity to visit various NASCAR tracks with the Braun Racing team and assist crew members throughout the event weekend.

“Dollar General and Braun Racing’s support has given our team the backing needed to take our program to the next level.  Due to their generous donations of money, equipment, advice and experience, engineering students who participate in the Vanderbilt Motorsports program are learning more than ever,” said Cody Mayer, a senior in mechanical engineering and student president of Vanderbilt Motorsports.

“Additionally, the opportunities for hands-on experience with the Braun Racing team fuel our passion for motorsports by allowing us to see how a professional racing team works,” Mayer said.

Braun Racing will also donate equipment, such as a shock dyno, as it is replaced or upgraded in their facility and provide the training needed to operate such equipment. Together, Dollar General and Braun Racing will provide updated school-branded driving suits and safety equipment for the students to use in testing and competition.

Vanderbilt University School of Engineering Dean Kenneth F. Galloway said Dollar General has been a steadfast supporter of the school’s motorsports program. Dollar General’s corporate offices in Goodlettsville, Tenn. are located near the University in Nashville.

“The hands-on training by Braun Racing team professionals and access to unique equipment makes a terrific opportunity for our students. They are excited! We deeply appreciate the generosity of Dollar General and Braun Racing.”

Monty Bailey, Dollar General Motorsports Manager, finds it very rewarding to be a part of developing a first of its kind program that partners students who desire to work in the racing industry with highly skilled professionals, like those at Braun Racing, who are at the top of their sport.

“Earlier this year, Dollar General was approached by the School of Engineering to explore a partnership with their motorsports program.  Rather than just throw money at the program, we wanted to take it a step further and provide these students with real hands-on training and knowledge, something they not only desire but need.  I reached out to Braun Racing owner, Todd Braun, to brainstorm ways we could give them a true learning experience.  We came up with an internship program that we feel can be a great benefit to these students and their quest for a career in the motorsports and automotive industry.”

Todd Braun, owner of Braun Racing, is pleased to be able to play a part in providing these students with the type of hands on training that is hard to find and can ultimately help place them in jobs within the racing industry.

“To get the type of personal training that this internship is going to provide the engineering students at Vanderbilt University is invaluable.  Everyone at Braun Racing is very excited to be involved with this program and all look forward to working with the students when possible. Having talked to many of the members of the team, we unanimously agreed that this sort of training is something they all wish they had been able to take advantage of when they were working their way into the sport.”

The University’s motorsports program is one formed for student members of the Society of Automotive of Engineers (SAE) to compete in the Formula SAE competition.  The competition calls for students to conceive, design, fabricate and compete with small formula-style racing cars. The cars are built with a team effort over a period of about one year and are taken to the annual competition with approximately 120 other vehicles from colleges and universities throughout the world. Cars are judged on a series of static and dynamic events including technical inspection, cost, presentation, engineering design, and high-performance track endurance and handling.