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2021 Respect Is Learned In The Pits Contest Launched

Technician.Academy has announced its continued partnership with Randy Meyer Racing (RMR) and is offering automotive students another opportunity to work as interns alongside the drag racing team. 2021 marks the fifth consecutive year that Technician.Academy and RMR have put on the Respect is Learned In The Pits contest, an initiative that gives college students hands-on experience in the pits at the largest drag racing event in the world, the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

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“The track record of this program is second-to-none,” said Technician.Academy Founder, Shawn Collins. “The partnership we have with Randy Meyer Racing provides a record-setting championship experience for our interns. The hands-on expertise, coaching, and knowledge transfer they receive from this program are life-changing. We’re looking forward to meeting our next generation of interns at the Big Go and seeing what Respect is Learned in the Pits 2021 has to offer.”

“We are very excited for a new round of students to apply for the chance to join our crew. This is such a great chance to learn new skills outside of the classroom and to boost their resume for when they’re looking for a job in the automotive field after they graduate,” said Megan Meyer, former Randy Meyer Racing driver and 2-time World Champion. “We’re happy to host this experience for them, and we trust that the winners of the internship contest will be ones that are eager to learn something new, can listen and retain information quickly, and appreciate teamwork.”

Not only are these young technicians able to get their hands dirty in the pits, learning the ins and outs of dragster maintenance, but they are also privileged with starting line access when it is RMR’s turn to race. This exclusive access gives them a behind-the-scenes glimpse of all aspects of the sport.

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One of the previous contest winners, Joe Martino, gave some insight into his experience at the event:

“I went down in Indy expecting to watch the crew work on the car, ask questions, and watch some racing, but what I got was so much more. When I first got to the pits I was introduced to the team. After we got acquainted, they asked about my experience and knowledge. Then they put me to work rebuilding the engine. I got to do everything from taking the heads off to replace the bearings in the bottom end. The more I could accomplish, the more tasks I was given. During the racing, I was given a job on the starting line of checking the wheelie bar height. During the day there was always work to do on the car, and at night I heard some of the stories of previous races and in-depth detail of how the car functioned mechanically. I was lucky enough to be invited back to help the team the following year with 4 other races,” said Joe Martino, 2018 Respect is Learned In The Pits Winner.

At both the 2019 and 2020 U.S. Nationals, RMR driver Megan Meyer rose to the top, landing in the winner’s circle. The Respect is Learned In The Pits contest winners from those two years experienced the entire ride, gaining once-in-a-lifetime memories very few can tout. The 2020 interns even witnessed two record-breaking runs, where Megan Meyer made the first 5.0-second pass in class history during the first round of eliminations and later beat her own record.

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At the end of the 2020 season, Megan Meyer retired. Her sister, Rachel Meyer, has taken her place as the main RMR driver in 2021 with Julie Nataas as the team’s other driver.

Megan Meyer said, “I’m going to miss the opportunity to defend my title this year, but I am happy with my decision to step away from the seat to start a family. I know that Rachel will do as good of a job, if not better than I did behind the wheel of my dragster this year with Julie also competing. I know that they will both give it their all to win the biggest drag race of the year.”

RMR will welcome two student interns to their team to work alongside the crew at the 2021 U.S. Nationals on September 2-5. Automotive students are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity. The application period is now open and will close on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Learn more and apply today.

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