NASCAR race

Engineering grad helps build winning race cars

by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer


Gordon Austin dreamed of working with race cars since the sixth grade, but it wasn’t until his freshman year at Cedarville University that he realized his dream could become reality. Austin, a 2016 Cedarville mechanical engineering graduate, is an electrical engineer at Richard Childress Racing (RCR).

RCR is home to drivers like Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman and its namesake, Richard Childress. RCR currently fields three teams in the NASCAR Cup Series and five teams in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. RCR has accumulated 17 championships and more than 200 victories across NASCAR’s top three series, including two Daytona 500 wins and three Brickyard 400 victories. 

RCR is also home to ECR Engines, a subsidiary company that provides RCR race cars with high-performance engines. ECR uses advanced technologies that have resulted in more than 250 victories. 

While attending Cedarville, Austin interned at other racing companies, including Action Express Racing and ECR. During these internships, he also worked with the NASCAR XFINITY series. After graduation, both Roush Fenway Racing and RCR offered Austin employment.

“One of the coolest experiences I’ve had was when we won the race in Phoenix in March,” said Austin. “I designed parts on that race car, and it verified for me that I am a race car engineer.”

“Cedarville prepared me for my job by teaching me to always know my numbers,” said Austin. “Whether it’s weight or how much power is consumed, numbers are important. I also worked on the boat team, which was incredibly applicable to my job today. The technology on a boat is similar to a race car, so the experience was beneficial.” 

RCR is based in Welcome, North Carolina, near where Austin resides. For him, working on electronics and systems integration on race cars, making them more reliable and fast, is a dream come true. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.