Mechanical engineering student on the fast track in racing and engineering

Mandy Chick is on full throttle as a successful motorsports driver and pursuing a mechanical engineering degree from Rose-Hulman.

The 20-year-old Kansas native spent most of her youth and teenage years winning races behind the wheel of quarter midget, dirt-modified and semi-professional drivers. Now, Chick is gearing up to scrub bumpers in the Automobile Racing Club of America’s (ARCA) Menards Series, a professional stock car racing league billed as one of the Association’s “Top 4 Tiers.” National Stock Car Racing (NASCAR)”. Through this series, teams race at iconic tracks such as Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway Pocono Raceway and many more.

And the top-tier NASCAR Cup series could make an appearance in the future.

“I am excited and ready for this next step. A lot of things are moving forward for me – in the right direction,” remarks Chick. “It has been a long time coming, with a lot of hard work from so many people. I learned a lot along the way and now I’m ready for a new racing adventure. You learn by racing against the best.

His family racing team is currently looking to buy an ARCA car, engine and other components, while securing financial sponsors, in hopes of joining the ARCA series this summer – after completing the second year of his Rose studies. -Hulman.

“I’ve been doing this (racing) for most of my life. It’s what all those weekends of racing on the tracks in the Midwest have been built towards,” says Chick, a third-generation runner. inspired by her father Steve Chick Jr. and grandfather Steve Sr. while being supported by her mother Jennifer and many lifelong friends. .

At age 6, Mandy jumped into a quarter midget race car, did 10 laps of the track and exclaimed “When can we get one for me?” She was a quick learner, with a very competitive streak, and was soon regularly winning races at nearby tracks. In 2010, she was Kansas Regional Champion and Quarterback Midget and by the age of 13 progressed to earn multiple top-10 finishes in the Asphalt Pro Late Model Series. Later, she was named NASCAR Missouri Rookie of the Year. As a high school student, Mandy competed for the championship on the JEGS/Champion Racing Association All Stars Tour throughout the Midwest and hosted a few ARCA/CRA Super Series races, such as the famous Berlin 251. She fondly refers to her- even as “The fastest girl in town.

Along the way, with the encouragement of her father, Chick developed an interest in the technical side of racing and how an engineering degree could further enhance her racing career. She was one of a select group of incoming students selected in 2020 for the inaugural class of Noblitt Scholars, a program helping enterprising science, engineering and math students attend Rose-Hulman. The fact that the college has been the proving ground for students with similar interests in motorsports, like Indy Car/NASCAR Penske Racing team president Tim Cindric is a 1990 mechanical engineering alumnus .

“Racing is the reason I’m passionate about engineering. I went to [Rose-Hulman] to refocus and enjoy the sport better,” Chick said. “I’m fascinated by everything that goes into making a competitive race car. I want to know why things are designed the way they are and possibly how they could be designed better… I went to engineering school as a career substitute for racing but have now developed goals more important engineering.

Chick has taken courses such as introductory design, graphic communications, statics and mechanics of materials, fluids and mechanical systems to develop a variety of low cost, low heat 3D printed components for her. and other racing teams through his small business, Victory 23 Designs. This business opportunity also matches her interests in entrepreneurship and business. The Rose Squared program offers him the possibility of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management in four years.

Also, as if she needed more to do, Chick is preparing to spend part of this summer as an intern at Toyota Material Handling in Columbus, Indiana. She will have the chance to lead a project and wrap up the experience with a presentation to members of the company’s leadership team.

This is when she doesn’t spend time on the ARCA Menards Series track races.

“I like to keep busy and I’ve always been able to juggle a lot of things in my life, finding that happy balance that keeps everything in perspective. It makes things fun and interesting,” remarked Chick, who is involved on campus in the Delta Delta Delta sorority and the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers while also serving as the Office of Admissions tour guide for prospective students.” I am ambitious and Rose-Hulman helped me find where are my priorities and where my next adventure could lead.”

Later, she added, “I always want to be involved in racing. It provided me with the best and most fun opportunities of my life. Luckily, Rose-Hulman has added other aspects to what might be in store for me.

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Follow Mandy’s racing career at www.mandychick.com.