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Rios and Rapp complete Fastenal NASCAR internship with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Technical college graduates Tyler Rapp and Kari Rios completed a once-in-a-lifetime internship opportunity in November, 2008 working alongside the No. 40 Fastenal NASCAR Nationwide Series crew and Juan Pablo Montoya at Texas Motor Speedway during the team's top-15 finish. It was the perfect wrap-up to a week of learning at the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) race shop in Concord, N.C.

Fastenal selected Rios and Rapp based on their academic records and personal essays following a nationwide application process targeting automotive -trade students. Rios is a recent graduate from the University of Northwestern Ohio, where she majored in automotive high performance and worked with a local ARCA RE/MAX Series crew on the side. She's currently employed as a transmission builder and spends her weekends working on dirt-modified cars. Rapp, a recent graduate from North Dakota State College of Science, was an automotive technology major who began the Motorsports Vehicle Technology program at Lanier Tech in Georgia this January.


As part of the internship, each was allowed to invite a former instructor to Texas to watch the race, with travel, accommodations, and tickets provided by Fastenal and internship co-sponsor ASE (The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence). "It was the experience of a lifetime for me as an instructor," said Paul Mosey who taught Rapp at North Dakota State College of Science. "I want to again thank Fastenal and the whole Ganassi team for this great opportunity."

For Rios and Rapp, the internship kicked off with a private lunch with Fastenal drivers Bryan Clauson and Kevin Hamlin along with Fastenal Crew Chief Brad Parrott. From there, they were put to work in the team's various 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, 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 learned how to carry and change tires like the pros. Before they left the shop, both had a hand in setting up the No.40 Fastenal Dodge for its 16th place finish the following weekend at Phoenix International Raceway in the Hefty Odor Block 200.

The two then flew privately with team members to Texas to work with the Fastenal crew at Texas Motor Speedway, getting the No.40 blue and white Dodge ready to take the green Saturday afternoon. During the race, both were in the pits supporting the crew 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.

"I took away first-hand knowledge of how a team is organized and how they operate," said Rapp. "It was also a chance to find out what they look for in employees at this level, and see what it takes to work in the racing industry."

"I had the time of my life there," added Rios. "I can't thank everyone at Fastenal enough for allowing me the experience. Hopefully it can take me to the next step in my racing career."

Fastenal Scholarship Program Fastenal is a proud supporter of the technical education market and is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity to its qualified education accounts.*

* At the end of the school's fiscal year a 2% rebate will be awarded by way of a scholarship.

* At the school's discretion, the rebate may be divided into multiple scholarships to award to the student(s) of the school's choosing. The student(s) must be enrolled in one of the school's industrial technology programs.

* The rebate is based on the account's total tools, parts, and supplies purchased by the school instructors, students, and administrative and/or maintenance personnel.

* A Fastenal representative will present the scholarship check to the chosen student(s). (*)

About Fastenal Company

Since 1967 Fastenal Company [NASDAQ: FAST] has grown from a small-town fastener store into North America's largest fastener distributor and one of the world's fastest growing full-line industrial suppliers. Each of Fastenal's 2,300+ stores is a full-service, one-stop industrial supply source--100% focused on meeting local customers' needs, backed by our global distribution strength. This store-based service model enables Fastenal stores to tailor inventory to anticipate local demand, manage customers' inventory to lower their total cost of ownership, and provide personal, flexible service that's recognized as the industry standard. To learn more about Fastenal's people, products and services, visit




(*) An account and program agreement with Fastenal is necessary to qualify for this program. It is offered to both secondary and postsecondary technical schools. The program is based on a minimum $50,000 spent with Fastenal during the school's fiscal year. Sales must be tracked through the account to qualify.
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Title Annotation:Technical college graduates Tyler Rapp and Kari Rios
Publication:ATEA Journal
Date:Mar 22, 2009
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