Two Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) students have been selected for an internship with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR), one of the premier teams in professional auto racing, following a competitive online application and interview process this summer. DMACC is partnering with CGR and Iowa Speedway on the new internship program, which is available exclusively to DMACC Automotive students and alumni.
Ryan Baker and Ben Bollinger will each spend two months at CGR Headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., where they will have the opportunity to work on current NTT IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship racecars alongside professional racing industry technicians. To date, CGR teams have notched 19 championships and more than 200 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s.
“We originally planned to select one intern, but the pool of applicants was very strong,” said Mike Hull, Managing Director for CGR. “After spending time with the finalists, our team members decided to offer an internship to more than one DMACC Automotive student this year. We’re excited that we were able to make that happen, and we’re looking forward to welcoming both Ryan and Ben to the Chip Ganassi Racing Shop in Indianapolis – and putting them to work!”
Both students were selected from a group of four finalists who completed in-person interviews and spent time with the CGR team during the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 race weekend held in July at Iowa Speedway.
Baker, 22, of West Des Moines, earned his AAS degree from DMACC in 2017 after completing the GM ASEP Program. He is interning at CGR this fall during the 2019 racing season.
“This opportunity means the world to me,” said Baker, who currently works as an auto technician at Bob Brown Chevrolet in Urbandale. “My long-term career goal is to work in motorsports, and this internship will help me build more experience. I can’t thank DMACC, as well as my past teachers at (West Des Moines) Valley High School and (Des Moines) Central Campus, enough for providing me with a great education and preparing me for the future. I’d also like to thank my employers at Bob Brown Chevrolet for encouraging me and for allowing me to take advantage of this great opportunity.”
Bollinger, 21, of West Des Moines, is a current DMACC Automotive student in the Ford ASSET program. He recently completed the DMACC Diesel Technology (AAS) program as well. Bollinger will graduate from DMACC in Spring 2020, and complete his internship at CGR next summer during the 2020 racing season.
“I’m extremely thankful to DMACC, Chip Ganassi Racing and Iowa Speedway for making this internship a real opportunity for students here at DMACC – including me,” Bollinger said. “I’m honored to be chosen and excited to learn everything I can through this experience.”
Jerry Burns, DMACC Automotive Service Education Program (ASEP) and Automotive Technology Chairperson and Professor, said the internship is a unique opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in the highly competitive world of professional auto racing.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for both Ryan and Ben to gain invaluable experience in professional racing,” Burns said. “We’re looking forward to seeing how their skills progress as they both work toward their goal of working in the racing industry.”
To learn more about the Chip Ganassi Racing internship program with DMACC, please visit https://racing.dmacc.edu.