The page you are looking for is temporarily unavailable.
Please try again later

Sport Alba Colon brings a lot more than expertise to engineering role at Hendrick Motorsports

03:40  14 june  2018
03:40  14 june  2018 Source:

NASCAR America: Hendrick Motorsports still has ground to make up

  NASCAR America: Hendrick Motorsports still has ground to make up Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott were encouraged by their top-10 runs at Pocono, but the NASCAR America analysts want to see more from their performance.Kligerman puts some of the blame for the lack of performance during the first half of the regular season on the Optical Scanning Station.

This week, we got to know director of competition systems Alba Colon . Colon came to Hendrick Motorsports at the start of 2018 after more than two decades with General Motors , where she served as the NASCAR Cup Series program manager for Chevrolet since 2001.

Alba Colon joins Hendrick Motorsports in executive role . 142dBob Pockrass. • NASCAR writer for • 2009, 2013 NMPA Writer of the Year • More than 25 years experience covering motorsports .

a woman with pink hair taking a selfie: Alba Colon© (Getty Images) Alba Colon Alba Colon never fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming an astronaut — and probably won't.

In a career that took a dramatic turn when she was studying engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Colon spent 23 years at General Motors before signing on as director of competition systems at Hendrick Motorsports this year.

"I wanted to emulate Sally Ride, the first female U.S. astronaut," Colon acknowledged in an exclusive interview with the NASCAR Wire Service. "I wanted to be the first Puerto Rican astronaut and the first female Puerto Rican astronaut."

That desire got sidetracked when a professor enlisted her help with a solar car project, and her interest in vehicle engineering was sparked.

Three people fatally shot by Kansas City police within an hour, including woman who was 'walking around' with sword

  Three people fatally shot by Kansas City police within an hour, including woman who was 'walking around' with sword Kansas City police fatally shot three people in two incidents one hour apart on Thursday, including a woman who had been "walking around" with a sword. The woman was killed after she barricaded herself in a shed for hours, according to the Kansas City Star. Cops told the newspaper they were not sure she had the sword at the time she was shot.

Meet Alba Colon in this week's #MorningsWith. Engineering and technology are used to make our jobs more efficient and effective, in turn making our racecars at Hendrick Motorsports more successful.

MORE : How Alba Colon is giving back to her native Puerto Rico. MORE : Alba Colon on Episode 84 of the NASCAR on NBC Podcast. Hendrick Motorsports announced in June that it did not plan to fill Duchardt’s role and that his responsibilities would be divided among many individuals.

WATCH: William Byron gets airborne in bigcrash at Kansas

"I went to mechanical engineering school because I wanted to be an astronaut, but I fell in love with cars in the process," Colon said.

Born in Salamanca, Spain, Colon grew up in Puerto Rico and attended the Mayaguez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. The solar car project led to Colon's building and exhibiting Formula SAE cars — and that eventually led to a job at General Motors, where she rose through the ranks to manage Chevrolet's motorsports program.

Then came the chance to work for team owner Rick Hendrick.

"I had been with General Motors for 23 years, and everything was great," Colon said, "but this opportunity came to be, and it's one of those opportunities that's once-in-a-lifetime, working with a group that I had admired for many, many years — especially with an owner like Mr. Hendrick.

Women in academia experience sexual harassment at high rates, study says

  Women in academia experience sexual harassment at high rates, study says More than half of women working in higher education experience sexual harassment, according to a new study. The report, which focused on harassment in the science, engineering and biomedical disciplines, was written by a team from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine led by Paula A. Johnson, president of Wellesley College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Sheila E. Widnall.

Hendrick Motorsports hires pioneering engineer Alba Colon to oversee competition. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs.

Hendrick Motorsports has hired veteran engineer Alba Colon to oversee its competition systems group. Colon is expected to help to improve the team’s simulation programs, at-track research and development and much more .

"They're in a stage where they're trying to make some changes, and, like I said, the opportunity came to be, and it's one of those things that may only come once in a lifetime. So you need to jump at great opportunities when you have them in front of you."

Hendrick felt the same way about his new director of competition systems, and so did the rest of the organization.

"She's just such a terrific person, a smart engineer," Hendrick said. "She has her ear to the ground. In life, and especially in engineering, you have some super smart people, but they don't know how to communicate. They are smart, but they don't know how to talk to each other.

"Alba can pull that out of anybody. She is so good at communication with the people. She's got all that experience from GM, but she's worked with our teams, so she can connect the aero and the engineers, and she can float between all of those people.

"I can't tell you how happy I am that she's part of the company, because she is so talented and so smart. Everybody respects her. When we mentioned her name, everybody said, ‘Man, if you can get Alba…'"

Google to invest $550 million in Alibaba rival

  Google to invest $550 million in Alibaba rival Google says it will invest $550 million in Alibaba's main rival as the U.S. tech giant seeks to expand in fast-growing Asian e-commerce markets. Under the partnership, products will appear on Google's shopping service, giving access to consumers outside Asia, while Google can apply the Chinese e-commerce company's supply chain and logistics expertise to its technology.

Daniel Shirey | Getty Images. Alba Colon joins Hendrick Motorsports to oversee team’s competition systems group. Hendrick Motorsports indicated that Colon will start her role later in the month. She initially was hired in 1994 as a data acquisition engineer in charge of NASCAR and ASA

MORE : Alba Colon on Episode 84 of the NASCAR on NBC Podcast. Colon had been with GM since 1994, joining as a data acquisition engineer for Hendrick Motorsports announced in June that it did not plan to fill Duchardt’s role and that his responsibilities would be divided among many individuals.

Moving from Michigan to North Carolina was more of a culture shock than Colon thought it would be. The corporate culture was different as well.

"It's a complete cultural change in terms of companies," she said. "I come from a company that has 200,000 employees to a company that's way, way smaller than that (500-plus employees).

"So, of course, it's a cultural shock. It's a different experience, a different climate, a different everything. I almost felt like I did when I left Puerto Rico and came to Michigan. It's like I'm leaving everything again 23 years later."

It's also a different side of the competitive equation. Once tasked with helping all Chevrolet teams, Colon is now focused on preserving the preeminence of Hendrick Motorsports, which won 12 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships during her tenure with General Motors.

Colon's charges now include the teams of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender William Byron.

"Honestly, now I'm working with four teams, where in the past, I was working with many, many organizations," Colon said. "I need to concentrate on four specific teams, drivers, crew chiefs and so on, instead of working with many, like I did in the past. So that has been the biggest change for me."

NBC set to experiment with their NASCAR booth setup in order to accommodate Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  NBC set to experiment with their NASCAR booth setup in order to accommodate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Newly retired and new father Dale Earnhardt Jr. is coming to NBC this summer. Before NBC takes over the NASCAR schedule from Fox on July 1, they have had Dale Jr. working their big events such as the Super Bowl, Winter Olympics and Stanley Cup Final along with weekly appearances on NBC’s studio show NASCAR America.Less than a month away, Earnhardt is set to factor into NBC’s NASCAR broadcasts and that likely means putting him in the booth as an analyst.

Many Sides of Hendrick Motorsports : Ron Malec. 7 hours ago. Meet Alba Colon in this week's #MorningsWith. May 23, 2018. Hendrick History: Win No. 1 for Gordon. From the cowl induction to the deck fin, each part plays its own role and is crucial to the success of race teams.

Hendrick Motorsports hires accomplished engineer Alba Colon Alba Colon , often credited for the success of the NASCAR program at She was huge in the wheel force program and supporting me in getting that role and the role in driving the simulator. She’s one of the key people in my career.

Colon came to Hendrick Motorsports during a time of change within the sport, too. NASCAR introduced new vehicle inspection technology this year — the Optical Scanning Station — and Chevrolet introduced a new race car, the Camaro ZL1.

From a performance standpoint, there have been some growing pains with the new entry.

"Like any other car, when you have a new vehicle, you take some time trying to learn about it," Colon said. "We learn something new every day, and that's the beauty of what we're doing, just learning and getting better every day.

"There are many new rules and a brand new car, and sometimes it takes a bit longer than expected. But, trust me, we're working hard every day to make our cars better and better."

Colon may have wanted to become the first female astronaut from Puerto Rico, but she's certainly not the first female engineer to achieve an important role in stock car racing. In fact, Colon works side-by-side with Diane Holl, Hendrick's vehicle engineering director.

"I truly admire her, and I've worked with her for many years," Colon said. "She's the director of vehicle engineering, more so on the aero side, and she's doing a really great job.

"I knew about her, so it's been a pleasure to work with her here. And we have many other females here in the company that maybe aren't known to people out there."

Colon has visited family in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and she met with students from her alma mater. Her involvement with the students runs deep.

"For any young aspiring engineer, this took a lot of education, and this took a lot of work to get here," Colon said. "I'm blessed to be where I am, and I want to help others to get where I am today."

And to get there with no regrets — even if it means giving up the dream of flying into outer space.

Reid Spencer writes for the NASCAR Wire Service.

Gina Rodriguez is using Emmy money to send an undocumented student to college .
Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez is breaking from unwritten Emmys tradition this year to make a difference in the life of one young woman. The 2018 Emmy nominations will be announced in July and, as such, major TV networks and studios have been doling out massive amounts of money over the past few months to bankroll FYC campaigns for their submitted actors, creators, and shows. It’s an expensive undertaking, and often an unsuccessful one. And so this year, Rodriguez has convinced The CW to do something a little different: putting her chunk of the FYC spend toward a college scholarship for an undocumented high school student.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!