By David Starr, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Race carMy love for racing started at a very young age. My dad was a mechanic for a race team, and he would take me to the race track every Saturday night while he worked. I loved every minute of it, and it didn’t take me long to realize that racing was the only career for me. Growing up, my father taught me that I needed skills to be successful in life, no matter what path I took. With the passion I had for racing and automobiles, along with struggling through high school, my parents had a pretty good idea that college would not be in my future. My desire to start a racing career and build my first race car meant that I needed the skills and knowledge of how an automobile worked. My father owned and operated a transmission shop. He taught me the mechanics of automobiles and the skills to build a race car from the ground up. In addition to learning from my father, I enrolled in Auto Tech, a career and technical education (CTE) program that my high school offered. Throughout the program I received hands-on training and gained technical skills along with the knowledge and understanding of the automotive field. The CTE program helped lay a solid foundation for my career goals and connect what I learned to the real world. After completing the CTE program, I had the necessary skills to get a job, and I went to work at my father’s shop full time. The job enabled me to raise money to pursue my dream of auto racing, and it was flexible, so I had time to race. I would work and make enough money to go racing; then, when I ran out of cash, I was back at the shop working. To this day, my automotive dexterity gives me a competitive edge and advantage in my career. I can effectively communicate with my team because I understand how my race car functions. This, in turn, allows us to improve our car and become more successful and competitive on the track. I’m proud to say that I wouldn’t be where I am today – living my childhood dream as a professional NASCAR driver – if it were not for my high school CTE program. CTE programs are great resources for students looking to develop the skills to be successful in a wide variety of career choices. From construction to NASCAR, CTE has it all! BYF_logo_finalCheck out David Starr and the #44 NCCER/Build Your Future (BYF) race team this Saturday, Nov. 1, at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway! Leading up to the race, BYF co-hosted the Dallas Career Day on Wednesday, Oct. 29 and introduced construction career opportunities to more than 1,000 students.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.