Junior 1 of 3 selected nationally for 2023 Women in Motorsports initiative

Published: Mar 21, 2023 2:00 PM

By Joe McAdory

How does an IndyCar race team function on a day-to-day basis? What does a race weekend look like in the shops, in the garages and in the minds of team members? Raegen Moody, a junior in mechanical engineering, will find out this summer.

Moody is one of three chosen for the 2023 Women in Motorsports (powered by PNC Bank) initiative with Chip Ganassi Racing. This isn’t just any internship with just any NTT IndyCar Series team. A powerhouse in open-wheel motorsports, Ganassi Racing fields cars used by defending Indianapolis 500 champion Marcus Ericsson, six-time series champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, 2021 series champion Alex Palou, and two-time Indianapolis 500 Takuma Sato, among others.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to learn from team members within this organization,” said Moody, a Cedartown, Ga., native. “I can’t wait to learn from the other women coming into this program with me and from the incredible women mentors at Ganassi Racing. I grew up playing competitive sports. This is a chance to combine my engineering skills with that competitive spirit as part of a team.”

For two months at the Ganassi Racing headquarters in Indianapolis, Moody will be joined by Hailey Hein from Northern Arizona University and Nichole Goodman from Indiana University.

PNC Bank’s Women in Motorsports initiative was launched in 2022 to help drive awareness and support gender equality and economic inclusion for women in the workforce. It aims to provide more women with opportunities in traditionally male-dominated careers in the field of motorsports. 

“We’re extremely proud to continue making steps toward gender equality in our sport,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “It is vital that we maintain a welcoming environment where every individual has an equal opportunity to make an impactful contribution toward reaching our goals.”

For Moody, who serves as director of competition for the Auburn iRacing team, she hopes two months with Ganassi Racing will serve as a springboard toward a career in the industry.

“I would love to be a part of a race team, or part of a road crew, where you're actually at the track on a given weekend paired with a car,” said Moody, who hopes to travel with the team to select races this summer, including possible stops at Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Iowa Speedway. “It's important to have good engineers in the shop, because it makes the product better at the races. When you have good engineers bringing good cars to the track, it makes the experience for the fan better.

“There are different types of motorsports career avenues for engineers because you have some who are doing simulations throughout the week, then you have some that play more of a race engineering role… things like, ‘Where are we racing this weekend?’ ‘What does tire management look like for that?’ ‘What does strategy look like?’ ‘What could car setup and adjustments look like for that?’ Then there is data analytics, where you're bringing in telemetry and analyzing this information.”

Andrew McGill, administrator for engineering recruitment at the college, considers Moody to be one of the most driven students he has ever worked with.

"Her passion for motorsports was evident from the first time I met her," he said. "She has been invaluable to our iRacing program. Being a new organization, Raegen took ownership and made a difference. She developed a curriculum to teach her fellow iRacers the ins and outs of vehicle dynamics. It’s always exciting sitting back and watching someone do something that you just know they were born to do.

"This internship opportunity is incredible. To work with and learn from some of the brightest minds in motorsports at one of the premiere teams in racing is going to serve Raegen well. It’s also an amazing opportunity for Auburn in that Raegen will not only represent us well, but I am sure, upon her return, she will share so new insight with our other students that have the same passion for motorsports. She is going to make quite a name for herself in the racing industry!"

Leading into her internship, Moody believes Auburn Engineering has set her up for success.

“I've received ample hands-on experience here at Auburn,” she said. “Our college of engineering does a great job of teaching us how systems work together. For example, if you change one part, or piece, how is that going to affect everything else? Having already learned how systems work together is are very important for me leading into this summer.”

Her internship begins Monday, May 30 — one day after the Indianapolis 500.

“It’s a thrill to begin this journey just hours after the team competed in the biggest spectacle in racing,” Moody said. “Hopefully, our first day at the shop will be one of celebration.”

Media Contact: Joe McAdory, jem0040@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447
Raegen Moody begins her internship at Chip Ganassi Racing on May 30.

Raegen Moody begins her internship at Chip Ganassi Racing on May 30.

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