Archive for the ‘2020 Press Releases’ Category

IMSA Announces Updates to 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Schedules

Posted on: March 25th, 2020
Location: post

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – March 24, 2020 – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced schedule updates for three 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge events.

  • The Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio has been moved to the weekend of Sept. 25-27, 2020. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of May 1-3.
  • The IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca has been moved up one weekend to run on Sept. 4-6. It was originally scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 11-13. This date adjustment was made to accommodate IMSA competitors planning to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which now will run on Sept. 19-20.
  • The 23rd annual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta has been moved back one week and now will run Oct. 14-17 to provide teams a more balanced schedule as the season comes to its conclusion. The original dates of the event were Oct. 7-10.

These three event date changes are in addition to the previously announced reschedule of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, which now is set for Nov. 11- 14.

Previously purchased tickets for all four events will be valid on the new dates. IMSA will provide additional series updates, broadcast information and event schedules as they become available.

* Courtesy of IMSA


Posted on: May 22nd, 2020
Location: post

DARLINGTON, SC – May 22, 2020 – The NASCAR Xfinity Series got back to racing in a big way last night. Chase Briscoe left everything on the track; he would not be denied his second Xfinity win of the season and first at Darlington Raceway. Briscoe also brought home the second win of the week for Stewart-Haas Racing.
“Congratulations to Chase, Richard, Tony, Gene, and the No. 98 crew,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “I am so proud of this wheelman and pray for his family during this difficult time. This has been a special week for our sport, and we are very fortunate to have the leadership of Ford Performance, great teams, fans, and our partners.”
After a rain delay moved the restart of the Xfinity series to later in the day, developing the right game plan proved to be critical, with no practice nor qualifying, the Ford drivers strapped in for their first race in over two months. The Ford Performance teammates proved they had done their homework, competing in the top-10 for most of the race.

It all came down to the last restart of the race. Briscoe and Austin Cindric lined up in the outside lane, first and fourth, respectively. Cindric gave Briscoe a good push at the restart and after a brief battle with Justin Allgaier, Briscoe was able to clear the field and take the lead. But veteran driver, Kyle Busch would work to reel Briscoe in over the course of the last six laps. Briscoe drove with grit and true determination to defend the lead, as he and Busch traded paint on the final two laps of the race. Coming off the final corner, Briscoe squeezed his No. 98 Ford Mustang between Busch and the wall and drag raced Busch to take the checkered flag.

“This has been the hardest week I’ve ever had to deal with, and God is so good,” commented Briscoe in his victory interview. “Even when I took the lead with 50 to go, I was crying inside the race car and just emotionally I wasn’t there at all. There’s nothing else to say other than God is just so glorious. Obviously, I’m happy to get and Ford Performance Racing School in victory lane, but this is more than a race win. This is the biggest day of my life after the toughest day in my life, and to be able to beat the best there is so satisfying.”
Cindric, Team Penske’s No. 22 driver, also drove a great race and finished P4. Briscoe is on top of the driver’s leader board with Cindric in third.
The Cup series capped off their two-race stint at Darlington Wednesday night with Clint Bowyer leading a race-high 71 laps while winning Stage 1 and Stage 2. Although the race was cut short due to rain, the Ford Mustangs finished strong with five Fords in the top-10: Kevin Harvick (P3), Brad Keselowski (P4), Joey Logano (P6), Aric Almirola (P7), and Matt DiBenedetto (P9).

Harvick remains the points leader after Darlington with a 34-point advantage over second place Logano.

NASCAR heads to Charlotte, NC for the historic Coca Cola 600 on Sunday and the Xfinity series will take center stage on Memorial Day in the Alsco 300.

*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images

About Roush Yates Engines 
Roush Yates Engines is a leading-edge engine development company based in Mooresville, NC consisting of two state-of-the-art facilities – Roush Yates Engines and Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions, a world class ISO 9001 / AS9100 certified CNC manufacturing facility. The company’s core business includes designing, building and testing purpose-built race engines.

Ford Performance in partnership with Roush Yates Engines is the exclusive engine builder of the NASCAR FR9 Ford V8 engine and Ford Mustang 5.2L V8 engine, used in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series.

With an unparalleled culture of winning and steeped in rich racing history, Roush Yates Engines continues to follow the company’s vision to lead performance engine innovation and staying true to the company’s mission, provide race winning engines through demonstrated power and performance.

3 Series – 22 Teams – 81 Races


Posted on: January 16th, 2020
Location: post

DEARBORN, MI – January 9, 2020 – No, Hailie Deegan conceded with a wide grin, she never expected that her competitive debut on the famous Daytona International Speedway high banks would come in a sports car.

But judging by the smiles and ease she showed Saturday afternoon speaking with reporters at Daytona between Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona practice sessions, she’s eager and mentally prepared for her IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race debut at the grand track on Jan. 24. The in-car skills and sports car initiation is coming together too, she said.

“I never thought I’d race a road course especially at Daytona, that was new for me,’’ Deegan said. “I always thought my first time at Daytona would be in an ARCA car but I’m happy to be here on the road course.’’

Deegan‘s ARCA Menards Series season debut at Daytona will follow the Rolex 24 race weekend and comes only weeks after the 18-year old Californian was formally introduced as a Ford Performance development driver. She will co-drive a Ford Mustang GT4 with NASCAR Xfinity Series frontrunner Chase Briscoe in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Daytona later this month.

In February, Deegan will compete in the season-opening ARCA Menards Series race that essentially opens Daytona Speedweeks – the green flag to a much-anticipated full season of stock car racing. All three of these young NASCAR stars say they are grateful for the chance to begin their season early, confident that the extra laps will only help their skillset.

“I’m really excited just to gain experience in these new cars,’’ Deegan said. “Just everything’s new. A fresh start. It’s waiting to get planned out, meeting new people, new faces, new relationships. I’m excited to grow the relationships in the Ford family and everyone that’s a part of it.

“One thing I haven’t really touched on in my career is road courses, pavement road course type stuff. Coming here and filling that base of what I’m missing as a driver as a hole is definitely going to help me be all around as a driver.

“I feel what makes a good driver is a driver that’s not just good at ovals or road courses they are good at everything and have that skill set. I think if I can just keep getting better skill sets to bring to my career, it will help even more.’’


Posted on: March 25th, 2020
Location: post

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – March 25, 2020 – For now, NASCAR’s plan is to return to racing with the May 8-9 weekend at Martinsville Speedway, a Mother’s Day weekend that is scheduled to feature the first full NASCAR Cup Series race under the lights at Martinsville, the sport’s shortest track.

But whether it will be back racing May 9th is still somewhat uncertain. When it’s time to get back to racing, we’ll be ready.

“We’re concentrating on getting back to racing at Martinsville,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said last Tuesday in his only news conference following the postponement of races. “We’ll have to do scenario planning that will look different than that. Right now, our priority is to get back to racing.”

* Courtesy NASCAR 


Posted on: May 25th, 2020
Location: post

CHARLOTTE, NC – May 25, 2020 – Brad Keselowski won the crown jewel, Coca-Cola 600, last night for the first time in his career while capturing Ford’s 690th all-time win in NASCAR Cup Series competition. The win also marked the Ford Mustang’s fourth win of the season in seven starts.
“Congratulations to Roger, Brad, Jeremy, and the No. 2 crew,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Brad and the team made a last-minute strategy call and it paid off big time. It was a long night, but our teams continued to make adjustments in order to be in position to win at the end. We are blessed to live in this country and honor all the brave men and women that are no longer with us.”
Keselowski started in the back of the field and gradually worked his way up to the front at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in a battle with Chase Elliott at the end. A late race caution came out causing the race to go into overtime. Keselowski and crew chief, Jeremy Bullins chose to gamble and stay out on older tires, as Elliott elected to pit for fresh tires. On lap 404, Keselowski lined up in front of Alex Bowman on the inside line, next to veteran Jimmy Johnson and led eight cars that stayed out on older tires. With a great push, Keselowski was able to get out front, in the clean air to surge ahead of Johnson and take the checked flag by .293 seconds.

“It means a lot to me, but I can’t help but think about the Reep family and Donovan,” Keselowski commented in a post-race interview. “I know the race ran really late, but Memorial Day is about a lot more than racing, but we’re glad to be able to do cool things like racing because of the freedom provided by those willing to make the sacrifices. It’s the Coke 600 and this leaves only one major left for me, the Daytona 500, so we’re checking them off. I know they’re really happy because Miller Lite goes with Memorial Day, but I’m happy for Ford and everybody who just works their butt off at Team Penske. The pit crew at the end, the yellow right before the last lap, had a blazing stop to get us up front and put us in position. All these things just came together, and I’m tickled to death. It’s a little overwhelming to be honest.”
Over the course of the stretched out 607.5 mile race, the Ford Mustangs led 54 out of the 405-laps, led by Stage 3 winner Joey Logano with 26 laps, followed by Team Penske teammate Keselowski with 21, Matt DiBenedetto of Wood Brother’s Racing led six, and John Hunter Nemechek from Front Row Motorsports with one.
Ford Performance finished with four Ford Mustangs in the top-10: Keselowski (P1), Ryan Blaney (P3), current driver points leader, Kevin Harvick (P5), and Chris Buescher in (P10).
To those that have served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country, God Bless and Thank you. In remembrance of Memorial Day, SSGT Donovan Reep, was honored on Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford Mustang, in addition all NASCAR Cup teams honored a service member.
NASCAR returns to Charlotte tonight with the Xfinity race and on Wednesday, May 27th for the Alsco Uniforms 500 Cup race.



*Photos courtesy of NASCAR Media & Getty Images

About Roush Yates Engines 
Roush Yates Engines is a leading-edge engine development company based in Mooresville, NC consisting of two state-of-the-art facilities – Roush Yates Engines and Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions, a world class ISO 9001 / AS9100 certified CNC manufacturing facility. The company’s core business includes designing, building and testing purpose-built race engines.

Ford Performance in partnership with Roush Yates Engines is the exclusive engine builder of the NASCAR FR9 Ford V8 engine and Ford Mustang 5.2L V8 engine, used in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series.

With an unparalleled culture of winning and steeped in rich racing history, Roush Yates Engines continues to follow the company’s vision to lead performance engine innovation and staying true to the company’s mission, provide race winning engines through demonstrated power and performance.

3 Series – 22 Teams – 81 Races


Deegan To Make Official Ford Debut In Mustang GT4 Featuring Throwback Paint Scheme Honoring Lyn St. James’ Breakout 1985 IMSA Campaign

Posted on: January 22nd, 2020
Location: post

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – January 22, 2020 – When Hailie Deegan makes her official Ford Performance competition debut next week in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Daytona International Speedway, she’ll be doing it in a throwback paint scheme of a Ford IMSA star that helped pave the way for women in racing.

Ford Performance unveiled the paint scheme today for the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 that will be driven by Deegan and co-driver Chase Briscoe in the four-hour event Friday, Jan. 24.   The red, white and blue paint scheme is a modern throwback to the Jack Roush-owned Mustang IMSA GTO car driven by Lyn St. James in her breakout season of 1985, when she captured three victories, including the first IMSA GT win by a woman driving solo.

“We’re certainly excited to have Hailie officially kick off her competition career with Ford,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance.  “She had a great test a couple weeks ago and the pairing with Chase is ideal since he was in her shoes as a sports car rookie just a couple of years back and the experience has made him a more complete racer.

“To have the two of them in a Mustang GT4 with a Lyn St. James throwback scheme is very appropriate.  Lyn was a pioneer for women in racing, a winner on the track and a great Ford spokesperson for many years, so this is a bit of a tribute to her and her contributions to our Ford sports car programs in the past.”

“I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this Mustang,” said Deegan. “My anticipation and excitement level was already sky high, making my debut for Ford in my first ever road race in IMSA, but now we add this cool throwback scheme honoring the only woman to win a major IMSA race solo and it is just that much cooler. I have a ton of respect and admiration for what Lyn St. James did to pave the road for racers like me. It will be really cool to drive a car inspired by her 1985 IMSA GTO Ford Mustang.”

“I think it is a really cool way that Ford Performance has chosen to honor its racing legacy,” said Chase Briscoe. “There have been a series of throwback schemes in different racing series by Ford and I just love the look of this one and the way it ties into Hailie being in the car with me and the success that Lyn had in this series with Mustang. I am excited to be a part of it.”

“I’m delighted that Ford is doing this throwback scheme,” said St. James.  “The whole goal of every race driver is to win races, and going into that 1985 season I was on the cusp of winning, and to get my first three IMSA wins that year really meant so much to me because they say that once you win once, the others follow, and that was true for me.

“I am certain Hailie and Chase felt the same way after winning their first stock car races.  You just want to win more.  Sports car racing may be different than what they normally do, but the mindset is the same.  I am excited to see them race and get to the winner’s circle.”

St. James captured six IMSA GTO wins in her career, all with Ford, including two GTO class wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  She also competed in Indy car, including seven starts at the Indianapolis 500.  She was a consumer advisor for Ford Motor Company from 1981-96, and has been a tireless ambassador for women in sports, especially auto racing.

The four-hour, multiclass MICHELIN Pilot Challenge race at Daytona starts at 1:00 pm ET on Friday, January 24. The event can be viewed in its entirety via live streaming – TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold domestically and at globally.

*Images courtesy of Ford Performance


Posted on: March 26th, 2020
Location: post


DEARBORN, MI – March 26, 2020 – Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus.

In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and leverage its in-house 3D printing capability to produce components for use in personal protective equipment.

“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”

Powered Air-Purifying Respirators

Ford team members are working with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and working jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers. This new respirator could be produced in a Ford facility by UAW workers.

To go as fast as possible, the Ford and 3M teams have been resourcefully locating off-the-shelf parts like fans from the Ford F-150’s cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles and portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours.

Ford is looking at how it might produce these new-generation PAPRs in one of its Michigan manufacturing facilities, helping 3M boost production potentially tenfold.

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. “We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs. We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.”

“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get healthcare supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most – which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford,” said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “It’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I’m incredibly grateful to Ford and their employees for this partnership.”


In addition, Ford and GE Healthcare are working together to expand production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by COVID-19. These ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location.

“We are encouraged by how quickly companies from across industries have mobilized to address the growing challenge we collectively face from COVID-19,” said GE Healthcare President & CEO Kieran Murphy. “We are proud to bring our clinical and technical expertise to this collaboration with Ford, working together to serve unprecedented demand for this life-saving technology and urgently support customers as they meet patient needs.”

Work on this initiative ties to a request for help from U.S. government officials.

Respirators and Face Shields

Meanwhile, Ford’s U.S. design team also is quickly creating and starting to test transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders. The face shields fully block the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids and when paired with N95 respirators can be a more effective way to limit potential exposure to coronavirus than N95 respirators alone.

The first 1,000 face shields will be tested this week at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospitals. Roughly 75,000 of these shields are expected to be finished this week and more than 100,000 face shields per week will be produced at Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing’s facilities in Plymouth, Mich.

Ford is leveraging its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Mich., and in-house 3D printing capabilities to manufacture components and subassemblies for use in personal protective equipment.

Ford is evaluating a separate effort not involving GE Healthcare with the U.K. government to produce additional ventilators.

In China, Ford of China joint venture partner Jiangling Motors also has donated 10 specially equipped Transit ambulance vans to hospitals in Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began. Ford is also reacquiring 165,000 N95 respirators from China that were originally sent by Ford to China earlier this year to help combat coronavirus.

Ford has also kicked off a working team to help hospitals locate and secure urgently needed surgical and N95 respirators. Ford has so far committed sending Henry Ford Health Systems 40,000 surgical masks while it locates additional supplies.

Additional companies and individuals who are interested in contributing to this effort can submit their information here at

Ford, along with the companies it is supporting, will provide additional updates as these special projects progress.

*Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.


Posted on: May 29th, 2020
Location: post

BRISTOL, TN, May 29, 2020 – There is no driver more proud to be associated with Ford Motor Company than NASCAR’s Clint Bowyer, but this weekend that feeling will take on additional meaning for both he and his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Mustang.

That’s because “Built Ford Proud” will be highlighted with decals appearing on the hood, decklid and both rear quarter panels of his Mustang during Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I have had the privilege of driving for each of the manufacturers currently in NASCAR and each of them like to call themselves family.  When you drive for Ford and you look up you see Edsel Ford standing by your car – he’s the actual Ford family. This isn’t lip service. This is THE family,” said Bowyer, who is now in his fourth year driving with Stewart-Haas Racing.  “I think that everyone connected with Ford sees and feels this. That’s why ‘Built Ford Proud’ means so much. It’s people who really care about their work and take pride in what they do, whether that is building vehicles or helping out their fellow Americans.”

The race, which will be televised live on FS1 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, is the ninth of the season and fifth since NASCAR returned to action on May 17.

“We’re honored that Stewart-Haas Racing and Clint Bowyer will run a ‘Built Ford Proud’ paint scheme in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Bristol,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service.  “Ford has always been a company that has risen up to help Americans in time of need, and we are very proud of the efforts of our employees who have stepped up to create PPE, ventilators and respirators for medical and first responders across this country.

“Clint and all the Ford Performance drivers have personally helped reach out to their fan bases with messages on what they can do to stay safe during this time,” continued LaNeve.  “We’re thankful they have joined us in this effort to help America.”

Since turning its attention to helping front line workers, Ford has developed new powered air-purifying respirators approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Ford has produced more than 400,000 reusable surgical gowns manufactured from material used to make airbags and other durable fabrics, and shipped them around the U.S. In addition, the company makes more than 1.5 million face shields a week and has shipped more than 20 million shields to all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam.

The company also just announced it finalized an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense to donate 200,000 face shields to military bases across the U.S. and abroad.

On the track, Ford leads all manufacturers in Cup Series wins this season and has 37 all-time victories at Bristol, which is the self-proclaimed ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’ with drivers regularly turning laps in 15 seconds or less.

“You would have to really sell hard for me not to believe that short-track racing is our best product. It just is, and the reason I say that is because it’s so much fun, so demanding inside the car. The workload is through the roof for the driver and the excitement is there for the fans,” said Bowyer, who will be making his 29th career Bristol Cup start.  “You’re really wheeling that thing, trying to keep the grip under your tires, forward bite.  Trying to keep the thing turning.  Fighting the balance of the cars.  Fighting your crew chief all race long because you’re whining in the car, and he is tired of hearing you whine.  But all those things come together to win that race and be successful.”

Bowyer has been running competitively since the sport’s return to action, becoming the first driver this season to win the first two stages of an event when he did that in the second Darlington event last week.  He led a race-high 71 laps before hitting the wall with 34 laps remaining and finishing 22nd.

“The way we are running I think we can pounce on one and get one here,” said Bowyer.  “And trust me, there’s not a team that will party as much as the old 14 car.”

*Courtesy of Ford Performance and Stewart-Haas Racing 


Posted on: January 24th, 2020
Location: post

Ever thought about becoming a CNC programmer?

Life as a CNC programmer can be an exciting and rewarding path for those who love to create and have an eye for detail. This is a growing field filled with opportunities for those trained to work on complex CNC machines.

If you’re trying to determine whether or not CNC programming is the career for you, you’ve come to the right place. Follow along as we share some important information about this career—including job responsibilities, work environment, career outlook and more!

What is CNC Programming?

In basic terms, computer numerical control (CNC) programming is the process used to create program instructions for computers to control a CNC machine and tooling. CNC machines turn a digital file into a sequence of computer instructions, which are then sent to a motorized tool such as a mill, router, grinder or lathe. These tools cut and shape various material types with great precision, into a finished product.

What Industries Use CNC Machinery?

CNC machining plays an important role across a wide variety of industries. According to Todd English, VP of Business Development and Partner Relations for Roush Yates Engines, some core industries that utilize CNC machining include:

  • Automotive & Racing: CNC machining can be used to machine engine parts such as cylinder heads, valve train components, pulleys, brackets, automotive interior and exterior components, suspension components, fluid system components and much more.
  • Defense: Products used by the military must follow specific government regulations, which is where CNC machining, precision and consistency, comes into play. Defense parts are often used for aircraft components, missile components and communication components.
  • Medical: CNC machines are used to create customized parts for the medical industry, including MRI machines, orthotic devices, research equipment and medical instruments.
  • Aerospace: Parts made for the aerospace industry must meet the highest caliber of requirements. CNC machining is used to create several components of aircraft, such as engine components, electrical connectors, landing gear parts, sensors, seating and airframe components.
  • Power Generation: The power generation industry utilizes a wide variety of components that are created through the CNC machining process, such as cooling blades, inlet vanes, rotary support devices and much more.

The use of CNC machinery extends far beyond just these five industries. Others include oil and gas, industrial, electronics and even the marine industry. Many of the high-tech tools our world relies on today were created through the process of CNC machining, such as 3D printers.

What Does a CNC Programmer Do?

CNC machines are incredibly complex, which requires skilled professionals to work on them.

Essentially, the role of a CNC programmer is to take a print or model of a particular component and determine how to best optimize the machining of this component. The programmer must take into account many factors; such as what machine to use, the proper tooling to cut the part and more. The programmer will take the part and bring it into a CAM software and apply tool paths to generate a G-code, which is the specific language the machine communicates from.

Todd shares that typically, when a design engineer or company comes to them, the only thing the programmers have to go off of is a model or a print, and they have to determine how to machine it out of a raw material or from a raw casting. This is a very intricate process that requires great attention to detail and an in-depth knowledge of G-code, CAM software and CAD software, which is used for design work. The parts programmers work on must meet very specific standards, so even fractions of a millimeter count.

For Ricky Strader, CNC programmer for Roush Yates Engines and Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions, the most rewarding part of this career is being able to take a simple material and turn it into a complex part that is used by racecars, planes or even the military. Knowing he has played a role in this process brings him a great sense of accomplishment. “I take pride in what I do,” he shares.

Additionally, Ricky shares that there are many benefits that come with working in this industry, including the opportunity to make a lot of great connections. “In the end, it’s a really small industry when you look around,” he says. The community is full of experts you can build relationships with and learn from as a programmer.

When it comes to challenges, Ricky shares that working in the field can be demanding at times. Some parts are very tough to make, which can be difficult. “It’s a good challenge, but it can be demanding from a time standpoint. Sometimes, you have to put in more effort to figure out the process to make the parts,” Ricky says.

The technological advancements of this industry can also bring challenges. Everything changes so fast, so it’s important for programmers to stay immersed and keep their skills sharp. Otherwise, you can quickly fall behind.

Overall, the challenges that come with this industry are worth it, according to Ricky. “In the end, it’s rewarding to be able to step back and see the end product,” he says. The better your skills are, the more valuable you are to a company, which can lead to exciting opportunities.

CNC Programmer Job Description

  • The ability to understand blueprint readings, including GD&T symbols
  • Knowledge of tooling and different applications to apply
  • An understanding and familiarity with CNC machines, including how they work, special codes, machine limitations and the various settings you can change
  • The ability to look at a part, pre-process it and design workholding if necessary
  • Math skills
  • Documentation & technical writing: Ability to document the process so an operator can follow it
  • Experience working as an operator and a general knowledge of tooling, workholding and different types of machines and equipment
  • Several years of hands-on job training (preferably working on machines)

CNC Programmer Work Environment

The work environment of a CNC programmer can vary based on the specific industry they work in. However, most programmers spend a portion of their time in an office environment and some of their time on the machining floor, following their parts and proving out their process. Once this is complete, they may turn over the parts to production.

Ricky shares that on any given day, he may take a part, program it, and go out to set up the machine and run it. He spends some of his time in the office, but a good amount of his time is spent on the floor doing hands-on work. In addition to setting up and running the machines, he will oversee the process and inspect the first pieces to ensure everything is running smoothly.

The role of a CNC programmer is similar to that of a machinist, however a programmer will spend time doing their programming inside of a CAM software for complicated parts. Simple parts can be done at the machine, but most of the work a programmer does requires the use of software.

Documentation is a very important part of a programmer’s job. Ricky will always document his process with set-up sheets so the project can be passed on to someone else the next time. This allows Ricky to free up his time to focus on more complex projects.

CNC Programmer Job Outlook

One of the most exciting aspects of pursuing a career in the CNC industry is the job outlook. Currently, there is a skills gap, which has led to a high demand for machinists and programmers. “So much is made with CNC machines, and there are so many industries you can get into,” Ricky shares.

CNC machines are used around the world. This isn’t an area-specific job, so there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to location. Whether you want to take your skills to the west coast, east coast or even another country, there will most likely be opportunities available to you.

According to Todd, technical schools like Universal Technical Institute are doing a great job of providing a pipeline of students who are ready to go into the industry. Many of these students go on to gain real-world experience working as machinists, which can open the door to advancing to a programmer role.

Todd goes on to share that automation has become a buzzword in the CNC industry. While we are seeing more and more automation thanks to technology, machinists and programmers are still needed. This is one of the many reasons it’s so important for those working in the field to stay up to date with the latest technologies. “I think it’s going to become more and more technical in the years to come,” Todd says.

How to Become a CNC Programmer

For those interested in becoming a CNC programmer, Ricky suggests making connections with those experienced in the field and asking a lot of questions. He encourages aspiring programmers to ask “why” questions to really get an understanding of the process. “If you don’t ask, you won’t learn,” he says.

“Put yourself in a position where you’re working with people with the right skillset who can help you become a programmer,” Ricky continues. This industry is fast-paced, but he shares that he’s always willing to stop and help others, because he’s had a lot of people stop and help him over the years.

Becoming a programmer often requires a combination of training and on-the-job experience. A program like NASCAR Technical Institute’s CNC Machining Technology program can provide you with a foundation of knowledge you can build upon as you go into the industry. Using industry-preferred tools and technology, students learn to craft sophisticated performance parts and components from raw materials.

Created in cooperation with Roush Yates Engines, this program gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on training and high-tech skills needed to prepare for a career as a CNC machinist. In just 36 weeks, students learn everything from reading blueprints and interpreting geometric dimensioning and tolerancing to the programming, setup and of CNC lathes and mills.

“If there’s training you can take advantage of, take advantage of it. It shows initiative,” Ricky says. A successful career in this field requires going the extra mile, so always be willing to volunteer and help with projects when no one else is willing. Advancing to a programmer position requires hard work and oftentimes, years of experience working on the floor as a machinist. Becoming a programmer is a journey, but it’s worth it in the end!

Tips for Success

CNC programmers often share a similar set of traits, such as being detail-oriented, organized, creative and tech-savvy. According to Ricky, success in this industry requires an in-depth knowledge of tooling, machinery, applications and when to use what tool.

Additionally, it’s important to stay in the know about the many changes that take place in the industry. “Keeping up with the technology in your field is very important. There are always new ways of doing things that you have to be open to,” says Ricky.

Any successful CNC machinist or programmer will tell you that sitting back and relying on your training from when you first got hired isn’t enough. This industry is constantly evolving, so taking the initiative to continue to grow your knowledge and skills is essential. According to Todd, “CNC machines are constantly changing. We like to leverage CNC manufacturers and software companies and bring their expertise to work with our employees so we can always stay ahead of the curve.”

“If you don’t keep up with all of the new technologies, you won’t maximize your production. Everyone is looking to become more efficient at what we do,” Todd continues.

Ricky knows the importance of showing initiative firsthand. Throughout his career, he has taken advantage of every training opportunity possible. He took online courses to familiarize himself with CAM  software and tooling and fixture design, which set him apart and showed that he wanted to become a programmer. He encourages those interested in this industry to go the extra mile—whether this means staying late to watch a programmer do their job or taking on an extra project.

Interested in the CNC Industry?

Created in cooperation with Roush Yates, UTI’s 36-week CNC Machining Technology program teaches you everything from reading blueprints and interpreting geometric dimensioning and tolerancing to the programming, setup and operation of CNC lathes and mills. To learn more, visit our program page and request information today.

*Courtesy of Universal Technical Institute / NASCAR Tech


Posted on: March 26th, 2020
Location: post

DEARBORN, MI – March 26, 2020 – Ryan Blaney found himself like many race fans last weekend as he watched the NASCAR debut of iRacing from the grandstands.  And while he enjoyed the view, he’s used to being part of the action.

So, when Fox Sports hits the airwaves on Sunday from the virtual Texas Motor Speedway, Blaney will be behind the wheel of his familiar No. 12 Ford Mustang.

“I’ve never been a big iRacing person for multiple reasons, but it just looked like it was a lot of fun,” said Blaney.  “The thing that pushed me into making it want to happen was seeing how the fans enjoyed it. Social media was blowing up and people really enjoyed just watching some form of racing again, which is nice.  I saw their support and their push for me to try to get in, so I was happy we were able to make it happen.”

Blaney has internet connectivity issues from his home, one of the few drawbacks he finds living in the North Carolina wilderness, so he’s joined forces with his spotter, Josh Williams.  A noted iRacer himself, Williams is opening his house and loaning his rig so Blaney can compete.

“I practiced on Monday and Josh has kind of been helping me out,” said Blaney, whose only real simulator experience has come at the Ford Performance Technical Center in Concord, NC.  “I’m not the biggest tech savvy person out there, especially when it comes to that stuff, but it was neat watching everybody on there again. There were a lot of Cup guys and XFINITY guys and some Truck guys doing it, but it’s something I’m pretty green at, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Last Sunday’s race at Homestead featured nine cautions as a mix of experience led to some major wrecks, but, thanks to their handy reset button, everybody was able to finish.  Blaney is hoping he doesn’t need that this weekend, but he’s glad it’s there, just in case.

And despite his relative lack of iRacing laps, Blaney says his goal for Sunday is the same as if he were going to be buckling into his real stock car.

“You want to win the race.  Competitors are competitors no matter what they’re playing,” he said.  “You want to win, so that’s why I’m practicing on Josh’s rig a little bit during this week to try and get a feel for it.  You don’t want to go in there not knowing anything and make yourself look silly.

“You want to have a shot at it, so you want to try to win the race, but it’s also about having fun and hoping you don’t wreck anybody,” continued Blaney.  “The stakes aren’t as high, but, at the end of the day, I believe it’s a good time for everyone.”

Fans can watch Sunday’s race live at 1:00 ET on FS1 and the Fox Sports app.

*Courtesy of Ford Performance