Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 - Michael Waltrip Raching
Michael Waltrip Racing, one of the top performing teams in the 2012 NASCAR season, has an Australian at its technical helm. With three races to go, Aussie Nick Hughes and his team are serious NASCAR championship contenders.

Thirty-eight year old Nick Hughes, who grew up in Adelaide and has a bachelor of engineering degree from The University of Adelaide, is MWR’s technical director and executive vice president of engineering. He leads a group of 40+ engineers and technicians who specialise in fields such as vehicle simulation, aerodynamics, design, computing, and mathematics.

Hughes joined MWR in 2008 after spending five years at Evernham Motorsports where he served as race engineer to Bill Elliott and Kasey Kahne, and later as director of vehicle dynamics & simulation. Before that, he worked as design engineer for Penske Racing Shocks in Pennsylvania where he gained experience designing suspension components for Formula One teams such as McLaren, Renault and Jordan.

In his five years with MWR, Hughes has overseen the team’s rise from the ranks of the “go or go homers” to one of NASCAR’s top performing teams. “When I joined MWR we were outside the top 35 in points and we were qualifying every week just to start the race,” says Hughes.

The change has been hard-earned, but profound. This year MWR has won the pole six times, been to victory lane three times, and has two cars in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 car, is currently third in points. With three races to the season finish at Homestead, Florida, on November 18, he is a genuine championship contender.

Martin Truex Jnr. in the #56 car is seventh in the Chase. (MWR’s third car, the #55, has been driven to good success on a part-time basis in 2012 by Mark Martin, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip.)

Hughes has made a big contribution to MWR’s maturity. Behind the scenes, Hughes has led a relentless program of engineering advancement. “It’s a misconception that NASCAR is non-technical,” explains Hughes. “NASCAR is actually very technical. To be competitive against 43 starters, at 20 different tracks, across 38 races a year, you have to take an engineering approach. Our technical tools, resources and personnel are world class.”

Photos available. Nick Hughes may be contacted directly for further information or comment: [email protected]

Contact Profile

Michael Waltrip Raching


In 2007, MWR served as a flagship team for Toyota Racing Development, USA’s entry into both NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide competition. In 2012, MWR will field three full-time Toyota Camrys in the Sprint Cup Series for Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin and Michael Waltrip.
Nick Hughes
P: +1-704-450-6454
W: www.michaelwaltripracing.com/

Keywords

NASCAR, motor racing, motor sport

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