In 1996, Ryan Newman had just graduated from high school. Even then, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in professional auto racing. But his parents encouraged him to pump the brakes and enroll at Purdue University first, so he’d have an education if his racing dreams didn’t work out.
Those four years spent studying vehicle structure engineering now work to his benefit, giving Ryan – nicknamed "Rocket Man" – a unique advantage as a stock car racing driver and ultimately shaping his racing career.
“Seeking the right knowledge definitely accelerates your success, or the potential to be more successful,” Ryan says.
His engineering degree helped him become a student of the sport and a lifelong learner. Experimentation, failure and a pursuit of knowledge have all been part of Ryan’s track to success.
“I’ve made lots of mistakes in my racing career, on the racetrack and off,” Ryan says. “That’s part of life. It’s just a part of learning, it’s a part of gaining knowledge, it’s a part of being a better person.”
As a sponsored driver of the Koch Industries No. 6 car, racing pro Ryan himself is driven by a number of principles that also drive Koch’s businesses. In the first of three episodes of “Shifting Gears with Ryan Newman,” Ryan talks about how these principles have guided him both personally and professionally toward achieving his potential.
"You have to push yourself, otherwise you have no idea what your potential actually is.”
Episode 1: Achieving Your Potential. How lifelong learning and a drive to succeed gave racing pro Ryan Newman the keys to unlock his own potential.
Check out the next two episodes, Shifting Gears with Ryan Newman: Using Technology to Your Advantage and Shifting Gears with Ryan Newman: Winning as a Team.