Rose-Hulman’s Mandy Chick Places Fifth in ARCA Menards Series Race at Daytona

Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Mandy Chick and her No. 74 Rose-Hulman car at Daytona.

Mandy Chick, a junior mechanical engineering major at Rose-Hulman, soared to a fifth-place finish in the 2023 ARCA Menards Series 200-mile race at Daytona International Speedway.

It was meant to be a metaphor, but early in her first race at Daytona International Speedway, Mandy Chick relayed an important message to her team: “This car is a rocket ship.”

After qualifying 25th, moving up to 11th and then falling to 31st following a penalty for speeding in the pits during a stop early in the race, Chick and her No. 74 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rocket soared to a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series 200-mile race at Daytona International Speedway.

“This weekend at Daytona International Speedway was an absolute dream come true,” said the 21-year-old Chick, a junior mechanical engineering major at Rose-Hulman, which is partnering with Chick as her primary sponsor for Daytona and the upcoming April 22 race at Talladega. “We started the race, and I knew we had a fast car. After the final caution when the green flag came out with four laps to go, it was time to lay all the cards on the table. It got pretty crazy, touching two and three cars at a time at 180 miles-per-hour during the next couple laps!”

With the help of her spotter, Chick recovered from the penalty and was in ninth place coming out of the final caution flag with four laps left. She held that position into the final lap, which Chick made her move, surging past four drivers to become only the fourth woman in ARCA Series history to finish in the top five at Daytona. 

“My crew guys worked so hard to get us prepared, while I have been focusing on preparing for finals week at Rose-Hulman,” added Chick, a third-generation racer who moved up to the ARCA Series in 2022. “I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity.”

Rose-Hulman’s connections at the race ran deep. Austin Cindric, the 2022 Daytona 500 winner and 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, was part of the Fox Sports 1 broadcast team calling the race. Cindric, whose father is Rose-Hulman alumnus and Team Penske President Tim Cindric, noted during the broadcast that “I’m sure (Chick’s) pretty smart going to Rose-Hulman. My dad went there and it’s not the easiest school to get into.” 

A top science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) college, Rose-Hulman offers several pathways into the racing industry, with notable alumni like Cindric among a number of student interns and graduates working on teams in everything from Formula One to the IndyCar Series.

Chick said she hopes to compete in another 12 to 14 races during the season, while continuing to balance her academic and extracurricular pursuits.

“I think this will be a fantastic season for us, and I can't wait to see how we can build on this momentum in Talladega,” Chick said. “I'm extremely proud to represent Rose-Hulman in such a positive manner. Again, we showed that with focus and dedication anyone can accomplish great things.”