Engineer Alba Colon joins Hendrick Motorsports

(Photo: Tyler Barrick/Autostock)

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

While the winds of winter continue to blow strong over North Carolina, one of the state’s strongest NASCAR teams is shining bright after another strong talent acquisition.

Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) announced Tuesday that Alba Colon, a veteran of auto racing and one of the sport’s most accomplished females, has joined the organization as a director of their competition systems – a role previously held by crew chief Darian Grubb before his announced return to signal calling for incoming rookie William Byron in 2018.

A native of Spain that was raised in Puerto Rico, Colon arrives at HMS with decades of experience in motorsports, with previous links to NASCAR, ASA and the NHRA. After starting as a data acquisition engineer for NASCAR and ASA in 1994, Colon worked her way up to a program manager position with General Motors.

Over her tenure in the position, Colon helped lead Chevrolet to 14 manufacturer’s championships in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, along with a host of driver’s championships including Jimmie Johnson’s record-tying seven Cup Series titles.

“Alba Colon was a key contributor to Chevrolet’s racing success for over two decades, including 14 NASCAR Cup Manufacturers’ Championships as our program manager in the series,” a Chevrolet spokesperson told NASCAR.com in a statement. “We thank Alba for all of her contributions to Chevrolet Motorsports.”

Regarded by many as a trail blazer, Colon was honored in 2017 when the Hispanic Heritage Foundation recognized her with the STEM Award for her contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Colon’s acquisition is the latest in a string of changes for HMS ahead of the 2018 season. The organization will field a fresh driver lineup, having replaced Kasey Kahne and the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. with Byron and Alex Bowman, respectively. Chase Elliott will change numbers to the No. 9 – which his father Bill Elliott also ran – with Byron taking over the iconic No. 24. Only Jimmie Johnson will continue on with the same number and crew chief from last season.

Longtime general manager Doug Duchardt left HMS in June before joining Chip Ganassi Racing as a chief operating officer last week. In August the organization announced a host of internal promotions made in an effort to strengthen from within.

The new-look HMS will join the rest of the field for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.

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