Alba Colon, Hendrick Motorsports
Alba Colon chose a challenging time to make the leap from General Motors to Hendrick Motorsports. But she made the decision by following her own advice.
Colon left a longtime role at GM in January to join the storied NASCAR team. But she did so at the start of a year where the team had a new car model in the Camaro and two new drivers. The transition contributed to a winless streak that ended when Chase Elliott won at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 5.
“I really knew that there would be some growing pains, so I was completely ready for that,” said Colon, who grew up in Puerto Rico. “It was hard not to win [at first] but that win that we just got a couple weeks ago, it made everything sweeter.”
Colon’s role involves using digital simulation and analytics to improve the performance of HMS’ cars and finding areas where the team can slightly improve its speed.
She has traveled to Puerto Rico in the past year to help rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Maria. Colon also has mentored kids there, and she realized that some of the advice she gives them was something she needed to heed when she first got the call from HMS.
“I have always told younger people when I talk to them that, ‘Hey, you can never close doors; you always have to keep your mind open.’ … I just said to myself, ‘This is your time to take on a new challenge like that.’ It’s one of those things you cannot say no to in your life, you need to try it, and I’m very happy with being here.”
— Adam Stern