For Matt Borland, a career in motorsports was a dream come true for a boy who grew up near the “Motor City” of Detroit.
Born in Big Rapids, Mich., and raised in Haslett, Mich., Borland developed a passion for cars at a young age. It was during high
school where Borland also developed an acute understanding of mathematics, as well as an interest in racing.
It was his comprehension of the link between numbers and cars that led Borland to earn a degree in mechanical engineering from the
General Motors Institute that has since translated into a successful career in motorsports – one that is devoted to applying engineering
techniques to enhance the performance of racecars.Borland began his career at Penske as a design/simulation engineer for the organization’s two-car Sprint Cup effort. But his role with
the team would change just one year later when the organization hired a young driver by the name of Ryan Newman, who had enjoyed
success in the grassroots, open-wheel ranks of USAC. Newman was Penske Racing’s developmental driver.
The team planned to enter Newman in a variety of events in ARCA, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup over the next
few years in preparation for a full-time Sprint Cup drive in 2002. Borland was named crew chief and tasked with building a race team
In the pair’s first full Sprint Cup season in 2002, Newman and Borland scored wins in the prominent Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte
(N.C.) Motor Speedway – becoming only the second rookie team to achieve such a feat – and the fall race at New Hampshire Motor
Speedway in Loudon. The tandem also secured six pole positions, 14 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes, and Newman went on to earn
Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year honors.
Borland worked with Newman through the 2006 season and collectively earned 12 wins, 37 poles, 54 top-fives and 83 top-10s. The
team also finished in the top-10 in the point standings in each of its first four seasons of full-time competition.
In 2007, Borland moved to Michael Waltrip Racing to serve as crew chief for former Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett.
Unfortunately, the pairing didn’t enjoy the same success as Borland did in his first venture as a crew chief. So in May 2007, Borland
moved to Haas CNC Racing, to lead the team as its director of competition,
In 2009, the team became known as Stewart-Haas Racing when Tony Stewart became co-owner with Gene Haas, founder of Haas
Automation. Stewart immediately promoted Borland to technical director, and in 2011, promoted him to vice president of competition.
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