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Racing to the Skies

Wright in the drivers seat of the Formula Buckeyes race car in 2016.Wright in the drivers seat of the Formula Buckeyes race car in 2016.Max Wright’s dream job is to be a racing pilot. For some, that dream would seem out-of-reach, but Wright is ready to take to the skies. He already has plenty of experience racing on the ground.  

Wright began racing formula sprint karts when he was seven years old. As an undergraduate student, he competed with the Formula Buckeyes and drove the student-built racecar for three years. Now, he’s working to earn his commercial pilot’s license from The Ohio State University Flight School and supervising the machine shop at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).  

In the machine shop, Wright helps researchers and motorsports teams build custom parts to enhance leading research and winning vehicles. “I love helping them see it from start to finish,” says Wright. “You can think of something in your head, have it appear on a computer screen, and then eventually have it in your hand made out of metal. It’s a really cool process.”  

Creating specialized parts is a complex skill that takes years to master. Wright has been machining since high school, and his experience creating things for the aerospace, automotive and medical industries helps him excel in CAR’s multidisciplinary environment.

“I think that the Center for Automotive Research has a lot of possibilities,” Wright says. For him, the greatest possibility is to engage in the community. “I'm able to work with people on a day-to-day basis that encourage me and help me to pursue my dreams and also help them pursue their dreams. Everybody can come to the CAR and gain something from it.”

Written by Georgia Drost, CAR Writing Intern