Excelling on the Racetrack and in the Classroom

Shelby Diiorio

By Jeanne Leong

Shelby Diiorio likes to do things at a high speed and with finesse, whether it’s on a racetrack, in the classroom, or at work.

A professional race car driver, Diiorio spends seven months a year competing in races throughout the East Coast.

A double major in marketing and management, Diiorio graduated from the Rutgers School of Business–Camden summa cum laude, with a 4.0 GPA.

DiIorio arrived at Rutgers–Camden in spring 2015 after receiving an associate’s degree from Burlington County College in only three semesters.

At Rutgers–Camden, she took six courses each semester and one course in the summer to complete her degree in four semesters, all while doing an internship at Lockheed Martin as a financial analyst and continuing her racing schedule from April to October.

Through it all, Diiorio never missed a race or a class assignment.

“I did my best to be proactive and complete assignments before they were due so I could submit them before I went away for a race,” says Diiorio, of Burlington, N.J. “I will never forget having an exam on a late Friday morning when I had a race at Atco Dragway that day.”

For Diiorio, finding a way to schedule a time to meet for group projects for class was a challenge.

On many race days, she would leave home at 8 a.m. for the track and could still be at the track for the final round at 11 p.m. Some of the races were one-day events, but others ran for two or three days, so Diiorio learned to effectively manage her time to fit everything into her schedule.

Shelby Diiorio with her mother, Sandy, and father, Tim

Racing is a family affair. Diiorio became interested in racing watching her father and racing mentor, Tim, race at Atco Raceway and Englishtown Raceway Park. Her older brother, Tim Jr., is also a race car driver. Her mother, Sandy, is always a huge supporter at the racetrack and has the vital role of determining how the weather conditions will affect how the car runs throughout the day.

“I could never have succeeded without the help of my family,” says Diiorio. “I am eternally grateful for all they do to help me strive to be my best.”

Starting out in the Jr. Drag Racing League in 2003, Diiorio was just 8 years old, but she was interested in racing long before the league rules would allow her to participate.

“When my brother, Tim, turned 8, he began racing Jr. Dragsters and had instant success,” says Diiorio. “Since 8 is the minimum age, I had to patiently wait.” During her 10 years in the league, she won seven track championships at Atco and two at Englishtown. In 2013, she won the Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals in Bristol, Tenn.

Diiorio began racing in adult racing leagues when she became eligible when she turned 19. She won the BERCO Footbrake Series track championship at Atco in 2016.

On campus, Diiorio served on the Student Government Association, as one of three at-large representatives for the School of Business–Camden. She is a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, where she participated in volunteer work in the community.

Through her Rutgers–Camden civic engagement course, she volunteered at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown.

“Going to school full-time, working part-time, and still making time for friends, family, extra-curricular activities, volunteering, as well as sports was overwhelming at times,” says Diiorio, “but I wouldn’t change my experience at Rutgers for the world.”

Her internship at Lockheed Martin led to a full-time job at the company, where she is now a financial analyst.

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