Here is an interesting article on the current state of motorsport in the US by our very own Steve Jenner. Written to an Australian graduate looking to work in the US.
I will attempt to briefly sum up the state of motorsport in North America...Motorsports did take a severe knock during the recession, however, many forms of motorsport have come back strong, with a few exceptions.
Nascar has come back strong and is by far the biggest employer of motorsport personnel in North America, with Hendricks Motorsport Group being number 1 with over 650 employees.
The Indy car series has struggled over the last 2 or 3 years, with poor tv ratings and low attendances at many races - obviously not helped this year by the crashes at the Indy 500 and the recent tragedy at Pocono. The biggest employers in Indy car racing at this time are Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti Autosports.
The IMSA Tudor series, since being purchased by the France family (Nascar), two and a half years ago has also struggled for identification because of its continuing rule juggling to equalize the old Daytona prototypes and P2 cars. However, with the new rules going forward in the next couple of years, the series will grow again.
The Pirelli World Challenge Series has grown considerably in the last 2 or 3 years, with a lot of manufacturer interest and a growing number of teams.
The new boys on the block in North American racing which have shown considerable growth are drifting (particularly popular on the west coast) and the Global Rallycross Series which last year signed a 5-year deal with Red Bull and has very good tv ratings on a major network.
The rest of North American motorsport is very diversified because of the size of the country. We suffer from some of the same problems found in Europe, such as we have too many one-make series.
The other forms of motorsport worth mentioning that continue to do well in certain areas are NHRA (drag racing), sprint car racing, rally, dirt track, midgets, late model stock car, and obviously the lower forms of the Nascar series, including truck racing.
As far as teams taking on graduates, this is quite rare in North America and only some of the bigger teams are talking about doing this down the road. We at Racestaff have spoken to a few of the bigger teams about this, including the new Hass F1 team. As you are Australian, it's probably worth mentioning that Hendirx Motorsports, Roush-Yates, and Childress Racing have Australians on their staff!
You may have seen on our website that we offer assistance with visas, and you would obviously need a visa to come and work in America. However, if an employer is interested in you, like some of the bigger teams, they would either sponsor you or help you with the process.