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HISD Students Build Car For Texas Mile [PHOTOS]

By: CICELY MITCHELL
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(Photo Credit: Chavez High School)

(Photo Credit: Chavez High School)

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Several Chavez High School students are truly kicking their futures into high gear. The HISD students are building a race car for NASCAR Driver Donnie Neuenberger to drive in the Texas Mile!

For the past six weeks, the students from Chavez High School have been building a car that will be the car that NASCAR driver Donnie Neuenberger will use in the Texas Mile competition in Goliad County on March 22 – 24.

“Chavez Motor Sports Engineering is unlike any other pro team in racing in that the crew chief, car chief, and team specialists are all students, added officials with HISD.

“The team is lead by science and engineering teacher and professional racer Greg Ditch. The students have been working in the school’s engineering lab after school and on Saturdays to transform a stock 2006 Pontiac GTO into a 700 horsepower land speed race car. Through the process of engineering an actual competitive car, the students in the program have learned how math and science apply to the world of high performance motor sports.”

For these students, engineering cars is a skill that they take seriously and hope to build a future within: “When I was a kid, most kids wanted to be a star athlete or a rock star. I wanted to work on a racing team. Not necessarily to become a high profile driver, that wasn’t me. I wanted to learn how to make stuff work better and go faster, stated student Greg Ditch.

Student Eric Lopez shared the same sentiments of Ditch. Lopez plans on studying engineering in the near future: “I plan on studying engineering at The University of Texas next semester,” Lopez shared with CBS Radio Houston. “I had no idea that there could be a career for me as an engineer working on a race team. In a few days I will be able to work with NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Donnie Neuenberger and Land Speed World Champion Al Lamb will help me make the calls from our pit box. Most people can go an entire lifetime and never get that sort of opportunity or experience.”

NASCAR's Donnie Neuenberger(Photo Credit: John Harrelson/ Getty Images)

NASCAR’s Donnie Neuenberger(Photo Credit: John Harrelson/ Getty Images)

NASCAR’s Donnie Neuenberger, NASCAR and ARCA Series Driver sees the Chavez high school students driven, in more ways than one: “When I was in school we took a shop class. This is so much more than that. These kids are truly learning to become engineers. The skills they learn at Chavez High School will build a foundation for a life time. I have been in NASCAR 20 years and have never seen anything like this. It is amazing that a determined group of kids from an inner city school can put together a serious race car in less than two months,” Neuenberger stated.

Take a look at photos of the Chavez High School students as they learn from Safe Lite Professionals about how to properly use the right tools and equipment to install a new windshield!

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