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Houston Solar Car Teams Win Again

Posted by Steve Rogers | July 20, 2012 / 08:04am | Local News, Education
By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal
HOUSTON -- The Houston solar car teams soundly defeated all comers from schools around the country to win the Solar Car Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas.

Sundancer, the boys team competing in Open Division, took the checkered flag 286 laps ahead of its nearest competitor to win the race for the 11th time in the past 12 years. The Houston Lady Racers, competing in the Classic Division, were 57 laps ahead in its race, winning for the third time in four years.

"The cars never broke down, we have done this before and we know how to race," said Trey Franklin, spokesman for the Houston Vocational School Electrical Program solar car team. "The best teams in the country compete in this race and our goal is to always be the best."

Both the girls and boys teams knew they were way ahead of the competition when the racing started Thursday morning. The final lap at Texas Motor Speedway was at 2 p.m. and both cars stopped briefly to pick up American Flags before taking their victory lap.

"The boys car had a big American flag and the girls car had a smaller flag and we have made it a tradition for the team captain to drive the victory lap," said Franklin. "It was really special to win and to watch that victory lap."

Houston's teams jumped out to early leads in both divisions and Franklin said this took some pressure off and allowed the group to have a little more fun.

Franklin pointed out there were teams from other schools that were better funded and had fancier cars but they all trailed the solar cars from Houston.

"There was a team from Georgia that is backed by Georgia Tech," said Franklin. "We probably had the least efficient solar cells but we were the lightest and more aerodynamic."Stephanie Rebman 7/19/12 optional trim

Franklin also said Houston has focused on teamwork over the years and every member of the solar car team has a job to do and learns to do it well.

"We worked real hard before we got here to make sure the cars were ready to race," said Franklin. "I also think our strategy and experience in racing helped a lot this year."
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