As the very first pair of Stock Eliminator cars pulled to the lanes on Thursday morning at the 2019 Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., the future of drag racing, the automotive industry, and mechanical engineering could be found on display in the pits of Pomona.
Thousands of students from elementary to high-school came from campuses all over Southern California to see lessons of the classroom applied in the laboratory that is NHRA drag racing. Far more than a fieldtrip, these students mingled with racers, technicians, and ambassadors from Ford, SEMA, Mopar/CAP, UTI, Auto Club of Southern California, The Fab school, Sunstate Equipment Rentals, Lucas Oil, the Lucas Oil “Muy Caliente” jet car team, Tim Smith American Freedom Fighter Jet Dragster, Rim of the World High School, Skills USA, Pathways Management Group Youth Program LASD Motorsports (Beat the heat), Auto Detail Supplies Outlet, NHRA Jr. Dragsters, and Western Tech.
Students then heard from the life experiences of Ford Mustang Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III; host of MotorTrend’s Roadkill David Freiburger; UTI Regional Admissions Director Gabriel Hernandez; Mopar Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett; Sales and marketing manager, technical support operations for Ford Customer Service Division Car Elizabeth Tarqunito; SEMA Garage Product Development engineer Luis Morales; UTI Field Admissions Representative William Harrison; and Mopar Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.
When the symposium was over, students were then invited to watch the racing action on the track and come back the following day to cheer on the drivers and teams they had met.
Have a student or a teacher that’s looking for a career in science or motorsports? Have them attend one of NHRA’s YES Programs when is rolls into a town near you.