Among the competitors at the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com is a unique Super Street team with a crew consisting entirely of Central California high school students.
Based out of the Santa Maria High School auto shop, the white 1968 Chevrolet Camaro is tended by students from Santa Maria Joint Union High School District — eight from Santa Maria High and two from Righetti High -– and driven by experienced pilot Greg Dreher.
The SMHS Pro Racing team recently fitted the car with a new 565-cubic-inch Chevy powerplant that carried the D/Gas Class to victory in November at an American Nostalgia Racing Association event.
Club advisor Matt Almaguer has 105 students in his auto shop classes, but his coed racing club consists of just 10 students, who also worked on a ‘74 Mercury Comet that is driven by Santa Maria Joint Union High School District electrician Andy Frietas.
Club president Joe Graack leads the team, which also includes co-crew chief Brayan Flores, Blake Almaguer, Hazel Perez, Alize Torres, Jose Pizano, Gabriel Chavez, Heri Larios, and Alberto Solis.
The team has acquired some sponsorship for the Camaro, including local Santa Maria businesses Fisher Pump and Well Services, Apex Auto Glass and Tinting, Famco Development and Central Coast Street Rods. Engine parts came through a partnership with the manufacturer and Kurt Henkle at Enginetech Machine in Santa Maria, who performed the machine work.