Race Day One: Ready for Takeoff

Featured, General, Texas / Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Race Day One is officially done! Over the course of the day, we performed more than 100 laps, and achieved a top speed of fifty-three miles per hour during the later hours of the race. The day’s success was met with multiple high-fives and passionate cheers from behind the pit wall. After the official lap count was given, we took second place on the first day. 

Day one presented a load of unique challenges like rain delays, multiple breakdowns of other solar cars, and a hectic schedule of interviews and group photos that threw a wrench in the regular race schedule. In the first few hours of the race, many vehicles ran into major mechanical and electrical issues, causing them to slow their pace or come to a full stop on the track. The first driver, Joseph Nwizugbo (12) had to safely navigate a track full of caution zones, support vehicles, and debris from other cars. 

(Above) Joseph Nwizugbo (12) speeds past the front straight of the Texas Motor Speedway.

One element of 2021’s race that sets it apart from 2019’s race is the unpredictable weather we’ve been having. On the morning of day one, we had a two-hour rain delay that kept us from starting until later in the day when the sky cleared up. On that day, we were faced with multiple rain showers in quick succession. Thankfully, our car is as rain-ready as the Seattlites that built it. After hundreds of miles of testing in all kinds of weather conditions at the PACCAR track in Mount Vernon, Washington, we knew our car could easily handle the rain. During the rain showers, La Cucaracha didn’t miss a beat.

(Above) Joseph Nwizugbo whips La Cucaracha around turn three of the track.

The RAHS Green Energy Team also made some press during the day! Fox 4 News stopped by the Texas Motor Speedway on Monday to interview teams competing in the Solar Car Challenge, and Good Day’s Shannon Murray chatted with Hailin Truman (11) and Alexis Lee (11) about the race, the car, and the road to Texas. You can watch their interview here!

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