In high school, I was in auto shop before becoming a technician at a dealership, and my heart breaks when I hear of schools ending their shop programs. Recently I stumbled across a Facebook page for a thriving high school auto shop that also has its own race team, I was immediately hooked and their Instagram page has quickly become my fav place to spend time!
Instructor Matt Almaguer took over the program in 2017. The program was established in 2007 with a donation from the retired policemen’s association. From 2007-2017 they focused on building the program and primarily raced an NE1 style front engine dragster in the ANRA series at Famoso Speedway. In 2017, the direction shifted the focus to door cars and several new goals were set for the program. The most important goal is to create a career pathway into the automotive industry. They have partnered with the NHRA Launch Program as a positive step in the right direction. Secondly, they have established local pathways with dealerships in the local area. Lastly, they have initiated contact with major manufacturers to acquire the necessary equipment to be competitive in the NHRA divisional and National events. So far their sponsorship partners include AJPE, AFR Heads, JE Pistons, Wiseco Pistons, Bullet Racing Cams, Comp Cams, Crower Cams, Scat Crankshafts, Manley Performance, Dart Machinery, RCD Engineering, Lucas Oil, Holley Performance, Cometic Gasket, K&R Engineering, Calvert Racing Suspensions, ARP Bolts, M&M Shifters, Lemons Headers, VP Racing Fuels, Manton Pushrods, and Famco Development to name a few.
In February of 2020 the program had the distinction of becoming the first high school drag team to compete in an NHRA National event. This was a major milestone for the program as well as other high school programs across the country.
The young folks that participate in this program truly are the future of automotive service and if I was back running a dealership I would be sponsoring this program for sure and doing everything I could to make sure these technicians of tomorrow considered my dealership as a future destination!
Check out this way cool crew of car peeps on Instgarm @smhs_race_team or their Facebook page here:
Hey there, I'm Mike theCarGuy and here are some of my thoughts about cars, the car business and sales! Take a look around, maybe you will learn something or at the very least find your self smiling, and if you do... leave me a comment so I know I at least did something right! Thanks for stoppin by...
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