EHS Students get a peek at race cars
Published 8:40 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Elizabethton High School Automotive Technology instructor Paul Linberg found a way to bring reality to school Tuesday, as Carter County race car drivers brought six round track and drag cars for students to inquire about and admire.
“This sparks students’ interest in beginning this as a hobby and deters them from participating in illegal street racing,” said Linberg said.
Exploring the interiors of these cars, students see the five-point safety harness and other safety features that help highlight how unsafe it is to street race, he added.
Many students, like junior Katie Moye, actively learned about the race cars, getting inside of them and questioning the owners. She said when she entered the automotive program, she knew very little about auto mechanics, but has now made repairs to her own vehicle in class and is considering working with cars as a career.
Some students already race in various divisions, and enjoy going to the Street Fights on Thursday nights in Bristol, where they can race any vehicle — even mini-vans. Student Russel Carter, who’s father Chris Carter brought a 1968 Plymouth Satellite and a TQ Midgit to the school, races his own 1974 Dodge Dart.
“It’s a good way to keep kids off the street, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Roger Hollifield, who drives an ‘82 Chevy S10. He has raced since the ‘60s and drove on the Bristol drag strip the year it was completed. He has raced all sorts of vehicles including a ‘56 Chevy, a ‘66 Chevy pickup a Ford Mustang and now his S10.
Wes Johnson brought his ‘55 Chevy, which was the loudest. He said the least expensive cars students might purchase for drag racing are about $15,000.
Norman Markland brought his model ‘89 Mustang which he races in a street car series, so it is actually street legal as well as being a champion on the track.
Joey Trent, director of personnel and technology services for Elizabethton City Schools, brought his NASCAR late model stock car and said racing has always been a hobby. He said it only costs between $90-200 for a NASCAR license and that students could easily start there with a car and a roll cage and compete in a variety of divisions.
“You need so much knowledge to do the setup under the hood,” he said. You need to be good at math and geometry to make everything work together,” he said.
Students are learning the auto mechanics and other subjects at EHS, which will give them the tools they need to pursue their passions, like racing or engine design.