Some Dreams Lead To Race Cars

Crockett Junior High School students learned Wednesday, Sept. 17, how industrial arts trade skills apply to cars used in drag racing. (Photo by Kelly McChesney)Crockett Junior High School students learned Wednesday, Sept. 17, how industrial arts trade skills apply to cars used in drag racing. (Photo by Kelly McChesney)By Lynda Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Michael Hall, social studies teacher at Crockett Junior High School, is giving junior high students a creative look at possible careers they might want to pursue.

As a result of legislation passed in 2013, students must be counseled on career choices and select career paths when they enroll in high school.

Recognizing that not all students want to attend college and pursue an academic degree, Hall presented as assembly Wednesday, Sept. 17, introducing students to NHRA drag racing and auto mechanics.

Hall, who has been involved with NHRA drag racing for more than 40 years, showed the students a video presentation of modern­ day NHRA drag racing. He also emphasized the options of vocational education and of industrial arts.

At the end of the presentation, students enjoyed viewing real race cars from the area and getting autographs from the owners and drivers.

Willie Josey of Crockett displayed his pro-street pickup while Stephen Lowery, also of Crockett, displayed his top Sportsman/Comp Thunderbird. The third "star" was Gordon Cole of Lufkin who displayed his blown alcohol top dragster.

The CJH auto mechanics/drag racing class will be constructing its own race cars during the course of the school year.

Auto mechanics instruction will take place after school on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Hall said in a prepared statement for the press.

Actual shop instruction and race car fabrication will take place on Saturday mornings, beginning in October.

Hall explained that the class will begin construction on two vehicles; a 1932 Bantam fuel altered vehicle and a junior dragster. When completed, he said, the students will be able to drive the vehicles, with parent supervision.

While the cars are being built, class members will attend local, state and national drag racing events, Hall reported.

The first class field trip was Saturday, Sept. 20, when students attended the NHRA fall nationals in Ennis. Hall secured 40 free student tickets for this event.

Students with the highest grades, great attendance and no discipline problems are eligible to go on the racing field trips.

"The goal of this class is to teach work ethic, responsibility and effort to its students," Hall stated. "To teach all of our students that in America, you can make your dreams come true, if you are willing to work hard and believe in yourself!"