Thursday, July 20, 2006


The Last Day

This morning we got here to find that we had received a four lap penalty yesterday for going too fast out off of the track! On the other hand, we found out that they took 2 laps off of our penalty from the first day. We had gotten this penalty for not sounding our horn, but the race officials decided to remove the horn penalties from all of the teams. The Sundancer Team has had a great day so far, and hopefully it will continue. This morning Caleb Alford drove the open division car, and Stefanie Barkley drove the classic division car for about the first hour. In her first hour her speed demon side came out and she pretty much drained the batteries. Then Alisha Holder got and in only made one lap before having to pull in. This afternoon, Lance Whitworth is driving the open divison car for the first 2 hours and Roderick Wiley will be finishing up the last hour. Andrea Westmoreland is driving the last of the laps today for the classic divison car. We are very excited about everything, especially all the good luck we have had since we got to the race.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blake McCoy stays hyrated in the hot Texas sun by drinking some gatorade!

Day Three

Today was day three of racing. In the morning session Tyler Davis drove the open division car and Caleb Alford drove the classic division car. Everything went smoothly and both drivers did excellent. In the afternoon session I (Leigh Springer) drove the open division car and Blake McCoy drove the classic division car. We both did very good too, and no I am not just saying that because I was driving. I was really nervous to begin with but before I was finished with the first lap I was completly confident and was going very fast. It was so much fun to get to drive around the track! I also got a little too hot, so when I got out of the car after 3 hours my legs were like jello and thankfully Andrea and Stefanie were there to catch me and take me to the media center where I could cool off and the race medical advisior could check me out. I am okay though, I just needed some water and to cool off. Both cars had a great day racing and I even completed 72 laps in the open divison car. I am really excited about tomorrow, and the team is still working great together, which is one of the main reasons everything is going so well! I would also like to thank everyone that had been viewing our blog, it is amazing to pull it up and see that so many people are following us each day! We have one last day so be sure to look tomorrow for the final results!!
Andrea had a heat rash on her face so we covered her with some cream to make her better! Isn't she cute!
Mrs. Coker came to see her favorite girls!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

First and Second Day Race Updates

The pictures you see below that were posted were from yesterday, our first day of racing. I was so tired that I failed to get them on last night. If you would like to see more pictures you can go to and click on pictures that is located on the left side of the screen. Yesterday was a really good day for us. Roderick Wiley drove the open division car and Lance Whitworth drove the classic division car. Both drivers did awsome. On the first lap for the open car Rod had to pull off because our radios had problems, but we managed to get it all worked out and had him back on the track in minutes. Then later on in the day he had to pull off because he ran out of air horns, and everytime you pass on the speedway you have to sound your horn. Again, we managed to get him horns quickly and get him back out on the track very quick. Lance drove great considering it was his first time to every drive on the speedway. He gave the classic car all it had for about the first 2 hours, then the last hour he had to go really slow and even had to pull it off the last 30 minutes because we used all of our energy. This was not a problem though, we just got it charged up for today. This morning when we got here and found out that we had recieved an 11 mile penalty from yesterday. This penalty was given for our batteries, for passing without sounding a horn, and for passing during a caution time. Now about today, we are in our third racing session at the moment. This morning David Peel drove the open car and Ericka Medders drove the classic car and like Rod they did awsome. Right now Andrea Westmoreland is driving the classic car and Matthew Jernigan is driving the open car. They are both doing great. The open car is in first and the classic car is in 3rd. AND IF YOU ARE WONDERING, YES IT IS EXTREMELY HOT!! We are glad it is very hot and sunny though, it helps us! Our team is doing great, everyone's spirits are still high and everyone is still working together really well! Mr. Reese is making it okay too! He has been great! I will try to get some more updates tonight so everyone will know what is going on.

In this picture, Tyler Davis, Caleb Alford, and Blake McCoy align the tires on the Sundancer before it goes out on the Speedway.

opening banquet

This is me and Leigh with the captains from the Newburgh, NY team.

This picture was taken July 16 at the opening banquet. The entire Sundancer team is represented in this picture, as well as our sponsor from Schott Solar, Brian Lynch.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Parade at Fort Worth Stock Yards

The following two pictures are of Stefanie. During the parade a guy had a huge bull so we went to pet it. When we turned around our car had left us, so we took off running. Stefanie caught her foot in a hole and then tripped over it a fell flat on her face in front of everyone DURING THE PARADE! She scraped her knee up and elbow up pretty bad. Her knee is even swelling up, but she took one for the team (HAHA). She is okay so it is alright for us to laugh about it now. The picture below is of us and the other teams getting water. Gale Hunsucker provided us with free ice water during the parade which was great because it was really HOT! This picture was made in front of her business Rodeo Exchange. Thank you so much!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Scrutineering Session Two

Session do was driver qualification. The Sundacer got David Peel, Roderick Wiley, and Matthew Jernigan qualified, and the Sundancer II got Stefanie Barkley, Andrea Westmoreland, and Lancer Whitworth. The race officials would only allow each team to qualify three drivers on each car because there are so many teams this year they are worried that every car would not be able to qualify drivers if each tried to get more than three.

Today the Sundancer also got a penalty because our batteries weighed over 275, which is the max battery limit, and since we were 11 pounds over the limit we got a two lap penalty. This means that we start with minus two laps.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

About Today

Scrutineering is where each car qualifies to be in the race. Today in scrutineering session one we had to go through three stations, 1. Meeting General Requirements, 2. Electrical and Battery Requirements, and 3. Tilt and Turn Radius Check. Thankfully both cars passed all stations. It was really hot outside, but it was still fun. We met new people and saw people that we had met last year. All of the cars look great, including ours. The Sundancer team had a really good first day, everyone got along and everything that needed to be accomplished was. All of our team members made sure that nothing was left undone and really worked together as a team. Tomorrow we are scheduled to have scrutineering session 2 and then after lunch we are off to Fort Worth to the Stockyard District for a parade!

Scrutineering Session One

Tyler is hard at work getting the accessory battery installed in the Sundancer II!
This is Andrea, Stefanie, and Me(Leigh) this is after being in the hot sun all day!!

Lunch with Brian Lynch from Schott Solar

Checking In

These pictures were all made during Team Check-in this morning at about 11:oo! At check-in we got our driver arm bands, radios that were to be used in scrutineering, baking soda for that cars in case of a fire, and our team numbers. The open car (Sundancer) is #15, and the classic car (Sundancer II) is #14. This is Mr.Reese, Leigh Springer, and former team member Sherrie Gail Springer who is an intern this year for the race.

Friday, July 14, 2006

From Houston to Dallas

This is a picture of Lance Whitworth, Tyler Davis, Caleb Alford, and Roderick Wiley. This was made just after loading up the car after checking everything upon arrival in Dallas.
This photo was made at about 1;50 am this morning right before we left. This is the entire crew that we brought to Dallas with us. Peolpe pictured besides team members: Beverly James, Reece James, Susan George, Whitney George, Keith Reese(SPONSOR), Marty Ford, and Robert Ivy.
From left to right: Leigh Springer(Captain of Sundancer), Andrea Westmoreland, Stefanie Barkley(Captain of Sundancer II), Ericka Medders, and in the back is Alisha Holder. This is all of us girls and we were so excited to finally be at the hotel!

*So, here's the story: We left Houston at 2 am this morning and did not make it to Dallas until 5:30pm. After, driving only 3 hours we did not even make it out of Mississippi and the school bus we were taking messed up. We were stuck in Vicksburg, MS for almost 3 hours. The bus did not get fixed, so we had to load everyone up in the 3 vehicles that we had. Mr. Marty Ford, a member of our school board, and the driver of the bus, stayed behind with the bus to wait on a replacement while we headed on toward Dallas. Not only did we have problems with the bus, but when we opened the trailer that the Sundancer was in we found that the rough roads had caused a few problems. These problems are totally fixable so it is no big deal but if we would not have discovered them then we could have had major problems. Now we are all getting ready to go eat dinner because we have gotten the car out and checked it and made sure everything was fine. Scrutineering will begin tomorrow at 1 and we will update you with pictures and everything as soon as possible.*

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Today has been a long day, eventhough we have only been here for 6 hours. We had a few small holdbacks, but managed to work them out. As of this moment, everything is totally completed and we are even almost done packing up the trailers. I AM SO EXCITED, AS IS EVERYONE ELSE. We are scheduled to leave at 2am in the morning! I Hope every keeps up with us through this next week, it is going to be exciting. I will be posting daily!!

The Finished Product

These are pictures of our car finally completed!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

***** Only 1 Day, 14 Hours, and 58 Minutes 'til we are on our way to Dallas for the Dell-Winston Solar Car Challenge!*****

Final Touches Almost Finished

This is Matthew Jernigan and Roderick Wiley. They are in the process of working on the turn signal switch.

This is a picture of the array of our solar car. We are finally finshed, and are so excited because we have more power than ever!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rising Excitement

Today we had a meeting with our Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is a group of local business owners, town officals, and supporters. They mean a lot to our team, and are always there for us to lean on. At the meeting we filled them in on everything that has been going on the past couple of weeks. They seemed very excited, which is nothing new because they are always very supportive. This group of people follows us not only through the race, but throughout the entire year. **ONLY 2 DAYS AND 12 HOURS LEFT UNTIL WE HEAD OUT FOR TEXAS**

Monday, July 10, 2006

Final Touches Complete

As of today our car is complete. We have been working really hard the past two weeks and seeing the car completed today was a great relief. It hit me, in only a couple of more days we will be in Texas. Words cannot describe how excited we all are. The whole team has been at the school working since 7:30 am and it is 5:00 pm and we are still here! Even though it has been a long day, everyone's spirits are high and they know all the time and sweat they have put in will be worth it when we get out there on the Texas Motor Speedway! We hope that everyone will keep up with us throughout the race, it means a lot to us!

A Team Ready to Race

This is a team photo that was made today for our local newspaper. We have 13 team members. They are (from left to right):

Matthew Jernigan, Patrick Pearson, Roderick Wiley, Caleb Alford, Tyler Davis, Lance Whitworth, David Peel, Leigh Springer, Blake McCoy, Alisha Holder, Ericka Medders, Stefanie Barkley, and Andrea Westmoreland.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


In these photos, some of the team members review their work after adding new solar panels to the Sundancer.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sundancer II

This is a picture of our team with our outreach car, the Sundancer II. This car competes in the Classic Division.

Work, Work, Work

Currently, the Houston Solar Race Team is still working on the Sundancer (our solar car). We are in the process of putting on our new solar panels that we recieved from Schott Solar. A special thanks goes to Mrs. Grace Xavier for her continued support and interest of our car. Our team is getting very excited, and we cannot wait to get to Texas and get out on the speedway! We appreciate everyone's support and hope that you continue to follow us through the next two weeks. We will be posting race updates daily on this blog. We love you JASON!! Everyone come on down to Texas and join in on the fun!

Leigh Springer