Friday, July 31, 2009

Meeting with the Steering Committee!!

Our team met with the Sundancer Steering Committee July 30. We appreciate the committee coming out early to plan a recognition for our team which will be coming up soon. We will be posting the details soon! Thank you for all of your support and we hope to see you!!

Lights, Camera, Solar Car!!

While at this years race we had the great opportunity to meet Zack Van Eyck. He's a screenwriter who is planning to make a movie about solar car racing. He was excited to discuss our plan for an all girls team next year with Suzy Reese. Mr. Eyck plans to film the race as we travel from Texas to Colorado next year!


The Sundancer solar car team would like to thank Dr. Marks and his students for everything they did for all of the teams during this years race. They worked hard to make sure our racing experience was as enjoyable as possible. We really appreciate the water they provided (Which was very much needed!) Once again thank you for everything you did for us. We can't wait to come back next year!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Our Seniors!

The entire Sundancer solarcar team would like to say goodbye to our seniors Zack Huffman and Alisha Holder. They have taught us so much and we will miss them greatly. We want to wish them good luck in life and thank them for a great time on solar car. We love you!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Hillary Colbert, Ashley Pounds, and Karmen Spratlin
helping unload the trailer
Hunter Powell and Nick Callahan making sure
we brought everything back

Team member Allyson Parker organizing
a few of our tools.

The day after returning home from the race, our team is meeting to unpack everything we brought with us. Even though we are all extremely tired ,the entire team is working together and we are getting it done very quickly. Thankfully we came back with everything we brought, and accidentally brought back a few bugs that scared a couple of our members! Thank you to all of the dedicated members that showed up today to make this happen. We know you are all very exhausted and appreciate the hard work you are putting in for the team. We would also like to thank everyone that welcomed us home at around midnight last night. It meant a lot to us and we appreciate your continued support.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We won first place with our open car and second with the classic. We are all excited for our win!!

Mr. Reese, Mrs. Turman, Mrs. Ellison
Thank you so much for all your hard work and time that you put into this so the team can do this race!! We love you guys!!

Everyone throwing their hats after the race was officially over.
That would be nineteen penalties if it wasn't over!


Today is our last day of racing for the 2009 Winston Solar Challenge. I think that we have all had a great time, but are also missing home. It has been fun, but at the same time a lot of hard work. We have given our best every day, so hopefully all of it will pay off tonight at the awards banquet. We hope to be bringing yet another trophy back home to Houston.

Yesterday, during the second racing session, we had a few difficulties that we had to work through. First, we noticed that a solar panel was loose and about to fly off of our array! We had to make a quick stop in the pits to get it repaired before continuing on with the rest of the race.

This is what the car looked like with the missing panel before we repaired it.

That might sound like a lot to fix in one afternoon, but it's not. There was more. When we thought we were about to be making our final laps of the day, we had a blow out on the front right tire.

After the race, we still had a little time to have some fun while we waited for the car to charge!
Zack, Ashley, and Reagan were riding on our magic carpet (foam).


This summers solar car race will be Zack and Alisha's last one with our team. They are the only two team members to just graduate high school. Zack will be going to Ole Miss in the fall and Alisha will be going to East Mississippi Community College. We are going to miss them and we hope they will come visit us on next years race!

Thursday, July 16, 2009



Some of the proud parents from back home came all the way to Texas to support the Sundancer team!
Amy Alford, Rhonda Huffman, and Amy and Lane Callahan in the car garage at the speedway!

Veteran Sundancer member Caleb Alford, older brother of current member Jay Michael Alford, visited the race today to watch Jay and the team. We are happy to have a former member here at the race for advice and support.


Day three is bringing us more work, heat, and most importantly laps that will hopefully help us add to our collection from the first two days. Even though we have had a successful start, there is still work to do and heat to endure. Our team has toughed it out and we are still going strong. With two more race days left we are hoping to have the same results that we have had the past two days.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Sundancer about to pass two other solar cars.
Jay finally taking a break!
Reagan Byrne making a lap around the track.

We can not go to any kind of solar event, especially the Winston Solar Challenge, without thanking one of our main sponsors, Schott Solar. Our car, with our Schott Solar Cells, has outlasted and out performed our competitors for the past eight years. It seems this year is going to be no different. As a matter of a fact, Sundancer, competing in the open divison, is out performing the advance divison cars which have A-300 solar cells.
Thank you for supporting us throughout our years of solar car racing!


Every morning before the racing begins, all of the teams have a driver's meeting. This is when the winners from the previous day are announced. There is a winner in each divison for both the morning and the afternoon sessions of racing. This morning we recieved three trophies. One for the Open Car having the most laps over all in its category and two more for the classic car's morning and afternoon sessions. Sundancer I, the open car, completed a total of 146 laps yesterday, while Sundancer II, the classic car, completed 101. We came out ahead on the first day with both of our cars. Hopefully today will produce the same or even better results.

Some of the other cars that are in the race do not always have enough drivers to drive their car throughout the entire day. So, sometimes we lend them a few of ours! This is Nolen Hood and Dustin Dendy driving the solar car "High Desert Racer" from Hawthorne, Nevada.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pictures of Day 1!

The team has to work together to prepare the car for the race!

Sundancer, driven by Will Turman, races around the Texas Motor Speedway during the first race session!

Whitney George is at the starting line in Sundancer II... the beginnings of the future "all girl" Houston Solar Race Team under the advisement of Mrs. Turman and Mrs. Ellison (also known as team ET).

We proudly fly our city flag. A special thanks to Mayor Stacey Parker for the flag and all the support from home. Also, we are enjoying the support of parents and other family members of our team who have come to the Texas Motor Speedway to support us (Even though the temperature reached a scorching 108 degrees.)

Mr. and Mrs. Hood, Nolen's parents
Team member Hunter Powell's Mom, brother and sister, and Grandfather
(In the background, note the team member Thomas Brown, "The Thinker")


It is the first day of the race and our car is doing very well. Our car in the Open Division is currently at 27 laps and our car in the Classic Division is currently at 26 laps. Thank you for keeping up with us and we will be updating throughout the day. We have taken many pictures and will post them as soon as possible!

Monday, July 13, 2009


We are on our last day of scrutineering and can't wait to start the race! The team has finally completed qualifying Sundancer and Sundancer II so both cars are ready to roll onto the track tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. We are enjoying meeting members from other teams and seeing the cars that they have built. We are all very excited to start the race and we hope everyone has a fun and safe week! Good Luck to all the teams!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

During our second night in Texas we had the opportunity to go to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
We all went out to eat, shopped, and enjoyed each others company.


With the race about to start, our team has to make sure both cars are ready for scrutineering and then for the speedway! With scrutineering starting in less than an hour, we are trying to get everything in order. This afternoon and tomorrow morning will be the two days of scrutineering.
The actual race will begin Tuesday morning and last until Friday afternoon.
We are all very excited to see all of our hard work finally paying off.
We are also excited that it is finally time to get our solar cars racing and competing on the Texas Motor Speedway!
It is going to be extremely hot, but at the same time very worth it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The day has finally arrived!

We would like to send out a special thank-you to Byrne CPA for purchasing these new hats for our team. We would also like to thank everyone who came out early Friday morning to see us off! Thanks to everyone for your continued support. We hope you are able to keep up with our progress at this years race.

We're Finally on the road!!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Almost Race Time!!

Today we are meeting to finish packing for the race. Everybody is getting extremely excited and can't wait to leave for Texas tomorrow! We are leaving for Dallas a day early so we can visit the Historic Stockyard District in Fort Worth. We plan on watching the cattle drive and eating great steaks! We can't wait to begin racing and plan on having a lot of fun in the Lone Star State!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sundancer's French Camp Practice Run!

Making sure everything is ready to hit the road!

Getting the driver ready to go.

Sundancer going down the Natchez Trace.