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Racing Team Wins Big Time
Posted On:
Thursday, November 14, 2019
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The Santa Maria High School Race Team recently won at the Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, marking the first victory since the program started in 2007.

The Santa Maria High School Race Team recently won the 35-car D/Gas Class elimination during the American Nostalgia Racing Association’s event at the Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, marking the first victory since the program started in 2007.
The Saints' 1968 Chevrolet Camaro proved to be the best in the 10.60 second bracket on Sunday. The team also raced and qualified a second car, a 1974 Comet in the E/Gas and Hot Rod classes. The Comet won in the first round of Hot Rod but went out in the second round.
“It’s amazing to think of the odds of this feat,’’ said Auto Shop Teacher and Race Team Advisor Matt Almaguer. “I want to thank all of you for letting us have this program that teaches our interested young people valuable life skills and teamwork.’’
Throughout the weekend, the team worked on both race cars making adjustments, baseline tune-ups, and other fixes for the drivers.
The Camaro’s usual adult driver Jody George was absent - competing in the NHRA Division 7 Series in Las Vegas. So seasoned driver Greg Dreher took over. But, George returned unexpectedly after his race in Nevada and joined the students and drivers with some “veteran advice” for the win.
“It was truly a team effort and I am extremely proud of the students' accomplishment,’’ said Almaguer, adding the third adult driver is Andy Freitas (SMJUHSD electrician) who drove the Comet during the competition.
Students on the race team are Brayan Flores, co-crew chief; John Graack, co-crew chief (Righetti student); Blake Almaguer (Righetti student); and Saints Hazel Perez, Alizé Torres, Jose Pizano, Gabriel Chavez, Heri Larios, and Alberto Solis.
The SMJUHSD and the race team would like to thank those who donated engine components, fuel, and monetary support that allows our program to compete at a higher level of competition:
Famco Development, Fisher Pump and Well Service, Trojan Petroleum, Apex Auto Glass, Air Flow Research, Bullet Camshafts, Lucas Oil, Crower Cams, Holley Performance parts, Scat Crankshafts, Edelbrock, Enginetec Machine, Milodon, Code 4 Fire Management, Wheels n Windmills, Central Coast Street Rods, and Bent Axles Car Clubs.
Photo: left to right:
Gabriel Chavez, Heri Larios, Jose Pizano, John Graack, Greg Dreher, Matt Almaguer, Blake Almaguer, Andy Freitas, Hazel Perez, Jody George, Alizé Torres, Alberto Solis, and ANRA President Butch Headrick

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