Student-built cars racing at IMS to kick off May

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The month of May is here but on Monday it wasn’t the pros racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the future pros.

High school and middle school students across the country spent months applying math and science skills to build electric-powered race cars with the Greenpower USA program. Their assignment Monday was simple: race your car across the most storied track in the world.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Pike Central High School student Lukas Hill said. “This place is massive.”

Greenpower USA President Jacob Boyett said the group connects with schools to teach kids STEM-based classes on how to build, tune and race the cars.

“This is an incredible opportunity for us,” Boyett said. “To see the looks on some of these kids’ faces that would never dream of being able to run somewhere like this, it’s truly remarkable.”

The kids come from Alabama, California, Florida—all over the country.

Hill, who is a junior at Pike Central, said he wants to be a machinist when he grows up. Monday, he was a race car driver.

“I’m a little nervous but it’s a pretty good feeling. Kind of exciting actually,” Hill said. “We won’t be last. Somewhere in the middle, that’s the goal.”

This is the first year Hill’s competed.

Greenpower started in 1999 in the U.K. and expanded to the U.S. three years ago in Huntsville, Alabama.

Lindsey Hitchcrock is a 9th grader who’s competed each year since Greenpower expanded to the U.S.

“I’m definitely looking forward to see how our car performs,” Hitchrock said. “We’ve worked really hard on it and to see it pay off would be really nice.”

For some kids, the Greenpower USA program is an after school activity. Some other schools make it a class.

28 teams with about 12 kids per team raced Monday.

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