- Published on Monday, 06 May 2013 12:44
John Hawkins hauled home a trophy and a $5,000 scholarship.
NORWALK, Ohio – The 2013 High School Nationals Team Championship trophy rewards EHOVE Career Center in Avery, Ohio for another stellar effort at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
By round five of seven rounds of racing on May 5, 2013, Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park, announced the accomplishment.
“Officially, EHOVE won the 2013 Championship. At this point, nobody else can catch them,” said Bill Bader Jr. “They have been such a dominating force at this race for so long. Congratulations to EHOVE.”
Still up for grabs for the final four, however, were the racing scholarships from Lincoln College of Technology in Indianapolis, Indiana.
John Hawkins, Fairlawn, Ohio cut a 0.009-second light in a torch red 1978 Nova for a final round win over Bryan Clapper Jr., Elida, Ohio, racing a 2007 GSXR 1000 motorcycle.
For their efforts, John Hawkins received a $5,000 scholarship, and Bryan Clapper Jr., a $3,000 scholarship.
Semi-finalists Owen Hoover, Norwalk, Ohio, and Ron Drown, Clyde, Ohio, each received a $2,000 scholarship.
“I come here a lot on Wednesdays,” John Hawkins said, adding his Nova restoration was a project shared with his dad, Bruce Hawkins. They fabricated the spoiler, and sanded and painted the car. “We started working on it two years ago. I started racing in mid-July last year. My dad used to race motorcycles when he was younger.”
The win at the High School Nationals affected Bruce Hawkins and fell on John’s sister Andrea’s birthday.
“I’m about to tears,” Bruce Hawkins said. “Really happy.”
John Hawkins received the top Lincoln scholarship as he weighs career options.
“I was planning on going into the Marines,” John Hawkins said. “I’ve talked to a recruiter and everything.”
Other High School Nationals competitions brought the pack to the track.
The Jostens Smokey Burnout contest includes several components for a successful campaign: Courageous abuse of rubber on the pavement; extra tires with friends to help change them quickly; and hordes of loudly cheering fans, whether from your school or other schools who don’t want your opponent to win.
Brandon Holmes, representing EHOVE from Marblehead, claimed the $1,000 scholarship to Lincoln College of Technology and the first place Jostens trophy in the Smokey Burnout contest.
Dustin Wentz, Carey High School, received second place in the Jostens Smokey Burnout contest for his team’s efforts to change tires and restart his 1980 Olds 98.
In the Jostens Car Cram, Upper Sandusky High School students squished 15 people into a Plymouth Neon. The wheel wells pushed down to the tires.
“You are a very brave group,” said Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park.
Dustin Wentz volunteered his 1980 Olds for the Carey version of the Jostens Car Cram. Piled high with boys with their shoes and boots off, a girl changed her mind about climbing into the big car.
“I don’t want to go in,” the girl said. “It smells in there.”
Carey managed 19 students in the car with the doors closed, for second place.
EHOVE brought out a 1989 Cadillac, loaded students into all four doors, and claimed first place in the Jostens Car Cram with 21 bodies.
Carey High School hauled down first place trophies in both Best Team Spirit and Jostens Ugly Working Wreck.
“From the time you got here you guys have had incredible team spirit,” said Bill Bader Jr.
Some of the vehicles at the High School Nationals need to be seen and experienced to be believed.
Dustin Wentz’s 1980 Olds, his first car, boasted a front loader trash can with “Carey” written on it, and graffiti scribbled in black letters all over it. Kids literally piled on. Dustin received a Jostens trophy for Ugly Working Wreck and a $1,000 scholarship to Lincoln College of Technology.
Runner up for Ugly Working Wreck landed in Clement Scheid’s “Hickmobile,” a 1994 Ford Ranger, the EHOVE student’s daily driver which uses GPS for a speedometer. The outside is red with Mossy Oak decals, and drainage pipes for bumpers.
For a printable PDF of results from the 25th Annual High School Nationals on May 5, 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, click on: Friends and fun!
When they were off to the races, students tooled the track in just about anything somewhat street legal.
EHOVE Career Center staged a neon green Mack truck.
Thomas Eastman, a senior EHOVE student from Western Reserve, and Jack Knight, a senior EHOVE student from Vermilion, said the truck serves as one of the automotive projects.
“This is our truck,” Thomas Eastman said. “We work on this truck all year long, and get it ready for today. We didn’t do much engine work on it this year. I painted the front grills and frame to make it look better. I put these fenders on it.
“Only seniors can race this truck,” Thomas Eastman said. “I worked on it last year, but I didn’t get to race it. Now I understand why. I wasn’t a senior.”
Several vehicles from Tiffin Columbian raced with pink ribbons around them in support of a student’s mom who battles cancer.
A 2005 F250 4x4 in the staging lanes sported, “The Beast,” on the back window.
Me and my dad named it,” said Dylan Koch, 17, a junior criminal justice student at EHOVE from Sandusky.
At his first High School Nationals, Dylan Koch nosed up to the starting line in the F250 for his first drag race.
“It’s a beautiful day,” Dylan Koch said. “It’s a lot of fun. Nervous though. My heart was pounding. My hands were getting sweaty, trembling. And that’s when you let loose, I guess.”
For Lorain County Joint Vocational School, Sierra Floyd raced a 2013 Mustang, the same car she mashed to victory in the High School Class at Mickey Thompson $7 Fun Night on Wednesday at Summit Motorsports Park.
“It’s my grandparents’ car,” Sierra Floyd said, adding her black 1982 race car takes her rounds in the Accel Sportsman delivered on time by TFC Transportation class on Saturdays in the Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series. “Normally I race a Camaro, but I couldn’t for this.”
Michelle Stallard, a Margaretta High School senior, pushed her Buick LeSabre to the limit at her first drag race and her first High School Nationals.
“I’m excited,” Michelle Stallard said. “Can’t wait.”
Robert Walls, an EHOVE student from Margaretta, cranked up a 1990 Ford F250 to 72 mph in the quarter mile.
“For 200,000 miles on an old work truck, I think that’s pretty good,” Robert Walls said. “It’s black with purple pearl. It’s purple in the sun and black in the dark. It was my grandpa’s. Grandpa gave it to my dad. I guess it’s mine now.
“It’s a family heirloom. My grandpa bought it brand new off the lot. Last year I brought my Chevy down,” Robert Walls said. “I ran that for the High School Nationals.”
Even a Marvel Comics super hero got involved at the High School Nationals. Well, maybe a look alike.
Jarred Gray, Clay High School, borrowed a 2006 CBR motorcycle marked red and blue with a matching Spiderman helmet.
“It’s my buddy’s bike,” Jarred Gray said. “When he first bought it, it had different paint. He couldn’t find anything to go with it. So he thought he hadn’t seen one of these before.”
The Spiderman art came from a decal kit, Jarred Gray said.
“I’ve been riding clutch, four-wheelers and stuff, since I was a little kid,” Jarred Gray said, adding that while he’s not new to racing, he hadn’t lined up at a Christmas tree before.
“This is my first drag race at the strip,” Jarred Gray said. “This is a lot safer, a lot funner, too.”
Storm Howard Jr., wearing a bright pink Carey High School T-shirt in his first High School Nationals, raced a friend’s truck.
A pair of GSXR 1000 motorcycles that cut down the quarter mile in 8.85 seconds at 150 mph carried brothers Bryan Clapper Jr., Lima, Ohio, and Taylor Glick, Bath High School.
This is like the best track we come to,” said Taylor Glick, 17, a junior. “We usually go to the NHDRL. This will be my third year on the bike.”
Harmony Glick, their mom, said Taylor’s racing includes 12 years of diversity.
“This is my bike,” Harmony Glick said. “He raced a Junior Dragster before that and carts before that, on a circle track.
“My dad will race here, too,” Harmony Glick said. “Tom Glick, in a Pro Mod Camaro. That’s where the party got started: From him.”
In the Instructors’ Race, Josh Messersmith, Carey High School, won the evenly matched final round by a difference of 0.058 seconds over Coach James Linder from EHOVE.
Tony Darr, auto technology teacher from Vanguard in Fremont, Ohio, lined up in a 2001 Chevy 2500 HD truck.
Tony Darr prepared for the High School Nationals by tooling the track at the Mickey Thompson $7 Fun Night on Wednesday.
“I live in Monroeville, so this is my home track,” Tony Darr said. “This is my third Nationals and we won last year.
“My son (Alex Darr) is here, but he’s racing for Monroeville, not even EHOVE,” Tony Darr said. “He’s driving a little red Grand Am. He came out with me Wednesday night to practice. This is his first drag race.
“I asked him, ‘Do you like it?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I want to go faster.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it’s addictive,’” Tony Darr said.
Alex Darr, 16, a sophomore, said racing is fun.
“Absolutely,” Alex Darr said. “I love it.”
Coach James Linder, collision repair and refinishing teacher at EHOVE, also coaches wrestling at Norwalk High School.
Estimating he’s attended about 10 High School Nationals during his 30 years of teaching at EHOVE, Coach James Linder said he drag races once a year.
“I used to back in the day, when I had cars,” Coach James Linder said. “That was back in the 70’s.”
EHOVE passed out 100 free black T-shirts to students, with “2013, EHOVE High School Nationals” on them, Coach James Linder said.
The EHOVE team met at the track, and set up a pit along the east fence, cooking 120 burgers and 120 hot dogs on a barbecue grill.
Duane Koch, Sandusky, Ohio, an auto body instructor at EHOVE, manned the grill.
“I drew the short straw,” Duane Koch said. “If any kid shows up, they get a free T-shirt and free food all day long.”
Duane Koch raced a Harley-Davidson Road King motorcycle in the instructors’ race.
“One of our advisory members loaned it to me,” Duane Koch said. “Riedy’s Auto World on Mason Road in Sandusky. They loaned the bike and sponsored the shirts. They’re one of our biggest sponsors every year.”
While Duane Koch flipped burgers, he received as a gift a framed Moto Lenz photo of himself racing the motorcycle. He held it and looked at it, speechless.
Jim Krueger, Ace Roofing Construction, 120 North Howard Road, Curtice, Ohio, teaches construction out of his office for Clay High School in Oregon, Ohio.
Volunteering for his first High School Nationals, Jim Krueger knows the ways of the tree. He races his 1981 Camaro at Summit Motorsports Park and in Milan, Mich.
One of Jim Krueger’s students, Jadea Robinson, Curtice, is a junior at Clay.
“He’s one of my best students,” Jim Krueger said. “He’s an excellent worker.”
The photos with this story are sized for the Website. Most people can right click a photo, save it to their computer, and upload it to another Website or to Facebook.com. Yes, you have our permission.
Did you have a great time? We certainly enjoyed having you as our guests. How about next year? Someone from your school could start a High School Nationals group on Facebook.com, and create a photo album for the group. You could even organize a car wash or two to help pay for the trip. What a great group! Thank you for coming out to Summit Motorsports Park!