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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Topics:  Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals


U.S. Army Racing
April 6, 2010

The U.S. Army introduced its new School Challenge program at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway on March 12th in conjunction with the NHRA's Youth & Education Services program, which is presented by the U.S. Army.

Four schools were randomly selected to compete in three challenges (Mental, Emotional and Physical) via a relay format. Each challenge was scored with a running clock of 15 minutes, allowing students to earn points for achievement and recognition.

The "Boardwalk" Mission challenge demonstrates what it takes to be a leader, while giving students the opportunity to discover their own leadership qualities. Using just two eight-foot boards, the entire squad must traverse a course of slightly raised pylons. Strategy becomes critical as teams are required to complete the course using no fewer than two moves and no more than four.

The Mental challenge encourages teamwork and problem solving while working through a series of questions based on specific scenarios. Students use provided tools and maps to quickly determine answers to a situational event relating to the Army. Four questions cover such topics as history, geography, math and science.

Finally, the Physical challenge proves that even the strongest can't do it all themselves. Members of the team work to coordinate their efforts to complete five team push-ups while each student's feet are placed at a right angle upon the shoulder of another.

In Gainesville, teams were coached by drivers Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher (U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster) and Jack Beckman (MTS/Valvoline Funny Car).

Following its successful NHRA School Challenge program, the U.S. Army will stage a similar introduction at Texas Motor Speedway this month during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend. The Army sponsors the #39 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet as driven by Ryan Newman.

See More NHRA Top Fuel News

The presence of any information identifying private companies or other non-federal entities does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

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