Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

July 24, 2013

Bullard Solar Car Team: Solar team finishes first leg of race in second position

Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Members of the Bullard High School Solar Car Team are off to a strong start in the national Winston Solar Car Challenge, a race pitting 14 teams from Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York against each other from now until July 30.

“Frame is definitely doing great and we had some great runs morning,” said team publicity spokesman Cullen Hippler in a text message late Tuesday to the Jacksonville Daily Progress.

On Saturday, on the way to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for race check-in, the truck pulling a covered trailer bearing the Bullard team's car was involved in a multi-vehicle accident in Dallas.

Their vehicle hydroplaned as the driver attempted to avoid a pile-up that was triggered by a motorcycle that also had hydroplaned, Hippler said; the truck's front fender and the hitch pulling the trailer were damaged, and the project car had a small tear to the shrink-wrap as well as some damage to the wheel alignment as a result of the accident, he said.

However, the problems were quickly remedied and the car passed inspection for race approval.

In his text message, Hippler said their car was “in a close 2nd” Tuesday morning.

“This afternoon, the heat has given our tire fits, but we think that we have it figured out now,” he texted, adding that the weather has been partly cloudy along the route, “but for the most part the sun is good.”

Teams stopped overnight Tuesday in Snyder, where they resumed the race at 9 a.m. this morning, with with a planned overnight stop in Carlsbad, New Mexico, according to the website, www.solarcarchallenge.org.

The race began Tuesday from Northwest ISD in Justin, and concludes in Los Angeles this time next week.