Local teams have big showing at the fifth annual Diverse Power Grand Prix

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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One of the biggest races on the GreenPower calendar was held in LaGrange over the week as the fifth annual Diverse Power Grand Prix saw over 350 participants flock to LaGrange College for a day of racing. For the kids, the day started as the sun broke the horizon as they prepared for a full day on Saturday. 

“I thought it was a fantastic day for racing,” said Matthew Graham, head of Long Cane’s race team and the race organizer. 

The local schools were well represented with at least one team from Callaway Middle, Callaway High, Long Cane, Gardner Newman, Troup High, Lafayette Christian, and ThINC Academy at Saturday’s races.

“It showed that all the local work we’ve been doing with the GreenPower teams is really starting to pay off,” Graham said. “Even Gardner Newman, who was participating in their first race this year, got seventh.”

Those teams were not there to just make up the numbers as most had impressive showings with none quite as impressive as Lafayette Christian, who finished first in the F24 intermediate stock for middle school to claim their first win as a program.

“It was a really exciting day for Lafayette Christian School because that was the first time they had an overall win,” Graham said. “It was cool to see them pull this off at a local event and show everybody how hard they’ve been working. They have been right on the edge several times and they finally got it done.”

While the Cougars finished first, Callaway Middle also had an impressive showing in this category, finishing in fourth place. Gardner Newman was participating in its first race on Saturday and its 92 car finished seventh while the no. 50 car finishing ninth. 

The F24 Intermediate Modified saw the Long Cane 999 car dominate once again with a perfect score.

“This was their third overall perfect score of the season out of seven races,” Graham said. “I don’t know if that has ever happened before, and I don’t feel like it has. It is a team that has been together since sixth grade and knows what they are doing on race day.”

In the F24 Advanced Stock high school class, Troup 556 finished third, ThINC finished fourth and Callaway High 110 finished in sixth place.

“The Troup 556 team finished third, and they are an all-girls team, how cool is that?” Graham said. 

F24 Advanced Modified saw Troup 250 earn a second place finish while Callaway 810 finished in third place. 

The presentation aspect saw Long Cane 999 earn a perfect 100 for first place. Long Cane 000, Lafayette Christian School, Callaway Middle and Gardner Newman 50 and 92 all finished in the top 10 for presentation score. 

“Six of the top 10 are GreenPower Troup teams,” Graham said. “I think that is fantastic. It shows you how great of a job the teachers are doing in preparing the students and I think the students are learning a lot.”

The Long Cane 555 team tied the course record with 44 laps. 

“Our sixth grade team hit 44 laps in both heats,” Graham said. “That is really hard to do because you have to be perfect twice. There are so many variables in these races, and there are wrecks on the course with so many cars out there, it was impressive to see these sixth graders get in a car for three hours and not wreck.”

While there are a few more races on the docket, all the GreenPower teams will now have their eyes on the national championships at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5-6.