Teens Compete in Solar Car Race at Texas Motor Speedway

Dozens of cars raced around the track at the Texas Motor Speedway Monday morning, but it's wasn't a normal car race.

Teens from high schools around the United States traveled to North Texas to compete in the four-day "Solar Car Challenge." Teams built their own cars which had to be powered by solar energy.

One lap in a NASCAR car takes about 27 seconds. It takes the solar cars used in the challenge — which travel about 30 mph — closer to three minutes. But the kids who build them hope they're changing the future.

"We're using renewable resources, not nonrenewable resources," said 17-year-old Breanna Isaac of Choctaw, Mississippi. "We're constantly trying to become more efficient."

In this game, it's not about how fast, but rather how far — total accumulated miles — during the four day race, which has been held at Texas Motor Speedway for 10 years

"To be here where NASCAR races are held, it's really exciting and really amazing," Isaac said. "I can feel the intensity and the atmosphere, and on the track it's a wonderful feeling."

Teams from 29 high schools around the country are fighting it out on the track. More than a dozen are from Texas.

"There are some nice cars sitting right next to us," Wylie's David Harris said. "It's pretty nerve-wracking seeing these great teams.".

The cars come in different shapes and sizes, trying to squeeze every ounce of power from the solar batteries. It's an extracurricular hobby that, for many, has inspired a lifelong love of engineering.

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