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Don't Worry, I'm a Professional (almost)
Students from Birchwood High School prepare their car for the race at Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2012 on Friday, March 30 in downtown Houston.
Dakota Englett, a junior at Birchwood High School from Birchwood, Wis., is well on his way to becoming a professional stockcar driver. “I’m a huge racing fan. I race everything I legally can, from dirt car racing to go-kart racing, to driving this vehicle at Shell Eco-marathon.” He even went to Skip Barber Racing School last November.
Dakota says driving his team’s prototype vehicle at Shell Eco-marathon Americas has taught him two lessons that will make him an even better professional racecar driver: patience and how to achieve greater fuel efficiency. “When you’re racing out on the track, you get ‘velocitized.’ You get used to going 20 miles per hour, but then you have to drop back to 10 miles an hour, and you feel like you’re barely puttering along. You have to have patience to drop speed when needed to maximize your fuel efficiency.”
And speaking of fuel efficiency, Dakota has learned some invaluable fuel saving tactics for the racetrack. “I’m going to keep these tricks a secret, because they give me an advantage on the track,” he says with a smile.