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The SMHS Race Team started their season off by making the semi finials during a 50-car elimination drag race at Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield recently.

The team, who was the only participants from a high school, competed in the sportsman class of the regular American Nostalgia Racing Association contest.

They entered their 1974 Mercury Comet with a 302 cubic-inch Ford engine. Several students including alumni and driver Angelina Martinez attended.

Crew Chief Chris Salce said they worked on the race car until late the night before fixing a variety of problems.

“Honestly, we were surprised we did so well,’’ Salce added. “But we could have used a little more time to improve communication. You know, on the little things like everybody knowing how to perform specific jobs safely and quickly. We are very proud though.’’

The team, which started in 2008, has more than 25 members, two active race cars and a dragster. They soon will have a funny car. The school’s auto program has about 100 members.

Teacher Art Foster called his young people “amazing”.

“They are learning how to be prepared and confident now and in the future,’’ said Foster, a Saint alumni from 1962.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.