40 Laps. 137 Miles. Under Full Cloud Cover

Not bad, not bad at all!

A near-faultless drive by Devin Valamores and Austin Homesly, and a very dependable car that vanquished The Hill.

The entertainment was on the straightaway and The Hill. Everywhere else it was “slow and steady” to keep energy consumption to an absolute minimum, because it was nearly impossible to wring power from the skies.

Despite a later start than most teams S&T climbed as high as #5 in the lap count before ending up #6 with 40 laps. Who’d a thunk a team that was on the ropes a year ago could storm back so strongly? Well, they did!

This team set goals. Arrive Check!. Work as a team Got It!. Qualify for the track race Yeah, Baby!. Turn 100 laps in three days. Very doable!

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny. With a fully checked-out car, and an on-time start, 60 laps or more is well within their sights. And that would make it a clean sweep of the challenges the Miners set out to solve.





Let’s not forget the efforts of our erstwhile crew of top-notch photographers who drive trucks and vans full of comatose students for days at a time. Who brave heat, rain, boredom, biting insects and loose dogs to bring you these amazing pictures.
Due to their girth and horrible fashion sense, we think it better that we not identify them.

The Little Red Solar Car That (Finally) Could!


Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville is the underdog, the team everyone is pulling for. Rumor is they use an old motor that makes a heckuva racket, but that just doesn't have the "oomph!" They've attacked The Hill over and cover again to no … [Continue reading]

It’s Good To Be Back!


Hill? What hill? Solar Miner VIII took the hill from hell as if it wasn't even there. No 200-yard running start, no hesitating, no fear, just boys-will-be-boys pedal to the carbon fiber and jaws dropped all over the paddock. #42 has been … [Continue reading]

At Dawn They Ride!


If the damned rain ever quits………….. … [Continue reading]

The Hill Of Death Eats Solar Cars

Hill of deathDSC_0149

Problem #1: Straight out of the pits is the Mt Everest of solar car racing. The Hill. Most teams entering the track have to go in the opposite direction, turn around, and get a 200-yard running start to have a good chance of making it to turn #1. … [Continue reading]

S&T Clears Dynamics Test/What’s A Few Cones Among Friends?


The Solar Miners squeezed through scrutineering with some difficulties, but got high enough marks to reach the dynamics (wet braking, figure eight, slalom and U-turn radius) events. Drivers Austin Holmsley and Devin Valmores each had a crack at … [Continue reading]

Letha And The Beetle


It's not always about the car. Sometimes it's the little side stories that add the human spice, memories that will bring a smile years from now. Letha Young, Honorary Knight of St Patrick, has long been the Team Mom, student herder, fire … [Continue reading]

What’s A Solar Car Race Without Rain?


Endless 16-hour days are wearing on this crew, but out of the exhaustion has risen a quiet determination to get things done. No drama, no meltdowns, just an intense focus on the tasks at hand. Fix the battery management system, clear the dynamic … [Continue reading]

It’s Too Blasted Late To Write A Coherent Story!


So we'll go with lots of photos and a few wisecracks. News? S&T qualified for the dynamic tests but still have a few bugs to work out. Easy-open top, perfect for those hungry bears when you drive through Glacier National … [Continue reading]

That Constant Droning Sound


Visitors to the solar paddock could be excused for thinking that Texas-sized mosquitoes are swarming the site, but the constant buzzing comes from dozens of grinders, sawzalls, drills and Dremel tools. Most of these schools have been in solar … [Continue reading]