Drag To Learn

About Us

Testimonials and A Little History of Drag To Learn

    

Drag To Learn…? 2017 Summary

We would like to send a special thank you to all the 2017 Drag To Learn…? financial and service providers: Lucas Oil Products and Motorsports; Wheatland, Wyoming businesses- Platte Valley Bank; Lynda Lenz, State Farm; Wheatland Automotive, Jeff McGuire; Wheatland Country Store, Mandy McIntosh; Frontier Furniture, Hersch Pruitt; Jeff and Molly Wilhelm, Dennis and Eileen Keck, Keck Racing and Hot Rod Sales; Amazing Monogramming, Connie Lewis; Mud Springs Optometry, Dr. Jamie Hazen; Laramie Peak Motors, Chuck and Lori Ruwart; Town of Glendo; Crazy Tony’s Restaurant, Guernsey, WY; Wade Jenkins, Jenkins Auto; Knick’s Trucking, Ft. Morgan, CO.

During our twelve-year tenure, we now have shared our message and program with approximately 4,990 students, at 78 student programs, with 180 student/participants at the track, while promoting all the Drag To Learn…? supporters, advertisers and vendors to approximately 29,910 people in the region.
This calendar year we have provided 5 student programs, to approximately 264 students, 16 student participants at the track, and have participated in 6 community activities, while promoting all the Drag To Learn…? supporters, advertisers and vendors to approximately 3,000 spectators.
In addition to the regular helpers, we have grown the enlisted support of 62 racer/friends to provide and share their vehicles, their expertise, and their time in this effort. Also helping support the program over the course of the eleven years, 54 businesses and individuals (16 in 2017) have provided assistance with finances, services or products, five racing vendors (3 in 2017), and NHRA member track Julesburg. (Take a look at the Drag To Learn...? website ”Supporters” page and see all the supporters and racers.)


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Testimonials

"...the students were completely engaged in hearing the message presented to them... words like "awesome", "cool", "amazing", were heard.  As a teacher of high school students, I would not hesitate to strongly recommend that every school invite Mark and the Drag to Learn Team to present this powerful life message to their students."   -Lisa Schuldies, Guernsey-Sunrise School.

 

"Mark was passionate, alive and zealous in his faithful service to the students of this school... Mark strives to connect the students to the educational process and life through his Drag to Learn Program.  I give Mark my highest possible recommendation and it is my hope that Mark will continue to develop and hone his program to reach each and every student."  -George W. Kopf, Principal, Chugwater School.

 

"I can't thank you enough for the expereince at the track and the seminars.  You got me hooked on drag racing.  And I love what you do with the Drag To Learn Program.  With my scouting leadership experience, I know the joy of teaching young people, and I see how much you enjoy what you do with the Drag To Learn Program. If you ever need any help with the program or racing in general, let me know.  If I can help, I will.  -Ben Huro, Wyoming Techinical Instute student.

 

"The students who missed the seminar would like to attend a future seminar.  On a personal note, it was refreshing to see your passion for what you were teaching.  I took away many lessons for future use.  -Paul Benabise, Wyoming Technical Institute student.

 

"The program had a definite impact.  It had a direct relationship to employability and personal responsibility.  It was both informative and entertaining, connecting to real life.  The emphasis on safety rules and equipment was timely with the approach of summer vacation."  -Julie Balzan, Wade Ward, and Clark Noble, Wheatland Middle School

 

"Our middle school students enjoyed the Drag to Learn Program.  It provided the students with several important career and life skills.  We are sure our shop students can now better understand how their education plays a vital role in their future career and real life.  The safety aspects, which were also stressed, helped support what we do in our Industrial Arts classes."  -Casey Lewis and Brent Lake, Douglas Middle School

 

"Totally great idea!"  -John Force, John Force Racing

 

"The kids thought it was really cool.  Some even commented that the program gave them an incentive to better at school and at home"   -Steve Raymer, Principal, Grant Junior High School, Goodland, KS

 

"Mark presented an excellent message to our students that revolved around life and work goals that students need to live by in order to become successful, productive and contributing members of society... Mark's message was very well recieved by our students and staff.  They were not only excited by the message he presented but also by allowing them to view the culuminating activity of the assembly outside as he demonstrated a "burn-out" by his 1973 Ford pickup in the school parking lot."  -Greg Swiatkowski, Principal, Burlington Middle School, Burlington, CO


"I was very impressed with the message Mark presents to students with his Drag To Learn program.  He combines his experiences in education with drag racing to come up with a them on how to be successful in life.  The students were mesmerized with pictures and stories of drag racing, and they absolutely loved the finale.  Mark took the students out to the parking lot, showed them two race cars and did a "burn out".  On the side of Mark's truck are the acronyms he used in this presentation about personal ethics and skills that kids will need now, for work and later in life."  -Larry Meeboer, Assistant Principal, Dean Morgan Junior High School, Casper, WY.

"Even more important than a hobby we all enjoy is the effort you have put forth to help those kids.  Life skills are more important in life than a fleeting hobby.  I'm sure at times it feels like a thankless job you have taken upon yourself.  It's not.  I bet there's a lot of darn good kids out there that you've had a part in shaping.  Press on regardless.  Thanks again."  -Randy 'The Hitman' Messinger, McCook, NE.

"The"Drag To Learn" Team, Mark Knickerbocker and Amy and Troy Hughes, got the students at Saratoga Middle High School and the upper Elementary School students excited to be at school following the Labor Day weekend.  Mark "pulled magic our of his hat' encouraging kids to be good workers in school and in employment... and never give up!  Smiles were worn on every face and excitement in every eye when the drag racing demonstrations began.  The message "Drag To Learn" presents are covered in schools, but not nearly as exciting or memorable.  The assembly offered exciting opportunities our small town students had never though possible.  It will be interesting to see how the students apply the information and strive out for more adventures.  Thank you Mark, Amy and Troy, for sharing; what a great assembly and demonstrations". -Linda Fisher-Perue, Saratoga Middle High School

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About Us

In 2006 we accomplished programs at Wheatland Middle School, Wheatland High School, Guernsey-Sunrise School, Douglas Middle School, visiting with approximately 400 students.  Each supporter received thank you notes from the schools.  Each student received a “hero-card”, NHRA stickers, and NHRA/Summit Racing “Race the Strip Not The Street” brochure about the rules of racing.  Throughout the presentations, gifts were given away to those answering questions and participating.  The gifts given away include Drag To Learn hats and t-shirts, donated hats and t-shirts from supporting businesses, and used parts (spark plugs, cap, rotors, etc).  From the response of the kids, it was a big success!

 

We also took three middle school students racing at Douglas Motorsports Park.  All three students were very much at risk academically and socially, and success at school was very limited.  It is worth noting that in 2007 the three students finished the year on the honor roll and the teachers report they have experienced successes socially.  Drag To Learn was not the sole reason for their success, but it was a significant contributor. 

 

In May, we also accomplished one-on-one presentations for special needs students at Wheatland High School, sharing the importance of math and science, and how schools can open doors to whatever career the student chooses.

 

In July, we took seven participants to Denver for the Mile-High Nationals, and we were privileged to visit with John Force Racing and saw an outstanding event and received autographs and pictures from the drivers, John Force, Eric Medlen, and Robert Hight, and crew chiefs Austin Coil, Bernie Federlen, John Melden and Jimmy Prock.  The kids and I were so very impressed with the amount of time and consideration given to us by the 14 time NHRA Champion.  We also presented John Force with a Drag To Learn hat and shirt.  He stated, “now I will have something nice to wear home… and the program is totally great idea.”          

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The 2007 season has been equally successful and challenging.  Drag To Learn completed four programs at Wheatland Middle School, Glendo School, Wheatland Kiwanis Club, Wheatland Lions Club, Platte County Parade and Douglas Motorsports Association.  We are still working on programs for Guernsey-Sunrise School, special needs students at Wheatland High School, and a vocational program at Longmont, Colorado. Through contacts in Kansas, we may be doing a presentation to Goodland Middle School in Goodland, KS in September of 2008.  As before, the presentation included a 65 slide power-point presentation, gift give away during the presentation (Drag To Learn hats and t-shirts, supporter hats and t-shirts, “hero-cards”, NHRA pamphlets, spare parts and a racing slick).

 

We had three Wheatland High School participants and two recent graduates from Wyoming Technical Institute at Douglas Motorsports Park this season. We also saw an increased interest from other racers.  Eight Douglas racers came on board and volunteered their time and race vehicles; giving rides to the kids and sharing their experiences. One of highlights at the track this year was Leo Mendoza (a former participant and home on leave from the military) raced his Ford pick-up to a Runner-up finish in Street Class and the Jackpot Race. 

 

Again this year we attended the Mile-High Nationals in Denver, with five participants and had the opportunity to visit with Top Fuel racer Whit Bazemore and his crew, and present Whit with a Drag To Learn hat and t-shirt.  Two of the participants were new technicians that have just begun their career in automotive repair, and discovered a new and exciting world.  Whit provided the use of his hospitality area to us during the weekend, which made it very nice due to the extreme heat.  In addition, Dennis Keck of Wheatland took us around and introduced the kids to many of national sportsman racers for autographs and conversation.  One highlight, the kids got to meet a contingent of professional racers from Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin, V. Gaines, Larry Morgan, and Dave Connolly, and Funny Car racer Gary Densham.

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In 2008 Drag To Learn…? enjoyed a record year in all phases of the program.  To date we have delivered 10 complete school programs, (with potential two or three more before the end of the year) visiting with approximately 860 students.  Drag To Learn…? also participated in 10 community activities, ranging from parades, car shows, graduation exercises, and volunteer youth programs.  We were also able to include 26 participants at the track; experiencing the excitement and sometimes the disappointment of competition, and the emotional and physical demands of preparing, planning, adjusting, and working in a racing environment, (very much like the real world of work and life).  

 

2008 DTL Programs:

We started the year off with a bang at Glendo School, resulting in a student expressing interest in a career in the automotive industry.  Kori McNutt, her instructor Kevin Teton, and Mark took a day to review the program offerings at Wyoming Technical Institute.  Although Kori did not elect to attend Wyo Tech, she did formalize a plan to accomplish her intended goal.  Kori also participated at the track with the DTL Team, attending three events at Douglas Motorsports Park, and one of the more interesting events, “Pinks All-Out” in Denver.  Kori represented herself, her family and Glendo in outstanding fashion.  Best of luck Kori, we know you will do well in whatever endeavor you undertake


With the introduction of Kori to Wyoming Technical Institute, DTL also participated in a number of events in Laramie.  Mark was the graduation Wyo Tech speaker in March,  DTL presented a student program and drag racing workshop, participated in the annual Wyo Tech Car Show, Career Day with Jim Baugh from Laramie Peak Motors, and six Wyo Tech students participated with DTL at Douglas Motorsports Park.  The six students, Ben, Bradley, Bree, Mark, Dakota, and Brian, helped with the DTL entry and also were competitors.  Bradley stole the show with his Honda Accord, running a screaming 18 second pass, (the slowest vehicle in his class) and winning Street Class at the Saturday event, and earning the runner-up trophy on Sunday. Bradley proved the point that the driver and a consistent vehicle make the difference; the fastest vehicle in a class does not always translate into a win.  Also Dakota earned the semi-final trophy on Saturday with his Camaro, and Mark won the semi-final trophy on Sunday with his Mustang.  A special thank you goes to Brian and Ben for their assistance with photos, and providing information from the starting line.  As with all of the DTL participants, the six Wyo Tech students represented their school, themselves and DTL in outstanding fashion.  Some of the universal comments from the Wyo Tech gang included, “how nice and helpful all the Douglas racers were to us”, “it is amazing the amount of work and preparation it takes to race”, and “there is a lot more to racing than just stepping on the gas and going down the track.”  DTL would also like to send a special thank you to Kyle Morris and Jack Longress of Wyo Tech for their help and support of the kids’ efforts and promoting DTL.  Somehow a “thank you” does not seem to be sufficient to express our gratitude!

 

Another wonderful surprise came to DTL in the form of two young men from Lusk, Wyoming.  Bailey and Cameron were interested in learning about racing and later on, what they could do to help with the DTL program.  Bailey and Cameron purchased an older race vehicle, a Malibu wagon, and had quite a successful year.  The first few races the boys participated in they won trophies.  The highlight was when Bailey won his class during the National Dragster Challenge, winning the highly coveted “Wally.”  The Wally is a smaller version of the professional racers win, presented only one time a year at the local tracks, and an award that every veteran racer dreams of winning.  DTL is very envious, but ever so proud of their accomplishments.  The greatest surprise of all was, Bailey and Cameron introducing DTL to the car club they started in Lusk, Wyoming, “Rodz and Ridz.”  What a wonderful experience to see first hand, two young men start such an endeavor, and the community jump in help make this effort a going concern!  It is a testament to the entire community. In addition, they encouraged their high school to invite DTL to present a program to the student body.  Kudos to the student body for their outstanding conduct, to Principal  Larson, at Niobrara High School, for his support and assistance, Rodz and Ridz Car Club, Bailey and his dad John, Cameron and his dad Lee, and Gail and  the Lusk Herald for their outstanding coverage and assistance. 

 

DTL also present programs at Chugwater School, Guernsey-Sunrise High School, Wheatland Middle School, Grant Junior High School, Goodland, KS, Burlington Middle School, Burlington, CO, and Douglas Middle School.  Throughout the presentations at each of the schools the students demonstrated that hope for us all is ever present, and in our future.  A huge thank you to Principal Kopf at Chugwater, Principal Twiford at Glendo, Principal Griffith, Lisa Schuldies, Michael Jorgensen , and Cheryl Deuel at Guernsey, Principal Loyd, Julie Balzan, Wade Ward, and Clark Noble at Wheatland Middle School, Principal Raymer at Goodland, Principal Swiatkowski and Jill County at Burlington, and Principal George, Angie Stinson and Casey Lewis at Douglas Middle School.   These folks made all the programs and presentations at wonderful success.


DTL Racers:

Another group of contributors to the efforts of DTL are the volunteer/racers and their families.  They have been a key to the success of our student/participants, by sharing their race vehicles, expertise, time and coaching:  Dennis and Eileen Keck, Dan Mayfield, Gary and Angie Stinson, John Shields, Jamie Cordonier and his entire family, Dave Buchmeier and his sons, Mike and Darlene Moorhous, Troy and Theresa Singleton, Carly Ellingson and her parents, Dave and Ann Nyberg, Sean Harris, John Conilogue, Joe and Alisa Larson, and Stan “Butch” Monson and family.   Other racers and track staff who have donated time at the track, used slicks and parts as give-a-ways include: Perry Herschberger, Diane Sanders and the Douglas Motorsports Park Staff, Randy Messinger, Michael Otis, Kevin and Dick Alexander, Kirby Wilson and Ben Marhle. When time permits, take a look at the DTL website and view some of the racers and their vehicles.

 

DTL Team, Supporters and Advertisers: 

As we tell the kids in the program, you cannot be successful in any endeavor without the help of others.  Without the financial and emotional support of the DTL Team individuals, businesses, advertisers and supporters, we would not be able to accomplish our goals and meet the needs of the program. (Included is the financial breakdown for each year, following the list of supporters.)

DTL  First Year/Annual Supporters/Advertisers for 2006-2008:

Laramie Peak Motors, Brown Company, Amazing Monogramming, Ace Hardware, Jenkins Body Shop, Bank of the West, Lynda Lenz-State Farm Insurance, Wheatland Automotive, and Elite Auto Glass.

   

DTL Team Supporters/Advertisers for 2007:

Wyoming Newspapers, Drube Supply, Brooke and Jennifer Raser, Consolidate Manufacturing, V. Gaines, Best Western Torchlite, Knick’s Trucking, and Anonymous.

   

DTL Team:

Crew Chiefs- John Shields, Joe Hestein, and Dustin Boyson

Motor- Scott Main, MPG Heads Service/Cam Research

Transmission- Larry Shaw, Shaw Racing Transmissions; and

   Hughes Performance.            

Rear Differential and Drive-Line- Bill and Brian Percival, Front Range Driveline

Rear Suspension- Bart Roundy, Ragged Edge Race Cars.

Coach- Dennis Keck,

   Tomi Windell (granddaughter) and Forrest Knickerbocker

Driver/Presenter- Mark Knickerbocker
 

DTL Special Events:

The Drag To Learn…? website (www.dragtolearn.com), became a full functioning website, with the innovation and applications supplied by Crile Carvey Consulting.  The website describes the components of the program, photos of activities and participants, a tentative schedule of events, acknowledgements of the DTL supporters/advertisers, and the history of DTL and testimonials about programs and activities.  Thank you Loara, Crile, and staff at Crile Carvey Consulting!

 

Mix-Up Day at West Elementary was an exciting experience to meet and share with new friends.  The students were grouped at random and discussed different topics of the day.  The topics/questions were to promote discussions between the students, and become aware of each other’s interests, likes, and dislikes.  A few the questions produced surprising answers.  When asked, “what is your favorite vegetable?”  Many students responded, “broccoli.”  The anticipated answer of, “I do not like vegetables” only came up once.   When asked, “if you were President for one day, what would you do?”  The top answers included, “affordable health insurance for everyone and, loans/money to build new homes.”  This experience demonstrates the forwarding thinking of our children, and reminds us all again, there is hope in our world!

 

Pinks All-Out is a drag racing competition developed and promoted by cable television’s THE SPEED CHANNEL, in which racers are selected at random from an internet entry.  The competition took place at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, with 475+ racers being selected from all over the Rocky Mountain region to compete for $10,000 in cash and a large tool box sponsored by NAPA.  The event was then broadcasted on THE SPEED CHANNEL, October 9, 2008.  Each racer was given a series of time-trials, running as fast as possible, with the field being limited to 32 race vehicles, which ran a similar elapsed time.  The competition and time-trials took place over two days (August 8 and 9), culminating in a run-off of the 32 chosen race vehicles.  DTL missed the selection by an approximate two-tenths of a second. (This is a guess and based upon the vehicles that made the final selection).  The event was very interesting, with a few minutes of super exciting tension, followed by frustration and chaos, followed by lengthy stages of waiting.  The event was full of lessons in patience, over-coming “fear”, the need for self-confidence, (practicing the goals from DTL’s components for success) which would pay-off later in the season. The extended down time at the event did provide an opportunity and time to visit with DTL participants, family, and fellow racers/friends.   Because of the extremely busy schedule this year, the idle time became an important time to reconnect to those closest to the program!  

 

NHRA Division V ET Finals was also held at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, September 11-14, 2008.  The recent experiences of Pinks All-Out laid the groundwork for a successful event.  As in the previous event, the total racer count was again at 475+ racers competing in four classes (High School, Sportsman, Pro ET and Super Pro) from 22 tracks, in Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota.  DTL raced in Pro ET, the largest of the classes with 168 racers.  We had a rewarding event, reaching the final eleven in Pro ET, while posting two of the best runs for the event.  During the second round, our reaction time was a perfect .000 seconds.  During the fourth round, we posted a .006 second reaction time, and missed running our projected elapse time of 12.40 seconds by running a 12.406.  The run had a “package” of 12 thousandths of a second from a perfect run.  The lessons and experiences while competing at “Pinks All-Out” in August, were great preparation for the successes while competing at the ET Finals.  Following the Finals, we loaded and headed for eastern Colorado and western Kansas to complete DTL programs in Burlington, Colorado and Goodland, KS. While it was a long five days, the successes at the Finals made the “trip” a special and unforgettable experience; reinforcing the importance of the DTL components for success, and how effective and successful we can be!  It is all up to each individual, no excuses!!

 


Remote Control Car Racing League


In conjunction with Platte County Fair Board and Platte County businesses, DTL will be participating in the development of a “Remote Control Car Racing League.”  The program will make use of the 4-H Arena during the winter months, and provide a positive and engaging experience for the youth of Platte County, at no or minimal cost.  If you are individual or business that would be interested in being a part of the league, call Will DeRyk or Mark Knickerbocker for more details and how you can make this program a success!

  

2009 News, Notes and Review

Drag To Learn…? is enjoying a record start to our fourth year in all phases of the program.  To date we have delivered seven programs, participated in seven promotional events, and had ten participants at the track during the first four race weekends.   In total, Drag To Learn…? has been shared with 665 students, and 2,100 people were exposed through promotional events.  One of special honors experienced included being a guest speaker at the annual American Legion Wyoming Boys State Program in June at the State Fairgrounds in Douglas, Wyoming. 

DTL Programs and Promotional Events:

January through March- Platte County Remote Control Car Racing League (www.plattefair.com/rc/) began with an initial roster of 43 student participants, racing every Tuesday and Thursday evening at the Platte County Fair Indoor Arena.  The league was operated just like the “big boys” races, with specific rules and procedures.  The participants were divided into six teams, with a parent volunteer to help to supervise.  Each team was responsible for maintaining their car, keeping the equipment and batteries in top order, and working together to race each event.  In addition, the teams were divide into six classes based upon skill level; Pee Wee (5-7 years old), Sportsman (7-11 years old), Novice (7-11 years old), Amateur (10-13 years old), Rookie (10-13 years old) and Pro (13+ years old).  Each class would compete in two qualifying heats, to be placed in the final race of each evening.  At the conclusion of each race evening, the kids were recognized and given ribbons for their placing in each class.  Throughout the season, points were awarded for race placing, resulting in season awards, which were presented to the individual and team winners of each class.  In addition, each participant received a monogrammed Platte County Remote Control Racing League book bag.  Because of the success of the student league, two Super Saturday Events were hosted by the league, with adult and student racers from around southeast Wyoming.  What a fantastic experience, what great young people, and what wonderful volunteers to make it all happen.  Special recognition to a few of the folks who made all this possible: Dallas Mount- University of Wyoming Extension Educator (organizer, director, announcer, track maintenance, “Mr. Everything”), Glen Hamilton, Randy Jaren, Sean Harris, James Wagner, Cory Gillespie, The Platte County Fair Board, and all the parents, sponsors and supporters.  For more information and photos from the activities, check out the website listed above, or go to the Drag To Learn…? website and click on the RC Club link. 

April-  Drag To Learn…? went to Casper for two school programs (400 students) at Dean Morgan Junior High School and Centennial Junior High School.  The reception from the kids and staff was second to none.  We were joined by a special guest, Dave Burch from Casper brought his fast hot rod Chevelle to both schools and helped with the presentations.  In addition, we had a nice surprise the Casper Star-Tribune sent reporters out to see the program, and wrote a nice front page article about DTL, which created interest in the Lander area for a program this fall.   

May- DTL was invited to attend the annual spring Glendo Mud and Obstacle Course Race, in Glendo, Wyoming.  We handed out hero cards, stickers, pens and other gifts to the spectators (200) at the race.  In addition, DTL presented Lucas Oil caps to the winners of the races.         

Wheatland Middle School- DTL presented our annual program at WMS on May 12 to approximately 90 seventh graders.  As in the past under the leadership of Julie Balzan, Wade Ward and Dean Finnerty, the students were great listener and participants.  We had two special guests from the Platte County Remote Control Car Racing League, Jodi Poling and her son Eric. 

Racing at Douglas Motorsports Park- The first race weekend May 16 and 17, we took Stanley “Steamer” Baker and Eric Poling racing in recognition for their excellent efforts during the RC Racing League.  Saturday was a long day due to the DMP Annual Awards Banquet; arriving home at 11:00 p.m.  The kids received a taste of the long hours and hard work that is required to race and be successful.  On Sunday, we won our class, with a long time helpers John Shields as Runner-up, and Sean Harris of Competition Racecraft trophy sponsor.  On May 30 and 31 race weekend, Alex Kant and Asa Erlewine from Niobrara High School, at Lusk, Wyoming, raced for the first time.  On May 30, Alex won the High School Class in his Firebird, and on May 31, Asa was the Runner-up in his Chevy S-10 pickup. 

Niobrara Electric Association Banquet- DTL was invited to the annual Niobrara Electric Association Banquet and membership (300) meeting by a long time friend, colleague, and NEA Manager Sheldon Albertson.  While attending the event we were able to enjoy our evening meal with a 2008 DTL racer from the Lusk area and NEA college scholarship winner, Cameron Brown and his parents.

June-  DTL started the month on June 4,  by presenting a program to a newly formed organization of young people (20), the Wheatland Outreach Program.  The students and their sponsors are developing video presentation/description of Platte County, and interviewed local business owners and patrons regarding what the county has to offer new and existing business and visitors.  Also DTL was represented at the Laramie Peak Motors Relay for Life Car Show, which was held on June 6 at the Laramie Peak Motors, in Wheatland Wyoming, with 53 competitors and approximately 200 visitors.  Awards were given for Best Of Show, Best Antique/Original, Best Street Rod, and Best Race Car;  Best of Show- Dwight Smith, Best Antique/Original- Don Pindell, Best Race Car- Kirby Wilson, and Best Street Rod- Kendell Bohl.  (You can see their photos and cars on the Drag To Learn…? website.) The event raised $780 for Relay for Life and their efforts to find a cure for cancer.

Due to the Relay for Life Car Show, we were not able to attend the special recognition of the Douglas Motorsports Park and Drag To Learn at Jackalope Days in Douglas, Wyoming on June 6.  However, Gary and Angie Stinson from Douglas, represented the home track and DTL.  Thanks helping out with this event!

On June 10 we made a presentation to many of the top students (100) selected for the American Legion Wyoming Boys State, held at Wyoming State Fair Grounds, in Douglas, Wyoming.  What an honor to be with the amazing group of young men.  A special thank you to Ron Woods and Jean Brown from American Legion Wyoming Boys State and, TSgt. Craig Kenyon from Air National Guard, for their assistance with the program.

June 13 DTL participated in the Laramie Peak Motors, Jackalope Bracket Nationals, at Douglas Motorsports Park.  We did not experience great success on the track, but we had a great time with new racer friends.


June 17 DTL was privileged to provide a presentation for the students and staff at the Wyoming National Guard Youth ChalleNGe at Camp Guernsey. A special thank you to Joe Michaels, Director and Tina Kirlin for their support and assistance with the program presentation.  A group of great kids making a difference and making changes.  Congratulations to all!

June 19 we received a special invitation to present a program to one of the main DTL supporters, Platte Valley Bank of Wheatland and the Platte Valley Junior Investors (20) program. 

June 27 and 28, Racing at Douglas Motorsports Park, DTL had many visitors and ‘riders’  thoughout the race weekend.  Jodi and Eric Poling helped crew all day.  Kori McNutt, 2008 DTL participant, home on leave from United States Marines and her brother Nate also visited at the track and were a part of the activities.  Trent, a 2008 DTL rider, invited his brother Rob to come to the track.  What a great young man; a future concert violinist, a musician and a car guy.  Only in America!!! 

July 4 and 5, Glendo Days Car Show/Parade and Glendo Mud Race, at Glendo, Wyoming.  The parade and car show on the 4th was an outstanding event.  In addition to all the local participants, there were many out of town guests (300) that enjoyed the activities for the day.  The Mud Race had a record turn out; approximately 800 spectators and competitors attended the event.  What a great job by the Town of Glendo!                                    

July 11 Lusk Rawhide Days and Rodz and Ridez Car Show, Lusk, Wyoming.  What a great turn out and great event hosted by the Rodz and Ridez Car Club; beautiful vehicles and wonderful people!  Great job Bailey and John Midkiff, and all the car club folks!   

July 27, 2009, Tracy Click, from Huntsville, Alabama and Michelle Kvanli, from San Marcos, Texas, members of the United States Olympic Whitewater team, were traveling to Calgary, Canada for the Pan American Whitewater Championships.  Tracy competes in the U.S. Whitewater Freestyle Event, and Michelle competes in the U.S. Whitewater Slalom Event. Just south of Wheatland, they began an unexpected adventure of an accident, which included rolling their pickup. At first approach of the vehicle, with the extensive damage to their truck, kayaks and equipment, it appeared their trip was coming to an end and the potential for personal injury seemed assured.  Michelle’s last memory of the accident was “seeing a stop sign coming toward me… I thought I was a goner.”  The pickup had a blown tire, two flat tires, the rear window glass was broken out, and the pickup box was badly bent, crushed and twisted.  As the truck was rolling, it had come to rest on one of the kayaks. 

Everyone person reviewing the damage to the truck assumed it to be so severe, which would render the vehicle a total loss, or at a minimum it would not be drivable without significant reconstruction and repair.  In addition to extensive damage to the vehicle, it would have been easy to assume the likelihood of rider injuries or death was eminent.  To everyone’s surprise, including Tracy and Michelle, they did not sustain any injuries.  When discussing the lack of injuries, Tracy stated the lack of injuries might be attributed to their physical conditioning and preparation for the competition.  Although shaken by their experience, they set into motion their determination to achieve their goal of competing in Calgary.  Their truck was brought to Laramie Peak Motors Service Department Monday evening, with the hope they could make their vehicle useable so as to finish their trip and compete in Calgary.  Tuesday morning Tracy asked Jim Baugh, Laramie Peak Motors Service Manager, “Can you get us back together so we can get to the Championships?”  Jim said “we will do what we can”, and they would start by getting the tires repaired and check the alignment to determine if there was frame damage.  To Anthony Johnson, LPM Alignment Technician, and Joe Herstein, LPM Service Advisor’s surprise, the frame did not sustain damage, the vehicle was structurally in relatively good condition and with the tires repaired, the vehicle drove extremely well; considering the amount of body damage.  The next step was to seal up the rear window and repair the rack, which carries the multiple kayaks needed to compete in the Championship.  While the truck repairs were being completed, Tracy and Michelle worked making the repairs needed to their kayaks.  At 6:00 p.m. the presumed impossible, became possible; the final test drive to verify the truck was road-worthy was completed, all was okay.  By 6:30 p.m. Tracy, Michelle and the LPM service staff had assembled and loaded all the salvage equipment and boats; they were again on the road to the Whitewater Championships.  As the ladies were driving away, Jim Baugh stated, “the perseverance and determination those gals showed, and the toughness of that little Ford Ranger is unbelievable.”

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2010 Drag To Learn...? Summary

2010 has been an interesting, eventful and successful year!  We thank you so much for your support and interest in our program during 2010.  Due to increased cost this year we did not send our usual bi-annual newsletter.  To provide DTL supporters with information, we have sent photos and information via e-mail to keep all informed, and referred all to the Drag To Learn website, http://www.dragtolearn.com/. If we do not have your e-mail address, please let us know and information as it occurs will be forwarded.

Listed below is a recap of the events and contacts made throughout 2010.  Some of the highlights include visiting with 780 kids at a variety of venues and programs, introducing the DTL program to over 5,000 spectators, providing notice of support to the 41 businesses and individuals and 53 racers who have supported and encouraged the continuation and growth of our program.  In January, the first DTL program of the year was presented to the Career Development Center in Longmont, Colorado, which resulted in an alliance with Mark Fishburn from Matco Tools. Because of Mr. Fishburn’s assistance it allowed the DTL program to be a part of the July Mile High Nationals in Denver, and visit with Antron Brown of the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster team, Dennis Keck with Keck Racing and Hot Rod Sales, and Mark and Janet Potts from Gillette, Wyoming.  In May, Mark Knickerbocker was named Platte County Community Builder of the Year for 2010, by Platte County Chamber of Commerce.  In June, the DTL program was again presented to the Wyoming Youth Challenge Program, and Mark was honored by being named “Outstanding Volunteer” for 2010. 

Another series of events occurred in August, which was exciting; rewarding yet thought provoking, and at times discouraging. With a grateful and special thanks for the assistance of Sharon Rhodes of Mountainside Motorsports, and the Pueblo Motorsports directors and staff, we were able to help a young man who had been held in the Colorado correctional system see the good in people, the good in racing, and to be a part of a racing team. From there we were invited to present our program the Spring Creek Youth Center (juvenile detention) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and present a future with hope.  In addition, we presented a DTL program to the boys at Wyoming Boys School in Worland.  The events of August were truly life changing.  At each venue, the looks on the young people’s faces were of “hopelessness.”  As were shared the message of hope, setting goals, and the skills need to be successful, the frowns and disinterested, turned to smiles and questions.  However, the down side became quite apparent that more often than not, the correctional systems are in need of major changes.  The systems only add to the despair and hopelessness; that nothing will change and no real help is available to end the cycle of failure.  At first, it appears to be overwhelming!  However, it is like trying anything this large; we start with small chunks, one young person at a time, who will help show the way to another, ever continuing to make a difference and changing attitudes and behaviors.  In addition, we must begin by encouraging the systems and leaders that change is needed in the correctional and juvenile systems.  The same operations, without change, will return the same results. The needs of the young people that have been a part of the correctional and/or juvenile system will be a major component of the DTL program from this date forward.

Regarding the financing of the DTL program for 2010, we secured support in the amount of $7,981.61, with expenses of $11,522.77, leaving a negative balance of ($3,541.16).  The total accounting for DTL since 2006 to date includes expenses of $75,183.73, and income of $38,621.00, leaving a negative balance of ($36,562.73). Realizing we are not enjoying the best of times with our current economy, we cannot give up on an opportunity to help young people and encourage systems to change.  Your help and continued support is needed now more than ever.  Our goals are to continue with the local annual programs that we have completed, but add programs in western Nebraska, and southern South Dakota.  How many of these programs are completed will depend largely due to funding and time.  Only time will tell how far we can reach!

Student,Participants/Contacts: 780                                                         General Introduction/Exposures: 5000+

Supporting Business/Individuals: 41               Supporting Racers/Individuals: 53

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2011 Drag To Learn...? Program

DTL provided 6 student programs, to approximately 300 students, 10 student participants at the track, and have participated in 3 community activities (approximately 4,500 spectators), while promoting Drag ToLearn…? supporters, advertisers and vendors during 2011

In addition to the regular helpers, we have grown the enlisted support of 57 racer/friends to provide and share their vehicles, their expertise, and their time in this effort. Also helping support the program with finances, services or products, wehave increased our business support to 53 area businesses, five racing vendors,and two NHRA member tracks (Douglas Motorsports Parkand Pueblo Motorsports Park)

Student Participants/Contacts: 300                  General Introduction/Exposures: 4500

Supporting Business/Individuals: 53          Supporting Racers/Individuals: 57

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2012 Drag To Learn...? Program

 Drag To Learn…? Lucas Oil Products and Cloud Peak Energy. With the special support of the Lucas brand and Cloud Peak Energy, we have continued to make gains in 2012.   Equally exciting is the number of programs and students that have heard the Drag To Learn…? message.  This calendar year we have provided 6 student programs, to approximately 168 students, 16 student participants at the track, and have participated in 6 community activities, while promoting Lucas Oil Products, Cloud Peak Energy and all the Drag To Learn…? supporters, advertisers and vendors to approximately 3,000 spectators.  This year, we took photos at every racing and program event, with the photos being published on the Drag To Learn…? website, Douglas Motorsports Park website and/or Facebook  

Student Participants/Contacts: 168             General Introduction/Exposures: 3000+

Supporting Business/Individuals: 54        Supporting Racers/Individuals: 62

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 2013 Drag To Learn...Program

During our eight year tenure, we have shared our message and program with approximately 4,250students, at 58 student programs, with 103 student/participants at the track,while promoting Lucas Oil Products, Drag To Learn…? supporters, advertisers andvendors to approximately 21,450 people in the region.



This calendar year we have provided 5 student programs, to approximately 250 students, 7 student participants at the track, and have participated in 4 community activities, while promoting Lucas Oil Products, Drag To Learn…? supporters, advertisers and vendors to approximately 1,450 spectators.  This year, we took photos at every racing and program event, with the photos being published on the Drag To Learn…? website, Douglas Motorsports Park website and Facebook; with each winner showing a Lucas Oil Products with their winning trophy.

In addition to the regular helpers, we have grown the enlisted support of 62 racer/friends to provide and share their vehicles, their expertise, and their time in this effort.  Also helping support the program over the course of the eight years, 54 businesses and individuals (13 in 2013)  have provided assistance with finances, services or products, five racing vendors (3 in 2013), and two NHRA member tracks (Douglas Motorsports Park and Pueblo Motorsports Park).


Drag To Learn Supporters for 2013:

Lucas Oil Products and Motorsports, Wheatland, Wyoming Businesses- Platte Valley Bank; Ace Hardware; Lynda Lenz, State Farm; Wheatland Automotive, Jeff McGuire; Wheatland Country Store, Mandy McIntosh; Jeff andMolly Wilhelm, Dennis Keck, Keck Racing and Hot Rod Sales; Amazing Monogramming,Connie Lewis; Rodz and Ridez Car Club, Lusk, Wy; Town of Glendo; Knick’sTrucking; Randy Messinger, McCook, NE

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                       2014 Drag to Learn Summary

We would like to send a special thank you to all the 2015financial and service supporters of Drag To Learn…? Lucas Oil Products and Motorsports; Wheatland, Wyoming businesses-Platte Valley Bank; Ace Hardware; Lynda Lenz, State Farm; Wheatland Automotive,Jeff McGuire; Wheatland Country Store, Mandy McIntosh; Jeff and Molly Wilhelm,Dennis and Eileen Keck, Keck Racing and Hot Rod Sales; Amazing Monogramming,Connie Lewis; Mud Springs Optometry, Dr. Jamie Hazen; Drube Supply, Thane andKari Ashenhurst; Laramie Peak Motors, Chuck and Lori Ruwart; Town of Glendo; CrazyTony’s Restaurant, Guernsey, WY;  Knick’sTrucking, Ft. Morgan, CO; Douglas Motorsports Park, Dick Alexander and theJohnson Family.


During our nine year tenure, we have now shared our message andprogram with approximately 4,525 students, at 62 student programs, with 123 student/participantsat the track, while promoting all the Drag To Learn…? supporters, advertisersand vendors to approximately 24,810 people in the region.

This calendar year we have provided  5 student programs, to approximately 275students, 18 student participants at the track, and have participated in 6 communityactivities, while promoting all the Drag To Learn…? supporters, advertisers andvendors to approximately 3,360 spectators. Also this year Drag To Learn…? became an official partner of the Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy(National Guard Youth Challenge Program) and Operation Military Kids (a programfor the children of U.S. service men and women who have deployed or placed onactive duty)!

Again,  thank you to allfor your support of the Drag To Learn…? Program! Without out you this endeavorwould not be possible!  To you and yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEWYEAR!


Drag ToLearn…? 2014 Event Summary

Feb 6               Drag To Learn…? @ WCCA (25)

Apr 11             Drag To Learn…? @ WCCA (25)

May 16            West Elementary, Math and Science Day (30)

May 17            Douglas Motorsports Park Test and Tune (1)

May17             Glendo High School Graduation (110)

May 18            Douglas Motorsports Park (5 Rds Winner) (2)

Jun 14             Douglas Motorsports Park (1 Rd)

Jun 15             Douglas Motorsports Park-Jackalope Nat.          (1 Rd) (3)

Jun 21             Glendo Dayz Parade and Car Show (500)

Jun 29             DouglasMotorsport Park National Dragster Challenge & WCCA Auto Club (2 Rds) (12)

Jul 4                Guernsey, WY Fourth of July Parade (800/2)

Jul 27              Douglas Motorsports Park Shoot-Out (1 Rd)

Aug 3              Crazy Tony’s Car Show, Guernsey, WY (150)

Aug 8              Drag To Learn…? @ WCCA (39)

Aug 16            Douglas Motorsports Park-Jr. Jackalope

Aug 17             Buck Brannaman Clinic- (96)

Sep 6               WCCA Graduation

Sep 7               DouglasMotorsports Park (Semis- 4 Rds.))

Sep 12-14        Summit Div V ET Finals @ Denver (1 Rd)

Sep 25             Wheatland Octoberfest/Car Show (800)

Oct 24             Drag To Learn…? @ WCCA (40)

Nov 28                        Platte County Festival of Lights (800)


 


Student Participants/Contacts: 275   General Introduction/Exposures: 3360        Supporting Business/Individuals: 16   SupportingRacers/Individuals: 62


               

Drag To Learn…? 2015 Event Summary


Feb 13                   WCCA                   Drag To Learn Program (Class23) (26)

May 7                    WCCA                   Class 24 @ Keck Racing (13)

May 8                    WCCA                   Drag To Learn Program (Class24) (26)

May 14                 West Elem          Science Day- “Race Cars” (40)

May 16                 Douglas                                Test & Tune                                       

May 17                 Douglas                                Test & Tune/WCCAClass 24 @ Races (13)

May 25                 WCCA                   Memorial Day Services  (24)       

May 30                 WCCA                   Mentor Training

May 31                 Douglas                                Pro ET                                                   5 rounds Winner (4)

June 13                 Douglas                                Pro ET   Nat. Dragster Chall.         1 round

June 14                 Douglas                                Pro ET                                                   1 round (Broke Trans)

June 20                 Glendo                 Glendo Dayz and Parade (800)

June 27                 WCCA                  Pro ET Jackalope Nat.                     1 round (Broke Motor)                 

June 28                 Douglas                                Photos/Lucasproducts  Class Winners                                                   

July 11                   Douglas                                Photos/LucasProducts  Class Winners                   

July 12                   WCCA                   Reception Day                                  

July 18                   WCCA                   Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade

July 19                   WCCA                   Transition Day

July 30                   WCCA                   Class 25 @ Keck Racing (20)

August 1              Guernsey            Crazy Tony’s Car Show (200)

August 2              Douglas                                WCCA Class 25 @Races /Class Winners/Photos/Lucas Prod.(20)

August 15            WCCA                   Wyoming State Fair Parade

August 16            Douglas                                Photos/LucasProducts

August 28            WCCA                   Drag To Learn Program (Class25) (28)

August 29            Douglas                                Photos/LucasProducts  Season Champs/Class Winners/BBQ (300/2)

Sept 12                 WCCA                   Graduation (28)

Sept 13-15           Topeka                 Did not Compete @ Wash. D.C. forWCCA

Sept 24                 Wheatland          Oktoberfest Car Show (2/800)


Student Participants/Contacts: 201                  GeneralIntroduction/Exposures: 2100


Supporting Business/Individuals: 16          Supporting Racers/Individuals: 62           Students @ the Track: 35


Drag To Learn…? Supporters  These are the people and businesses that have made this all possible!  See their information and advertisements on the DTL website, www.dragtolearn.com.

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Drag To Learn Racing Record 

2001-13    Douglas                   Div. V ET Finals Qualifer

2001          Douglas                   Street      Third

2002          Douglas                   Street      Champion

2003          Douglas                   Street      Champion

2003          Douglas                   King of Track Runner-up

2004          Douglas                   Sportsman Third

2005          Douglas                   Pro ET      Fifth

2006          Douglas                   Pro ET      Runner-up

2006          Douglas          Nat. Dragster Challenge Runner-up

2007          Douglas                   Pro ET      Fourth     

2007          Douglas                   King Street Ninth

2008          Douglas                   Pro ET      Fourth      

2009          Douglas                   Pro ET      Fourth      

2010          Douglas                   Pro ET      Ninth        

2011          Douglas                   Pro ET      Fifth         

2012          Douglas                   Pro ET      Tenth

2013          Douglas                   Pro ET      Fourth

2014          Douglas                   Pro ET      Tenth

2015          Douglas                   Pro ET      Ninth

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“Tell me who you are with, and I will tell you who you are.”  -Mario Mendoza

Program Scheduling

 If your school, club, or organization would like DTL to come to an event, and/or present a program, please call any time.  With planning and funding, we can go just about anywhere! 

Drag To Learn   PO Box 772, Wheatland, WY  82201               307/331-0882

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