NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma has announced the addition of dirt track racing to their already impressive list of sports and programs on campus.
The Sooner One Racing team (S1R) is set to debut at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in January 2014. The University of Oklahoma will be the first university to field a team at the nationals.
Students from the various departments of Oklahoma’s College of Engineering will combine their efforts to build, set up, and race two midget sprint cars at the Chili Bowl this January. Sooner One Racing is student governed and is supported solely by sponsorships and donations without university funding. All sponsors will be listed on the team’s banner, and all major sponsors will be featured on the car.
The featured drivers for this season will be engineering freshmen, A.J. Burns and Layne Himebaugh. The idea of starting a dirt track racing program at OU was brought to the table by Burns.
“I had started racing midgets back in California and fell in love with them,” said Burns, “I was walking through the [campus] race shop on orientation day and my dad jokingly said ‘you need a midget in here,’ and I didn’t take it as a joke.”
Well known Oklahoma race car driver, Layne Himebaugh, will also be part of S1R’s Chili Bowl team.
“I think it’s about time that a university steps up and takes the initiative to get a racing team started at the collegiate level,” said Himebaugh, “It’s great that we are getting students and local Oklahoma fans interacting with the racing community.”
Other OU students and members of the racing community will also be taking part in the development and continuation of the S1R program. Mechanical engineering student and decorated micro and midget driver, Trey Marcham, will also be helping out the program.
“For current and aspiring racers and engineers, this program is going to give us all the opportunity to take what we’ve been learning in the classroom and apply it to something we’re all passionate about,” said Marcham, “I’m ready to make a name for the University of Oklahoma in the racing world.”
Engineering student and micro sprint driver Brandon Boggs will also be part of the team.