At the most ungodly hour in the morning we were dragged out of bed with extreme prejudice. After a brisk breakfast, we ran to the cars and headed off to the Texas Motor Speedway. However, Captain Hennessy had to return to the hotel due to the plague. Charging the car with zip ties and wood blocks, we finished our final preparations and greeted our judge, Ellen.

Making our way up the hilltop, we hauled the car up to the track. As the countdown went to zero, Soham was off in a 20 mph flash down the speedway alongside the other cars.

The team eating some fast food...

Everything was going well, and we climbed our way from 9th to 6thplace. After an hour and a half, Soham swapped with Albert as the driver. Unfortunately, our secondary battery committed seppuku and Albert had to pull the car in early. Miraculously nothing was irreparable and the battery went off without a hitch. The morning passed without any major incident, except that Evan was slowly dying back at the hotel.

Due to our good progress, we had a chance to meditate over the existence of sandwiches and bread over Polynesian sauce at Chic-fil-A, and ice cream “sandwiches”. After our heated discussion determined that hot dogs are indeed tacos, we went and set up the car once more to return to our track.

Due to a kerfuffle with the website, the present rankings were left ambiguous, so our own standing was unsure as Albert took to the road once more. There was but one cloud on the track, but in its sadistic reign, it refused to leave the road, casting a shadow over the track. That failed to deter us, even as a piece of the fiberglass component of the skin popped off, carried back to the pit as Soham returned to the road.

Soham in the car driving in the parking lot, ready to race

Even as all three clouds in Texas gathered over the Speedway, we raced on wards, claiming fifth place. Our shaky radio connection required everyone on the pit to pitch in as Alex Carandang, Justin Hennessy, Dave Haruch and Shyamal Patel took turns acting as liaison with Soham, relaying road conditions and orders from our electrical management system.

Thanks to fortuitous good luck, it was smooth sailing as Soham finished up and drove to our charging spot. Our team split between those who would arrive tomorrow morning and those who would stay to monitor the charging Sol Tide. In the end of our start, we were fourth place

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