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  • Fairbury News staff

PCE students flex racing muscle

Third graders at PC Elementary race muscle karts on Friday morning.

The next generation of racers were introduced to the sport Friday morning during a muscle kart event at Prairie Central Elementary in Fairbury.

Third graders built and later raced karts with the assistance of several volunteers along with teachers and support staff.

“The kids are having a blast,” said Matt Curl, owner and promoter of the nearby Fairbury Speedway, who helps organize the project along with Gunner Sullivan.

Pit crews, track staff and even some drivers were on hand to help the kids.

“We are planning an afternoon with the kids over at the speedway another day due to the weather and track conditions,” explained PCE third grade teacher Christy Decker.

Prairie Central High School Industrial Technology teacher Alan Dunahee and his students built the karts and Aftershock Decals and Design donated the decals to all of the racers.

“This basically is built on science and engineering so it’s allowing our kids to design and teaches them about sportsmanship,” added Decker.

Each kart costs around $250 to build and Curl helped secure the financing from area businesses and racers. Curl is also storing the carts for the school so the project can continue each year.

“We have people who have been here numerous years helping with it so it is nice to see.”

Student Brylee Brucker was having a fun time helping her teammates build a muscle kart sponsored by the American Legion.

“It’s got a lot of cardboard and colorful tape,” she said.

Aubrey Crowley, a third grader, also enjoyed the time spent working in the gym ahead of the race outside.

“All of the people I’m with are really nice and it’s fun.”

This all started in 2018 with former PCE teacher Lisa Lange and an ISU instructor in charge of the STEM project later reached out to the school asking if they wanted the karts along with instructions on how to build them.

Older Prairie Central students helping out included: Ayden Ziller, Braxten Huber, Landon Hoffman, Caleb Knauer, Jack Rathbun, Clayton Bahler, Jaydyn Knox, Braden Platz, Aiden Teubel, Gavin Tredenick, Seth Rigsby, Owen Rafferty, Camden Palmore, Rudy Moser, and Jared Steidinger.

Others volunteering were: Austin Friedman, Macy Vaughan, Amy and Amber Crouch, Chris Rhoads, Derek Kessinger, John Strong, Mario Vietti, Ricky Bane, Mike Norris, Roger Stryker and Rob Kemmer.

In addition to Aftershock, sponsors included Old Iron Powdercoating, Livingston Stone Company, John Joda American Legion Post 54, The Fairbury Fair, Fairbury Speedway and Dave’s Supermarket.

Matt Curl of the Fairbury Speedway, center, helps students work on a kart.

Victor, left, and John Strong work on a muscle kart with students at PCE Friday.

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