Ohio Technical College’s High Performance & Racing student Sergio Payan has been active in road racing since he enrolled in OTC’s 18-month program. Being selected for the NHRA Nationals at the end of June was a total eye opener for the California native. “Friday it was raining, so the team was really laid back and casual. Saturday things got more concentrated as the car kept winning. By Sunday, it was intense, with 100% focus on winning,” says Payan of his Summit Racing NHRA Nationals experience with Kalitta Motorsports and team MAC Tools. “The crew chief opened the team meeting on Sunday telling us he had a good feeling. A bird had dropped a gift on him, and he felt this was a good sign,” laughs Payan. He admits he was not prepared for the passion and focus the team had when it came to getting the car ready to win. “These guys are on the road 280 days of the year and they live and breathe racing. If you don’t jump out of bed happy to report to work, this isn’t the career for you. They are in it to win it and every detail matters.” Payan’s Mac Tools team made it to the final run, but the car literally came up inches short of the win. “The team took the loss really hard. With so much energy going into making sure every detail was perfect, and still not getting the win, the team’s energy after the race was crushed,” says Payan. Race season has a few months left to go, with Payan’s December graduation date quickly approaching, he is hopeful his experience with Kalitta has opened a permanent opportunity he would jump at again without hesitation.