INDIANAPOLIS — Kirk Barber and his family have always loved racing. So much that they supplanted themselves from the west coast to Brownsburg in the midst of Kirk’s high school career.
Apparently it has paid off, because the American Society for Engineering Education recently named the 2008 Brownsburg High School graduate with its Intern of the Year award for his work at Allison Transmission Inc.
Barber, 23, will graduate in May from IUPUI with degrees in mechanical engineering and motorsports engineering and then be on the move again. His family maintains roots in Brownsburg with his older brother Chase, 25, racing on the USAC midget series.
“I grew up in California,” Barber said. “My family’s always been pretty big into racing and I was told it was pretty much the place to be, Brownsburg.”
The family moved to Brownsburg during Barber’s junior year.
“My brother wanted to become a professional race car driver and I was his main mechanic,” he said. “We also knew that it was a lot easier to start my career and go to school out here.”
Barber, who himself had been racing since the age of 7, said he a lifestyle here that pushed him.
“Something I tell people is, (BHS) really got my butt in gear,” he laughed. “I don’t think that without graduating from Brownsburg I would have been as successful as if I had graduated in California.
“I kind of relay it to a treadmill. In California, it was a treadmill on walking pace, but up here it was a sprint. I went from an easy high school to one where I actually had to study for tests. The biggest thing I noticed was, when you met with a guidance counselor here they’d ask me what I was planning on doing when I graduated. They asked about my future. In California, you never met with your guidance counselor and if you did, they were only concerned about you getting out of school, not what happened when you’re out.”