BOTTINEAU A Bottineau native is on the fast track to stardom, at least for eight weeks.
Wyatt Werner, son of Deb and Mike Werner, is a recent graduate of the Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, Ariz., where a drag racing reality series for MTV2 was filmed.
"Burnout: The Ultimate Drag Race Challenge," premiered on MTV2 June 25 and will run for eight weeks every Saturday at 11 a.m. More information about the series can be found on MTV's Web site at (www.mtv.com/shows/ burnout/series.jhtml).
Submitted Photo - - Bottineau native Wyatt Werner, a recent graduate of the Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix, is taking part in “Burnout,” a reality program airing on MTV2, as a member of the Blue Team.
The show took 20 students from the college and split them into two 10-person teams. Each team was given a '90s-era Ford Mustang and tasked with turning it into a serious drag racer in 100 hours.
"They are given a vehicle and have to gut it out and rebuild it. It's got to go, I believe, 125 mph in under 10 seconds, the best three out of five (runs) wins," Deb Werner said. "Mike and I flew down there to watch the races, so we know all about it."
"We got a stock 1995 Ford Mustang, still drivable, it was still licensed in Arizona. It was bought from somebody down here," Wyatt said. "So basically we took it and in the first episode we stripped it down to nothing and basically everything from that point we put onto it is all custom race parts and such."
Wyatt was on the Blue Team and their competition was the Red Team. He said both teams got basically the same parts from the sponsors, so it really came down to which team could give the dragster the best setup.
Like many reality series, Wyatt said challenges were given to each team, with the winners getting extra time on the clock and the losers getting time taken away.
"I really can't say what any of the challenges were," Wyatt said, noting there are many details about the series he can't reveal until the final episode airs.
Although he was having a lot of fun, Wyatt said things did get a little stressful at times. He noted the team had a few problems getting parts in, and he also had to take about 10 weeks off from work so there wasn't much money coming in for a while.
"But I'd say all in all, after you see the last episode when the cars are running, it was worth it," Wyatt said. "And the prizes handed out at the end are worth it, too."
Wyatt still attended school through all this, and graduated with a 4.0 average.
Wyatt said just getting the car there and watching it roar down the track was an incredible experience. With how little time both teams had to make a dragster, he said the cars they built were impressive.
"It was pretty awesome," Wyatt said.
At the beginning of the show, Wyatt said nobody really talked to each other or the other team all that much, but by the middle they were all on pretty friendly terms off camera.
"Of course you still talk a lot of trash about each other," he said. "Because it's MTV, you kind of have to do that. But all in all, off camera everyone was pretty cool with each other."
With a limited space to work in around the cars, every team member ended up doing tasks they were strong in. Wyatt said he learned a lot from his teammates.
"The stuff you learned was amazing," he said. "And also getting to talk to Clay Millican (one of the show hosts and a six-time NHRA world champion)."
No matter how the show turned out, Wyatt already had his plans for the future set. Deb said her son was pursued by a half-dozen different companies after graduation and he ended up choosing Schlumberger. She said she had never heard of the company before, but learned it is three times bigger than Halliburton.
Wyatt will be living in Minot and working in Williston as a diesel mechanic. He plans to move back to Minot at the end of July with his fiancee, Erin Woods, and the couple have a baby on the way.
Being on the reality series and starting his new job are things that come naturally to Wyatt, as Deb said he's loved cars since he was young. In fact, she loves to tell a story about just how in love with cars her son was as a child.
"He's always loved cars, always. When all the kids were really little, Batman came to visit them. Mike dressed up as Batman. He walked through the door and we had the lights down," Werner said. "The first thing Wyatt said, he was like 2-1/2 years old, was, 'Hi Batman, where's your car?' He was like, 'It's nice to see you, but I want to see your wheels.' "