A single point separated Northeastern High School student Cavan Irvine from his closest competitor.
And that point was all it took for the 18-year-old senior to win the 2012 Pennsylvania Safe Driving Competition for Youth competition held recently in Camp Hill.
"That (how close the scoring was) showed how tough the competition is at states," Irvine said.
For his efforts, Irvine received a $5,000 scholarship that will be used toward tuition at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, where he intends to study to be a physician's assistant in the fall.
Irvine took first place in the 21st annual York/Adams Safe Driving Competition for Youth, winning $2,600 in scholarship money.
States: Eighteen students from 16 schools participated in the statewide competition.
There they faced three tests -- a written exam on the state's driver's manual, a perceptual test and a driving test.
"It was pretty difficult," Irvine said of the tests.
Irvine wasn't the only Northeastern student to take home scholarship money in the regional competition and compete at states.
Jennifer Cederberg, a senior, took home a $500 scholarship at regionals and placed fifth at the state competition.
The state Department of Transportation partners with the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, law enforcement agencies and other safety-related organizations to host the Pennsylvania Safe Driving Competition for Youth.
Practice: Cederberg and Irvine were two of the school's top drivers, having been selected to move on to the regional competition after winning a schoolwide competition.
Irvine credited training he received from Northeastern driver's education instructor Chad Forry with helping him win at states.
During the flex periods, meant to give students time for additional instruction from teachers, Irvine and other students would practice their driving.
"We went down almost every day and practiced in the driver's ed car," he said.
That added help paid off. Irvine is the first Northeastern student to bring home top honors at the state competition.
"Irvine is a focused young man who worked very hard to be the best driver in the state," Forry said.
-- Reach Greg Gross at 505-5434, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/greggrss.