People Places & Racing News

PRI to Host Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge National Championship in 2013

   hot rodders
High school students from across the United States will square off in the final round of the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow engine-build competition at the 26th Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, December 12–14, 2013, in Orlando, Florida.

The 2012 National Championship of The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge build competition will be held at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, October 30–November 2. The following year, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge will hold its 2013 National Championship at the 26th Annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, December 12–14, 2013, in Orlando, Florida, officials have announced.

Each year, hundreds of automotive technology students from high schools across the country take part in regional competitions to determine which teams can disassemble and reassemble a small-block Chevrolet engine with aftermarket components in the fastest time, with the top scorers advancing to the National Championship.

In 2013, a select group of teams with the best time will be invited to compete for scholarship money and industry recognition at the PRI Trade Show in Orlando.

"We are excited to have this special event, and all the fine young people who participate in it, at the 2013 PRI Trade Show. They represent the next generation of leaders in the racing industry, so we welcome the opportunity to have them compete in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge National Championship," said John Kilroy, producer of the PRI Trade Show.

In addition to the established engine challenge events, the 2013 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow National Championship will feature an expanded competition format with three new contests:

  • Carburetor Rebuild Competition 
  • Ring and Pinion Challenge 
  • Cylinder Head Challenge 

Since its inception in 2008 at the Race and Performance Expo in St. Charles, Illinois, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge has seen explosive growth in the number of competing teams. In the first year of competition, five teams with 25 students competed. By the end of the 2012 season, there were 112 teams with 560 students competing. The competition has been seen by more than 760,000 people and has raised more than $6 million in scholarship money donated by Ohio Technical College (OTC), the School of Automotive Machinists (SAM) and the University of Northwest Ohio (UNOH) over the past four years.

"This industry that we're in and we love is turning gray. It's getting older year after year," said Jim Bingham, chairman of Hot Rodders of Tomorrow and president/CEO of Winner's Circle Speed & Custom in Joliet, Illinois. "This is designed to be a program to bring young people inside this industry. This is about bringing them in, showing them that they can enjoy making a living in the high-performance field and, as a result, we get youth and talent inside our industry every year.

"We're looking forward to working with PRI in 2013," Bingham added. "It will also allow us to add more events because we're going to have a lot of space to work with. Plus, I believe Orlando is going to be a great place for the kids and families to visit."

Building on the success of its first year, the National Championship moved to Las Vegas in 2009, where three divisional winners and one wildcard entry competed in the inaugural "Showdown at SEMA."  

The championship round has been held at the SEMA Show each year since, and in 2012, it will once again take place on the SEMA Show floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, October 30–November 2, before moving to PRI in 2013.

"I absolutely love this event," said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. "It is amazing to me that Jim's activity has impacted so many young members of our industry over the years. We're pleased to be a part of the event and support this effort."

"This is just what our industry needed," added Vic Edelbrock. "It involves our youth, and gives them a focus that will help prepare them for careers in the performance automotive aftermarket."

Kicking off the countdown to next year's Championship, PRI will host a regional Hot Rodders of Tomorrow event during the 2012 PRI Trade Show, which takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 29–December 1, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

For more information about Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, visit

Motorsports professionals are encouraged to preregister now for credentials for the 2012 PRI Trade Show. Register online today, at no charge.