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7 Teams Qualify as Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Season Kicks Off

By SEMA Editors

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Team McLeod from Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois, finished last weekend’s 10th Annual Race & Performance Expo in first place with a time of 19:54.

The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) Engine Challenge’s first event of the 2017 season was held last weekend at the 10th Annual Race & Performance Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois, where seven of the 30 teams that competed will advance to the Dual National Championship held later this year at the SEMA Show and PRI Trade Show. HROT and the Race & Performance Expo have a long history together, as it was home to the first-ever HROT event in 2008.

To qualify for the Dual National Championship, a team must finish disassembling and reassembling a small-block Chevrolet engine in less than 33 minutes, including penalties.

In fourth place came Team Centerforce from South Elgin High School in South Elgin, Illinois, with a time of 23:46.

“Being involved with the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Program helped double the female students enrolled in my overall automotive class,” said Team Centerforce Coach Steve Schertz.

Coming in third place with a time of 20:41 was Team Fragola from Fremd High School, located in Palatine, Illinois. In second place with a time of 20:06 was Team Howards Cams from Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan.

In first place was Team McLeod, also from Fremd High School, finishing with a time of 19:54 and no penalties.

“My senior team has been together since their freshman year in high school; they have been chasing a first-place finish,” said Steve Elza, coach of the two Fremd teams. “This past weekend those students not only clinched first place, but they also had two perfect engines and a first time in competition sub-20-minute performance! Fremd’s second team did very well too with one perfect engine, and they were knocking on the sub-20-minute door as well. We believe if the engine is perfect, regardless of time, nothing else matters! I’m consistently impressed with the students’ hard work, dedication and stellar sportsmanship.”

Visit to see the complete results from last weekend.