By SEMA Editors
Team Nitrous Express (Burton Center for Arts and Technology) from Salem, Virginia, ran a record-setting time of 16:22 and secured the 2014 National Championship title at the PRI Show in Indianapolis.
Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) changed its playoff format in 2014 to a new Dual Championship to allow teams to compete at either the SEMA Show in Las Vegas or the PRI Show in Indianapolis. HROT also debuted its first-ever Final Four, pitting the top two SEMA Show teams vs. the top two PRI Show teams.
Teams of five students were judged based on how quickly they could disassemble and reassemble a small-block Chevrolet engine with aftermarket components. This process was completed four times; the worst time was thrown out and the other three were averaged.
Starting Wednesday, December 8, 15 hopeful teams began their journey to become one of the two PRI teams left standing. Over the next three days, students displayed their best teamwork and skills. Team Fel-Pro (Peach County High School) from Georgia even set a new national speed record of 17:55 on their last run on Friday, December 10. When the dust settled, Team Derale (Forsyth Central) and Team Nitrous Express (Burton Center for Arts and Technology) were the only two teams left standing from the PRI Show.
With these two teams moving on to the Final Four, the stage was set for a battle that will be remembered for years to come. During the first run on Friday night at 5:00 p.m., three of the four teams all achieved times of less than 20 minutes. During the second run on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., Team Autometer (Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center) almost set the national speed record of 16:26, but was penalized for a torque wrench violation, which cost them four minutes in time. In the final round, every team brought their best, with all four teams running times below 20 minutes.
After the third round was completed, Team Nitrous Express (Burton Center for Arts and Technology) from Salem, Virginia, ran a record-setting time of 16:22 and secured the 2014 National Championship title. Second place went to Team Derale (Forsyth Central High School) from Cummings, Georgia, which averaged 30 seconds behind Team Nitrous Express.