By SEMA Editors
Team Weld Racing from Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center came in first place at the Goodguys Lone Star Nationals with a time of just 22 minutes.
With five of 12 events completed in the 2015 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge season, 20 teams have earned their way to the Dual Championship roster. The teams continue to pull out amazing performances at each stop, besting times from last year and increasing the level of competition at each Engine Challenge.
The 2015 season got off to a fast start at the Race and Performance Expo in St. Charles, Illinois. Thirty-four teams competed over two days with eight teams qualifying for the Engine Challenge Finals. Lockport High School had two teams qualify. Team Nitrous Express qualified with a time of 31:47, finishing eighth overall and Team Hedman Hedders came in third with a time of 27:26. South Elgin High School’s Be Cool Team came in seventh with a time of 31:41. Team Dee Zee of Joliet Central High School finished in 28:55 to earn sixth place at the Expo and qualify for the Finals. Fremd High School’s Thermo-Tec Team, led by Illinois State Teacher of the Year Steven Elza, finished second, completing their engine rebuild in just 26:09. Belvidere High School nearly stole the show with three teams qualifying for the Engine Challenge Finals. The all-girl Team Edelbrock came in fifth with a time of 28:49. Just ahead of them was Team Fel-Pro who finished their rebuild in 27:59. Setting the standard for other teams this year was Team Taylor Cable, who finished in just 25:57, coming in first overall at the Race and Performance Expo Engine Challenge.
At the Zephyrhills Auto Fest held February 22 in Zephyrhills, Florida, Team ARP (Peach County High School) and Team Magnaflow (Thomas County Central High School) both posted times that allowed them to qualify for the Dual Championship Finals later this year at the SEMA Show and the PRI Show. Team ARP completed their performance engine rebuild in just 17:35. Team Magnaflow’s 23:23 time was also competitive amongst Hot Rodders of Tomorrow teams.
John Rickerson is the instructor for Team ARP and was pleased that his team could place first in this event. But even more than that, Rickerson sees the long-term value of the Hot Rodders program: “Hot Rodders of Tomorrow has provided a way for my students to further their education. The scholarship opportunities are the driving force behind their determination to succeed. They are really excited about going to the SEMA Show and seeing the cars and celebrities. It has opened many doors for the team and they have been able to showcase their talent in many arenas.”
On February 28 and March 1, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow visited the famed Atlanta Motor Speedway to host the third Engine Challenge competition of 2015. There, two more teams qualified for the Dual Championship. Both from Forsyth Central High School, Team Howard Cams and Team Hypertech represented their hometown of Cummings, Georgia, finishing 28:28 and 20:06 respectively.
From there, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow tour moved north to the P&E Distributor’s CTA Expo held in Hendersonville, Tennessee, March 7. Once again, Forsyth Central High School was the top team of the meet. Team Hypertech bested their Atlanta time by two seconds. Team Howard Cams also bested their time, coming in at 27:59. In their first appearances of 2015, Bolton and Sequoyah High Schools were ready for battle. Two teams from Sequoyah qualified: Team Flowmaster (29:37) and Team Motive Gear (26:03). Two of Bolton High School’s teams placed third and fourth overall in the event, also qualifying for the Dual Championship. Team Fragola finished their rebuild in just 23:50, while Team Derale followed closely behind at 25:03
From March 20–22, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow visited the Texas Motor Speedway at the Goodguys Lone Star Nationals where five more teams completed engine rebuilds in less than 35 minutes, qualifying them for the Dual Championship. Team Weld Racing from Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center came in first at the meet with a time of just 22 minutes. Tulsa Technology Center had three teams qualify. Team Mr. Gasket made it in with a time of 27:31. Not far behind them was Team DEI with a time of 32:16, and last to qualify from TTC was Team Vibrant who completed their rebuild in 34:10. Also earning their Dual Championship spot was Team Allstar Performance from Jacksonville High School with the time of 34:56.