The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow program is one that always captures our attention. Not only are the competitions interesting to watch, but the program itself helps to ensure that our sport/hobby/industry will continue on by capturing the interest of high schoolers and putting them on the right path.
While teams of teenage engine-builders compete for regional and national championships based on their performances in competition, the AAM Group created an award to be given to the fastest perfect engine build during the “Elite Eight” round of competition at the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Dual National Championships series finale held at the PRI show.
The Parts Pro Excellence Cup is a perpetual award that is kept and displayed by the winning school for one year and then transferred annually to the fastest perfect engine building team among the Elite Eight teams. This year, the honor went to Team Meziere Enterprises, from Burton Center for Arts & Tech, out of Salem, Virginia coached by Chris Overfelt.
Team Meziere completed their engine with no mistakes or penalties in 15:33, which was not only a new national record time, but blew the previous record of 16:11, set two years prior, out of the water. Their semifinal performance was only four seconds slower, but still eclipsed the previous record. Unfortunately, in the final round of competition, the team incurred a penalty, causing them to lose the championship match by only three seconds.
In addition to the Excellence Cup, The AAM Group presented a recognition plaque to every team in the Elite Eight who completed a perfect engine – which happened to be the entire field – and in addition to Team Meziere, consisted of:
• Team Aeromotive, Eastern Oklahoma County Tech center
(Instructor: Jim LaFevers)
• Team Fragola, Fremd High School, Illinois
(Instructor: Steven Elza)
• Team Fel-Pro, Tulsa Technology Center, Oklahoma
(Instructor: Greg Gilliam)
• Team K&N Filter, Burton Center for Arts & Technology, Virginia
(Instructor: Steven Hoback)
• Team QA1, Forsyth Central High School, Georgia
(Instructor: Jacob Cochran)
• Team Howards Cams, Lakeshore High School, Michigan
(Instructor: Doug Haygood)
• Team Derale, Forsyth Central High School, Georgia
(Instructor: Marlo Miranda)