The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) Engine Challenge this year was a dual championship format that pitted the two top teams determined at the SEMA Show against the top two finishers at the PRI Trade Show.
Wrapping up three days of intense competition on the show floor, the final four went head-to-head last Saturday afternoon to determine the National Championship.
The Engine Challenge drew a large crowd as the Derale-, Autometer-, Nitrous Express- and Moroso-sponsored teams faced off in the final. Burton Center for Arts and Technology from Virginia (Team Nitrous Express) came out in the top spot, with an astonishing 18 minute, 6 second average time, and a new single-round national record of 16 minutes, 22 seconds.
Created by Jim Bingham and son Rodney, the nonprofit organization was established as a way to help high school and trade school students develop an interest and ultimately pursue careers in the automotive field. HROT started out with just five teams in 2008, and is now up to 110, including some 770 dedicated young men and women from across the country.
Teams work and compete year-round under the tutelage of adult coaches, and train countless hours in order to gain both speed and accuracy in tearing down and then rebuilding a race engine. Scores are based on an average of three builds.
Just 30 seconds behind this year’s winner was Georgia’s Forsyth Central High School, sponsored by Derale. Third and fourth positions were rounded out by Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center (Team Autometer) and Georgia’s Thomas County Central High School (Team Moroso).
Members of the top two teams received a bonus from McLeod Racing this year: a NASCAR Ride Along Experience. In the case of Team Nitrous Express, the kids will actually get to drive.
For more information: www.hotroddersoftomorrow.com.