Contestants compete under the sweltering Kansas sun and the careful eyes of the judges.
It’s well-known that the youngsters leaving high school these days show less interest in the automobile than their parents did. Keeping the youth of today fascinated by the internal combustion engine is a definite task when draw of modern technology is so prevalent. Thankfully, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow devised specialized challenges to try and instill a sense of camaraderie, excitement and purpose in today’s mechanically-inclined teenagers and give them the foundations and connections for a lucrative career.
Over the weekend of May 13th, Aeromotive Inc. hosted an open house, car show, and engine teardown competition at their Lenexa, Kansas location. Hot Rodders of Tomorrow organized the teardown challenge, wherein five teams of auto tech students from local high schools were given the task of disassembling a Chevy 350 engine with the clock ominously ticking away in the background.
The teams were surveyed by five judges, who ensured these enthusiastic young technicians added the right quantities of air, fuel, and fire in the shortest time possible. As if that pressure wasn’t enough, the contestants were observed by the executives in the audience. Of course, the upside to this pressure is that these youngsters stand a chance to be noticed by respectable companies and get a head start on their career.
Challenges like these are proven to work. Hot Rodders of Tomorrow’s touch is shown to increase auto tech class sizes and develop dependable skills to be used in the workplace. As the teams need to coordinate their approach to build these motors post-haste, they must plan ahead, remain focused, and stay calm under pressure; all of which give them incredible power in the real world.
Rodney Bingham, President of Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, declared: “We are excited to have an event in Kansas, and even more pleased to have such a great partner in Aeromotive. They are a first class manufacturer with some of the best people in our industry!”
It wasn’t all busted-knuckle competition, however. Attendees less concerned with contestants tightening nuts under serious pressure could check out the show ‘n shine, which featured street-oriented performance cars, race cars, and show cars. In addition, there were plenty of shop tours, food, and beverages available—it was fun for the whole family.
Steve Gardner, Director of Heartland Park, Topeka, was present to announce the Menards Nationals presented by Minties. The races, which took place on May 19-21, will boast a few firsts this year, including Pro-Mods, Nitro Harleys, and Jet Dragsters. Like the Aeromotive open house, this event offered plenty of well-rounded diversion: food, live music, and libations.
Tulsa Technology Center’s Team Fel-Pro: winners of the event. Image credit: Hot Rodders of Tomorrow
Fortunately, competitions like these are frequent and nation wide; the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow’s calendar includes events from Virginia to California on a weekly basis. For those deeply interested in pursuing an automotive career, there’s very little that can’t be achieved for someone who succeeds in this demanding industry.
It’s a wonderful way to induct these youngsters into a competitive industry in a way that is fun, structured, and hyper-challenging. As supported by the footage shown above, winners of these events are helped forward drastically in their careers; able to double their starting wages and given all the connections an ambitious mechanic could dream of.