The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge, a scholarship program for high school shop teams, is growing in leaps and bounds in terms of numbers of sponsors, teams and scholarship dollars. Design Engineering (DEI) just announced its sponsorship of this program designed to encourage high school teens to take an interest in the performance aftermarket by providing a series of competitions that exhibit their skill at breaking down and reassembling a small-block engine according to event rules.
The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge, created in 2008, was the brainchild of Jim Bingham, owner of Winner’s Circle Speed and Custom Inc. The engine challenge was developed initially as a special event for Winner’s Circle’s Race and Performance Expo. With only five teams competing in the inaugural year, but with added encouragement from Vic Edlebrock, Winner’s Circle has grown the event to become a nationwide competition that today encompasses over 600 students, seven events including the national championship at the annual PRI show, and 150 sponsors.
With financial support from DEI and other performance manufacturers, educational institutions, SEMA, PWA, AERA and more, over $6,000,000 has been raised for student scholarships from OTC, SAMS, and UNOH. Every student that places first through fifth in the nationals will win college scholarship funds. First place team members win $10,000 each, second place team members win $9,000 each, third place win $8,000 each, fourth place wins $7,000 each and fifth place wins $6,000 each to be used to pursue a career in the automotive aftermarket.
Rodney Bingham, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, director, says, “We appreciate DEI’s commitment to this event. Our youth have incredible talent and represent the future of the performance aftermarket. This event has been a very rewarding experience cultivating the growth of this engine challenge and seeing the dedication of the teams year after year. We are encouraged by the level of support from manufacturers like DEI who sincerely want to encourage youth to consider the performance aftermarket as a career.”
The first Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge event begins February 22nd at the Race and Performance Expo in Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL and culminates at the 26th annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show that will be held in Indianapolis in December. The display of the top teams competing at the annual SEMA show is a highlight for spectators and determines the teams that will compete at the Nationals event at PRI. For a full schedule events or to sign up a high school team to compete, go to www.hotroddersoftomorrow.com.