Students who participated in the Quaker State “Best in Class Challenge” found success Dec. 11, 2015, at the annual Mecum Auction in Austin, TX. The top three schools from the automotive education competition were invited to Austin to witness their revamped Chevy Impalas cross the block and be auctioned off to the highest bidders:
• 1st Place – Maxwell High School of Technology (Atlanta, GA) took home $6,500;
• 2nd Place – Satellite High School (Orlando, FL) took home $6,000; and
• 3rd Place – Iredell-Statesville Schools Automotive Technology Center (Charlotte, NC) took home $6,000.
In addition to prizes awarded before the auction, all proceeds were donated to the schools as prize money.
At the Mecum Auction, members of the three finalist teams were on stage while their custom creations crossed the block with support from Tommy Pike, owner of Tommy Pike Customs in Greenville, SC. The teams each had an opportunity to auction off their customized vehicles to the highest bidders with proceeds going to their high schools.
In November, the grand-prize winners from the Maxwell High School of Technology team, the Navigators from Atlanta, GA, were awarded a $2,000 AutoZone gift card along with a custom advertorial in the February 2016 issue of Popular Mechanics to spread the word about their hard work and automotive skill.
Additionally, the Scorpions from Satellite High School in Orlando, FL, and team ATC from Iredell-Statesville Schools Automotive Technology Center in Charlotte, NC, each received a $1,500 AutoZone gift card.
Through the “Best in Class Challenge,” five auto shop teams were responsible for restoring, tuning and customizing a pre-owned car (valued at approximately $3,000) into a showroom-ready, creative representation of their school. Each school completed specific challenges every week and were then judged on various automotive criteria including quality of interior and exterior vehicle improvements, diagnostic testing results and overall creativity. Competition mentors and judges were Pike and Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Quaker State-Menards Chevrolet SS from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“We are so grateful to have been able to be a part of the Quaker State ‘Best in Class Challenge’,” said Max Chavez, auto shop team leader for Maxwell High School of Technology. “It’s great for a brand like Quaker State to realize the potential in our students as the next generation of automotive technicians and giving them the hands on experience they need to fully realize the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Beginning in September 2015, 26 schools from across the U.S. competed to be nominated for the “Best in Class Challenge” and had two weeks to secure as many votes as possible. The five school auto shop teams, one from each market (Chicago, IL; Northern New Jersey; Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; and Charlotte, NC), with the most votes became finalists and participated in the six week automotive challenge. The five finalist schools were judged on strict automotive criteria including engine presentation, cabin detailing and exterior finish.
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