Finish Line: Team MOTIVE GEAR Takes Win at Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge -
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Finish Line: Team MOTIVE GEAR Takes Win at Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge

Listed as Team MOTIVE GEAR, the Loara High School student team beat out 12 other teams in the 4th Annual “Showdown at SEMA.”


Las Vegas, NV Loara High School, Anaheim, CA, won its third straight National Championship Title in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge.


Listed as Team MOTIVE GEAR, the Loara High School student team beat out 12 other teams in the 4th Annual "Showdown at SEMA" with an average time of 21:24 minutes.

It was a tight competition for the four-day event. In fact, the top three teams were so competitive that they all ended up less than a minute apart. According to event organizers, all 13 teams competing this year did fantastically well, with the 13th-placed team average time being only 33:46.

Rodder Rebuild
The event itself resembles the tear down between rounds at a drag race. The engines are
identically prepared small block Chevys complete with all the performance components: Edelbrock air cleaners, carbs, aluminum manifolds, heads, water pumps and valve covers; MSD distributors and wires; K&N oil filters; Hedman ceramic headers; TD timing chain covers; Moroso oil pans; ARP head bolts; Fel-Pro/SpeedPro gaskets and components; Melling oil pumps; and Royal Purple lubricants.

Race against Time
The event pits high-school teams against each other in a contest to properly tear down a race engine to just the crank, cam and block using hand tools only with proper de-torque and disassembly procedures.

Once the engine is disassembled, the team returns behind its workbench, and when allowed by the judges, the team begins working to reassemble the engine with correct assembly procedure and torque specs, all while being viewed by judges and spectators.

Penalty minutes are assessed to the engine assembly recorded time for dropped components, improper disassembly/assembly, poor sportsmanship, etc. All procedural penalties are in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow rulebook that was provided to the competing high schools at the start of the school year. The team with the fastest time, including penalty minutes, is chosen as the winner.

Event Winners and Wildcard Teams Compete 
This year, 13 teams earned their way to the "Showdown at SEMA" national championship. Eight teams were represented by winning regional events throughout the country, and five additional teams were added to the contest for having the next best qualifying times during regional competitions.

During the normal regional event competitions through the year, all participating teams compete once. The team with the best time wins the regional event and is given the opportunity to compete in the national championship at SEMA.


However, during the national championship "Showdown at SEMA," all the teams compete a total of four times. On the last day of the four-day event, each team’s highest time was thrown out and the remaining three times were averaged to determine the top engine builder.

Final Team Rankings
First Place: Team MOTIVE GEAR (seen to the right) – Loara High School, Anaheim CA – average time – 21:24.

Second Place: Team ENERGY SUSPENSION – Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center, Choctaw, OK – average time – 21:54

Third Place – Team MR. GASKET – East Ridge High School, Chattanooga, TN – average time – 22:19

Fourth Place – Team AEROMOTIVE – Burton Center for Arts & Technology, Salem, VA – average time – 24:46

Fifth Place – Team MAGNAFLOW – North Orange County ROP, Anaheim, CA – average time – 25:35

Sixth Place – Team ROYAL PURPLE – Elkhart Area Career Center #1, Elkhart, IN – average time – 25:50

Seventh Place – Team ARP- Elkhart Area Career Center #2,  Elkhart, IN – average time – 25:53

Eighth Place – Team PROFORM – Peach County High School, Fort Valley, GA – average time – 26:14

Ninth Place – Team THERMO-TEC – Thomas County Central High School, Thomasville, GA – average time – 27:40

Tenth Place – Team EDELBROCK – Fremd High School, Palatine, IL – average time – 28:50

Eleventh Place – Team HEDMAN HEDDERS – Belvidere North High School, Belvidere, IL – average time – 31:04

Twelfth Place – Team MSD – Joliet Central High School, Joliet, IL – average time – 32:31

Thirteenth Place – Team PAINLESS PERFORMANCE – Sequoyah High School, Soddy Daisy, TN – average time – 33:46

More than $1.2 million in scholarship money was
awarded to the participants by three auto technological colleges: Ohio Technical College (OTC), University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) and School of Automotive Machinists (SAM).

Each college awarded the following scholarship money:
$10,000 to each first-place team member;
$9,000 to each second-place team member;
$8,000 to each third-place team member;
$7,000 to each fourth-place team member;
$6,000 to each fifth-place team member; and
$5,000 to each sixth- through 13th-place team member.
The competition began at the inaugural Race & Performance Expo in 2008. The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge has quickly grown into a nationwide engine challenge with more schools and sponsors supporting this exciting event each year.


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