Hot Rodders of Tomorrow in Action
- Jan. 9, 2015
-- Between August and June annually, high school students practice and prepare for the big game or the next challenge in their academic careers. For a select group of teams, their road to the championship passes through Festival Park in Zephyrhills, Florida, February 19-22. In conjunction with the 2015 Winter AutoFest event powered by Carlisle Events, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow engine building competition will take place at Festival Park, making the Pasco County event one of nearly a dozen qualifying locations. Qualifying event winners plus multiple non-winning top time “wild cards” will advance to compete in the dual championships, held each November at SEMA in Las Vegas, Nevada and in December at the PRI trade show in Indianapolis. As part of that event, the SEMA champion will face the PRI champion for a final four national championship showdown. The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge began in 2008 with just five schools as an exhibition and has grown into a national competition for high school students. In 2014, more than 110 teams, 770 students competed nationwide with even more expected in 2015. Specific teams/schools competing at Winter AutoFest may not be known until the days leading up to the event itself, but as they are announced, they’ll be listed on the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow web page (listed below). The event serves as a forum for the future development of today’s youth for the race and performance industry. During each qualifying competition, students must properly disassemble small block Chevy engines using only hand tools and follow proper disassembly and reassembly procedures. This is a competition against the clock so time-added penalties may be issued. For specific rules and regulations visit the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow online at www.hotroddersoftomorrow.com. Scholarship money is also made available annually by supporters such as the Ohio Technical College (OTC), the School of Automotive Machinists (SAM) and the University of Northwest Ohio (UNOH). Scholarship totals top the $3 million mark annually and are earmarked for future educational opportunities for the students who participate. “Hosting a qualifying event for the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow is one way we can foster the growth of the hobby and the industry,” said Event Manager Jim Brady. “This competition encourages kids with automotive interests to pursue a career in the automotive world and with the scholarships that are made available, it assures an education and an opportunity to follow that dream.” In selecting Winter AutoFest as a regional qualifier, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow has partnered with one of the biggest automotive events in the southeast. The event includes a collector car auction, swap meet, car corral and a level of automotive excitement rarely experienced in the region. Whether you spend a few hours or the entire weekend at Festival Park, you will enjoy special event that is second to none.