Team Moroso from Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center defeated 22 other competitors from across the nation to win the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow National Championship today at the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis.
School instructor Jim LaFevers tutored a six-student group from Chocktaw, Oklahoma, that broke the event’s national record in breaking down and re-assembling a V8 engine in 18 minutes, 43 seconds. The team was composed of Callie Hunter, Ryan Campbell, Alexander Versteeg, Connor Hixenbaugh, Connor Carrizales and Nicholas Brown.
"This is an opportunity of a lifetime for these kids and something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, to become national champions," said LaFevers, whose school is made up of students from four local feeder high schools. “This is a jump-start for their career in the automotive and high-performance trade. The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow have a terrific program.”
Teams representing schools from around the nation -- from Virginia to California -- qualified for the finals at regional competitions throughout the year.
“We had a really exciting time -- PRI was a perfect host, and we absolutely loved being here,” said Rodney Bingham of Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. “The kids did an amazing job, and our program offers more than $2 million in scholarships. No student here will get less than $15,000 worth of scholarships and some will receive more than $30,000 per student.”
PRI showcased the event during a week-long flurry of activity before and during the Trade Show, which was attended by more than 40,000 motorsports professionals.
“We were excited to have the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow join us at the PRI Trade Show,” said John Kilroy, producer of the Show. “It’s a very powerful program to give young people entrance to the performance and racing world. They are the future of our sport, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the companies attending the show had an eye out for their next generation of engine builders.”