By Samuel Medina III/ reporter
The South Campus Automotive Building will be the new destination for the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow engine challenge March 26.
High school students from southern Oklahoma and the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be required to take an engine apart and put it back together in the shortest amount of time.
The goal is to have the engine working properly. If not, the team is penalized by time.
Automotive instructor Terry Schranz said the competition was previously held at the Texas Motor Speedway for two years, but the event returned to the South Automotive Building because it’s an ideal venue.
“We have a controlled environment, we’re centrally located and have lots of parking,” he said.
Instructional associate Jennifer Kite said they were told they were hosting the event in December and are making plans to ensure the competition’s success.
“I want to make sure the shop is all nice and really represents Tarrant County because it’s a really good program,” she said.
The competition is a unique opportunity for students to get a start on their careers. Managers and CEOs have been known to attend the competition where students have the chance to stand out and show off their skills, instead of only submitting a resume like thousands of others.
Last year, competitors who made it to the championship, held in Las Vegas, were offered a total of $3.8 million in scholarships. Compared to 2014, the scholarship money increased by almost $1 million.
Although the competition gives students so many opportunities, TCC has never had a team.
Schranz said having a team would be costly and demand a lot of time from students who may have many other responsibilities.
“It’s probably a year’s worth of practice to complete it in 18 minutes,” Schranz said. “Every day, five days a week, those guys need to be practicing. It works just like a NASCAR team. Everyone goes around and does all the jobs, and whatever you’re best at, that ends up being your job.”
Although TCC has only ever been a venue to the event and not a competitor, South student Dylan Medrano said the campus should look into the options.
“I think they should see if any students would want to be in the competition instead of just speaking for us,” he said. “There might be a group of students who would be really into something like this but never given the opportunity.”