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Brewer represented at auto skills state competition

Published 10:15am Friday, April 11, 2014

Twenty high school automotive students from across the state will tune up cars in hopes of tuning out the competition on April 15 in the State Finals of the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition.

The students will be fighting for scholarships in the automotive industry and for the chance to advance to the National Finals, which take place at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.

Brewer High School is among the schools represented at the contest. The others include Lawrence Co. Center Of Technology, Winston Co. Technology Center, Haleyville Center Of Technology, Eden Career Center, Shelby Co. School Of Technology, Dothan Technology Center, Winston Co. Technology Center, Blount Co. Career Technology Center and Cleburne Co. A.V.C.

The competition, which is geared toward students looking to jumpstart their careers in the automotive industry, is especially relevant for today’s struggling economy, in which car owners are putting more money into car repair and maintenance as a way of avoiding the big-ticket purchase of a new car.

A special banquet will be held at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham at 6:30 p.m. Mon., April 14, to honor the accomplishments of the students participating in this competition. Robert Hight, Funny Car driver and president of John Force Racing will be the guest speaker.

On Tues., April 15, 20 juniors and seniors representing 10 high schools across Alabama will face off in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills State Finals. Each two-student team will race the clock to correctly identify and fix intentionally installed “bugs” on identical 2014 Ford vehicles.

After properly diagnosing and repairing their vehicle, the teammates must drive their assigned vehicle across the finish line, where the car will be inspected for accuracy and workmanship. The competition will take place in the parking area of the Barber Motorsports Park Museum in Birmingham from 10:30 a.m. until noon. The awards ceremony will take place in the atrium area inside the Barber Motorsports Museum at 1:30 p.m.

The teams were selected based on their high scores in an online qualifying exam that tested each team’s automotive knowledge.

The winning team members not only receive scholarships and other valuable prizes, but also will represent Alabama at the National Finals at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., in June. The team with the highest combined scores from the national hands-on competition and written exam will be declared “America’s Next Top Auto Technicians.”

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