The nation’s leading motor oil company, Quaker State, recently launched its second annual “Best in Class Challenge,” an automotive education competition featuring high school shop classes across the United States. Automotive students from Kearny High School in northern New Jersey are among this year’s finalists.
Each school’s team is given the task of tuning, restoring and customizing a pre-owned vehicle (donated by Quaker State) into pristine condition and more importantly, a creative representation of their school. The competition consists of online voting, six weeks of automotive challenges, hands-on education, voting by distinguished judges and the winning school is eligible for the most coveted prize of all, the opportunity to participate in a Barrett-Jackson vehicle auction in West Palm Beach, FL with proceeds going to the school. What started out as a competition of 55 semi-finalists, has now come down to the five finalists from Georgia, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and of course New Jersey. The students of Kearny High School now have six weeks to win it all.
“We are extremely proud to have representatives from our state in the finals,” AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell says. “AASP/NJ is always working to increase the awareness of the importance of automotive education in schools. The numbers are shrinking every year so an event like this shines a incredibly positive light on the benefits of keeping automotive programs alive.”
On October 11, dozens of Kearny High School students made their way to their football field to witness the big reveal of the late-model, white Mustang. The students of the Automotive 1 and Automotive 2 class participated in the competition and were led outside by their automotive instructor, Victor Ribeiro.
“My students are so excited to be here. They really want that trip to West Palm Beach and so do I! We came in fifth place last year, but this year, I know we can take the whole thing home,” said Ribeiro.
After the vehicle was safely secured on the Dyno Test Machine, the engine was revved in order to get an accurate reading of engine performance. The students gathered around the Dyno and waited anxiously for the baseline reading of the vehicle. Within just a few minutes, the results were in at 162 horsepower.
“That number is decent, but I know we can do better. Now we have to improve. Now we have to modify the engine and see if we can get it up to 200 horsepower. I have a whole new group of kids this year in class and I have to tell you, I’m already booking my trip because I have no doubt in my mind they will win this,” commented Ribeiro.
In addition to the main attraction, parents, teachers and community members drove their cars onto the football field to have their engines tested on the Dyno for fun, including a few vehicles that had been previously worked on by the automotive students. For more information on Quaker State or the “Best in Class Challenge,” please
For more information on AASP/NJ, please contact AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant at 732-992- 8909.
For more information on the NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show, please visit www.aaspnjnortheast.com.