Hylton auto tech team fuels up for National Championships
Posted on 11/14/2018
Picture of Hylton auto tech team working on engine in competitionIn the world of automotive technology, pistons, gears, crankshafts, camshafts, connecting rods, and oil sumps are more than engine parts; together with complex electronics, they can power the globe in multi-billion-dollar industries. Knowing how engines function is fueling students in Hylton High School’s automotive technology program toward scholarships and lucrative careers.

Hylton recently fielded a team in a national engine teardown and rebuild competition. The team, sponsored by Mr. Gasket, placed third out of 27 teams in the first leg of a dual championship held over three days in Las Vegas. The team is ranked third as it prepares for the second challenge in early December in Indianapolis. The December competition is the finale in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge National Championships, the premier competition for high school automotive technology students in the nation.
Picture of Hylton High School auto tech team of five students flanked by teacher and official standing behind small car engine the students rebuilt. One student is holding a plaque the team won.
Hylton’s team is comprised of Gehovani Melgar, Kevin Posada, Carina Ramos, Valentin Sharov, and Braxton Tate. The students are coached by Ed Stevens, their auto mechanics teacher at Hylton.

Stevens is proud of his talented team. “Each one of these students has won thousands of dollars in scholarship money toward post-secondary education, with more to come,” he said.

The students are challenged to completely tear down a small block Chevy engine to the crankshaft, then reassemble it using correct torque sequences and procedures, lubricating necessary components, and adjusting valves and timing so that the engine will run. The students are only allowed to use hand tools. Good national teams with clean engines, meaning no penalties, average between 18 and 21 minutes in the engine challenge.

There are five members per team; four members work on the engine and one stays behind the bench, organizing and keeping the team on pace. There are four judges per team watching everything and assessing penalties; penalties equate to minutes added to the team’s finish time. The teams need to complete the challenge in under 33 minutes during qualifying rounds, which take place between February and July all around the country.

Business partners that support Hylton High School’s automotive technology program and competitions include Lustine Motorsports; Sauer Compressors; Miller Toyota; Route 1 GMC; Malloy; Brown’s Hyundai; Radley Chevrolet; UniFirst; and SPARK, the education foundation for PWCS.

The focus on excellence is driving Hylton High School’s automotive technology students to become the best in their field; that’s Positively PWCS.

Picture of Positively PWCS logo