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Duo pulls off record time to win Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 29, 2010) – Robert Marock and Scott Vester won the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown last Wednesday by building their Chevrolet R07 engine in record time. The duo assembled their engine in just 21 minutes and 19 seconds, shattering the 2009 championship time of 22 minutes and 57 seconds. Kurk Lowry, a nine-year veteran from Superior Lexus, and Mike Maiwald, from Hendrick Motorsports, trailed the Marock-Vester team by a little more than two minutes and finished second in the competition.

The event was created nine years ago as a way for Rick Hendrick to recognize the talents of his engine employees within Hendrick Motorsports and the Hendrick Automotive Group. The late Randy Dorton, a legendary engine builder, was instrumental in the development of the competition, which couples 12 individuals from Hendrick Motorsports with 12 individuals from HAG. These 12 teams participate in the build-off to determine the best pair.

The competitors arrived on Tuesday, and seasoned veterans Marock and Vester were teamed together. Marock, who has worked at Honda Cars of Concord for six years, was entering his third engine building competition, while Vester, an engine dyno operator at Hendrick Motorsports, returned as the defending champion.

In this year’s showdown, Marock and Vester breezed through their first build round on Wednesday morning, scoring a time of 23 minutes and 25 seconds, which was the fastest of all their competitors and advanced them to the championship round later that day. 

Meanwhile Lowry, from Superior Lexus in Kansas City, Mo., and Maiwald were working their way into the championship round. Lowry was a first-time participant in the engine building competition, but Maiwald, like Vester, had experience on his side. Earlier this year in May, Maiwald teamed up with Vester to finish second in the 11th annual MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown. That competition was held in downtown Charlotte during “NASCAR Rev’d Up”, which is an event open to fans during the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star weekend in Charlotte, N.C. During that event, Vester and Maiwald competed together as a team and looked to be the champions when their engine quit running 59 seconds into the mandatory one minute run time. They were one second away from victory.

It was standing-room only as the championship round began. Lowry and Maiwald appeared to have the edge over their competition early in the event. But Marock and Vester fought back and took the spotlight near the half-way point in the race. Marock and Vester started their Chevrolet R07 engine and successfully ran it for one minute in just 21 minutes and 19 seconds. Lowry and Maiwald followed roughly two minutes and eight seconds later after encountering issues with the timing setting of the engine. 

Vester, who was part of the 2009 championship team, explained the event is a team effort.

“I think really it’s getting paired with the right guy,” Vester said. “You do your part, but you’re only responsible for half of it. You’re half, and he’s got half, so it’s how well you work together. To work together as a team you have to communicate. If you don’t communicate, throughout the build you’re gonna get way off and you’re gonna have a lot of issues.”

“It’s awesome,” Marock said after being awarded his trophy. “First and foremost, the opportunity to come over here to Hendrick Motorsports and share this experience with everyone.  It’s what Mr. Hendrick does to recognize us that sets him apart.  The competition, the winning are just a bonus; everything else is the reason to come.  The win is awesome to hold up the Hendrick tradition.”

2010 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown times:

First build:

Lee Hartsell (Hendrick Motorsports) and Jeff Krogmann (Superior Toyota): 28:42
Jerry Hilson (Hendrick Lexus) and Jared Morris (Hendrick Motorsports): 40:19

Second build:

Jeffrey Heinz (Hendrick Chevrolet, N.C.) and Sam Vernatter (Hendrick Motorsports): 26:56
Tom Karas (Hendrick Motorsports) and Chris Ranes (Superior Toyota): 31:03

Third build:

Allen Gates (Darrell Waltrip Honda Volvo) and Jason Ingle (Hendrick Motorsports): 26:10
Scot Hubbard (Lexus of Pleasanton) and Kevin Moler (Hendrick Motorsports): 29:29

Fourth build:

Matt Pennell (Hendrick BMW) and Kevin Webber (Hendrick Motorsports): 28:22
Danny Emerick (Hendrick Motorsports) and William Heimel (Rick Hendrick Chevrolet, Ga.): 29:56

Fifth build:

Robert Marock (Honda Cars of Concord) and Scott Vester (Hendrick Motorsports): 23:25
Gary Stevens (Colonial Chevrolet) and Jay Wiles (Hendrick Motorsports): 43:05

Sixth build:

Kurk Lowry (Superior Lexus) and Mike Maiwald (Hendrick Motorsports): 24:18
Bob Anderson (Hendrick Cadillac, Saab, Spyker) and Shane Parsnow (Hendrick Motorsports): 31:06

Championship build:

Marock and Vester: 21:19
Lowry and Maiwald: 23:27