CONCORD, N.C. -- The 20th annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown made its return to the Hendrick Motorsports campus Wednesday to test some of the best engine technicians from Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group.
For the competition, 12 engine assemblers from the race team were paired with 12 engine builders from the Hendrick Automotive Group to put together 243 parts on a Chevrolet R07 race engine with one common goal; build the engine faster than any other team without a penalty. A two-person team is matched up against another duo during the showdown. The two teams are on their own stage platforms with their engines as they race against the clock and each other for the fastest building time.
Even though the everyone is trying to beat the clock, the participants look forward to more than just being the fastest engine builders. Engine technicians from across the country come together under one roof to make memories while taking part in a friendly competition.
“The comradery with the guys from the automotive group is what I look forward to the most – some of these guys come from Kansas, from California,” said Jared Morris, a production dyno operator for Hendrick Motorsports. “We don’t see these guys except when they come here every year, and we make relationships with these guys who we never would have before the competition.”
While the teams are made up of two branches under the Hendrick name, the engine builders recognize what it means to be a part of the Hendrick family. The event helps bring together teammates from different parts of team owner Rick Hendrick’s operations, which is the main purpose behind the Engine Builder Showdown.
“Two companies, one company; I feel like it’s one big team and that Mr. H really cares,” said Jim Stephens, an engine technician at Darrell Waltrip Subaru. “That is the most important part.”
After the first day of competition, John Boydston from Hendrick Motorsports and Dave Frey from Hendrick Automotive Group are on top of the leaderboard with a time of 24 minutes, 45 seconds out of the eight teams that went against each other on Wednesday. The final four teams will compete Thursday morning prior to the championship round. The overall fastest two teams will try to earn the fastest engine builder time with the competition set to air on Speed51.tv and HendrickEBS.com at 1:15 p.m. ET.