CONCORD, N.C. – Hendrick Motorsports owner and Hendrick Automotive Group chairman Rick Hendrick has long said that people are the key to success in any business.
In a packed Team Center on the Hendrick Motorsports campus for the 15th annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown, that is as evident as ever.
This week, a special video series will debut chronicling the Engine Builder Showdown. From the origin of the competition through the qualifying rounds, finals and the crowning of a championship team, the series takes an in-depth look at every facet of the annual event.
The first video -- Legacy -- will be posted on HendrickMotorsports.com at 9 a.m. ET on Monday, with subsequent episodes -- Qualifying, Finalists and Championship Build -- airing at 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The competition itself teams 12 Hendrick Certified Master Technicians from Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships with 12 Hendrick Motorsports engine department team members.
It's a chance for teammates from both sides of the company to come together for a common goal.
"That, I think, is the thing I didn’t realize how special that was going to be," Hendrick said. "They are all part of the Hendrick family and they are all proud of that."
And the participants are the best of the best. With the All-Star Race approaching, these are truly the all-stars of engine building.
The Hendrick Motorsports employees build some of the most powerful engines in the NASCAR Cup Series on a weekly basis. And the Hendrick Automotive Group competitors passed a yearly, one-of-a-kind Automotive Service Excellence exam while also posting the year's best customer service scores.
Of Hendrick Automotive Group's approximately 1,900 service technicians, only about 15 percent are Hendrick Certified Master Technicians.
And only 12 technicians make the showdown.
"These guys are the best, and we're so proud of them," Hendrick said.
The teams are tasked with assembling a 358-cubic-inch Chevrolet engine similar to the fuel-injected engine that runs every NASCAR Cup Series race weekend.
"The bond it creates between both companies, it’s really good."Rick Hendrick
The competition spans two days. Each team has a qualifying build as the field is narrowed until two teams reach the final. The winners are determined by posting the quickest time with the least number of errors.
“This is almost a choreography -- you can see these guys work back and forth with the different parts and pieces,” said Jeff Andrews, Hendrick Motorsports director of engine operations. “We’re certainly very proud of this competition and what it’s become and the camaraderie that it builds.”
The 15th annual event brought a host of spectators, including many of the Hendrick Motorsports crew chiefs and drivers along with three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham, who served as emcee.
One of the attendees, Alex Bowman, was impressed by the level of skill shown by each of the entrants.
"It's incredible to see them do it," he said. "Just how fast they're throwing everything together is crazy. And they can't make any mistakes, because (the engine) has to run for a minute.”
The showdown has continued to grow in every year since its inception, and the goal has always been to showcase the importance of teamwork throughout both sides of the Hendrick organization.
And Hendrick himself couldn't be happier with what the showdown helps accomplish.
"To be able to recognize them and let them have some fun and then crown a champion is really special," he said. "And the bond it creates between both companies, it’s really good."
Stay tuned to HendrickMotorsports.com Monday morning to catch your first glimpse at the special video series.
To learn more about joining the team, visit HendrickCareers.com.