CONCORD, N.C. -- This week brought the 15th annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown.
The annual event teams 12 Hendrick Certified Master Technicians from Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships with 12 Hendrick Motorsports engine department team members.
"These guys are the best, and we're so proud of them," said Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports owner and Hendrick Automotive Group chairman.
The teams are tasked with assembling a 358-cubic-inch Chevrolet engine similar to the fuel-injected engine that runs every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend.
The competition spans two days, and each team has a qualifying build on Tuesday as the field is narrowed until two teams reach the final on Wednesday.
This year, Hendrick helped kick off the final showdown.
"Builders, start your build," he said with a smile.
The winners were determined by posting the quickest time with the least number of errors.
Ultimately, the showdown is a chance for team members from both sides of the company to come together for a common goal.
"Hendrick Motorsports and the whole automotive group and everybody, it's all one team," Alex Bowman said. "And the quality of people they hire, to be able to work together that well -- it looks like they've been working together for years and they met each other yesterday."
Several of the Hendrick Motorsports crew chiefs and drivers were in attendance to watch the contest, including Bowman, who will fill in as the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for the final two races of the season.
Bowman was on hand to support the competitors and speak with a group of approximately 150 tech students and instructors from 15 states who were visiting campus to watch the competition and learn more about both the race team and Hendrick Automotive Group.
"They're the future of our industry -- not just building engines, but the entire automotive industry," he said of the students in attendance. "So, it's really cool to see."
The most impressive part of the entire event, Bowman said, was seeing just how quickly the teammates could assemble the engines.
"It's incredible," 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.
"It's incredible to see them do it."
For a photo gallery from the event, click here.