Hot Rodders of Tomorrow ‘Junior Engine Challenge’ is a Hit

Mar 8, 2017

The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow program has launched a new contest to expose kids to a unique opportunity to showcase workmanship and the awareness of complex mechanisms.

The Junior Engine Challenge presented by Racequip will be featured as a part of the nine Hot Rodders of Tomorrow JR Dragster Series & the Midwest Junior Super Series events all across the Central U.S. this year.

Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Junior Engine Challenge presented by Racequip was kicked off Feb. 25-26 at the Race and Performance Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois and organizers described it as “a huge hit.”

The contest is simple: a team is composed of two individuals; one team members must be 5-18 years of age, and must completely disassemble/reassemble a complete single cylinder OHV engine utilizing only basic hand tools.

The premise behind this contest is to help individuals develop communication skills and increase self-esteem, while understanding the inner workings of a combustion engine.

At the two-day Race and Performance Expo, kids a part of the Junior Engine Challenge assembled and disassembled an engine over 40 times, with kids waiting for over an hour to have a chance to develop and showcase their skills at perfecting the teams rebuilding skills on the small engine.

“One 5th grade student who participated in the contest on Saturday persuaded his parents to travel the two hours back to the show the next day to have the opportunity to go through the engine a second time,” said Ryan Gortney, event organizer. “I was overwhelmed by the response to our first event, and excited for the future events in 2017.”

The next event Junior Engine Challenge will be featured as part of the Hot Rodder of Tomorrow at the Piston Power show in Cleveland on March 18-19. Students will be able to demo and be trained on the single cylinder engine.

The official kick off for the 2017 season will be at Gateway Motorsport Park April 7-9 in Madison, Illinois.

Check the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Junior Drag Racing schedule for an event near you.

For additional information on starting a team or sponsorship opportunities, contact Rodney Bingham at or call 815-722-5460.