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Middletown Transcript
  • St. Georges Tech students win Delaware auto skills competition, head to nationals

  • A pair of students from St. Georges Technical High School will compete next month for scholarships, a chance to shadow a NASCAR race team and the title of America’s Best Student Auto Technicians.
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  • A pair of students from St. Georges Technical High School will compete next month for scholarships, a chance to shadow a NASCAR race team and the title of America’s Best Student Auto Technicians.
    Middletown residents John Gross and Yamon Springs took first place Tuesday in the state finals for the 2014 Ford/AAA Auto Skills National Finals at Dover International Speedway.
    The juniors beat out students from eight other high schools from across Delaware to represent Delaware at the 2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals in Dearborn, Mich., from June 8 to June 12.
    “I’m thrilled about it,” said Jim Hill, the boys’ automotive instructor at St. Georges. “They used the strategies I taught them, took their time and followed the proper procedures, and it really paid off from them.”
    St. Georges Tech has been competing in the state-level auto skills competition for the past five years, but Gross and Springs are the first win a trip to nationals.
    “They’re definitely some of my more advanced students and they have the skill sets needed to succeed,” Hill said.
    To qualify for Tuesday’s state-level event, the students had to undergo an online exam, after which the top two scores are paired together to form the school team.
    On Tuesday, those two-person teams from high schools across the state popped the hoods on Ford Fiestas and set out to find “bugs” that had been placed in the cars, ranging from a blow fuse or turn signal bulb to a disconnected sensor on the gas pedal.
    Each car had the same bugs and students had 90 minutes to find them all.
    Once they fixed all the bugs, the students then hopped in the cars and drove them to a mechanic for inspection.
    The team from St. George was the only team to get their car up and running with in the time limit, which they beat with five minutes to spare.
    As a result of their top finish in the state competition, Gross and Springs each received multiple scholarship offers of up to $22,000 from various automotive colleges throughout the country, Hill said.
    They also each received a $300 floor jack from NAPA Auto Parts and a screwdriver set from Snap-On.
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