Two students from Copper Basin High School will head to Motor City this June to represent Tennessee against students from all 50 states in the 2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals. Brett Payne and Clarence Hughes, led by instructor Kevin Smith won the Tennessee competition Thursday in Nashville, to earn a spot in the National Finals at Ford Motor Company World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. June 8–10.
There, the duo will compete for millions in scholarship dollars, the opportunity to earn a job shadow experience with Wood Brothers Racing and the possibility of being crowned “America’s Best Student Auto Technicians.”
“Each year, the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition brings together the country’s best future automotive technicians,” noted Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “The competition is just one of the ways AAA and Ford demonstrate their commitment to the helping students and building awareness of career opportunities in the automotive service industry.”
At the National Finals, Payne and Hughes will have their automotive skills tested with a written exam and timed event during. During the competition they will be required to diagnose and repair intentionally installed “bugs” on a Ford vehicle.The road to the National Finals requires much preparation. To earn their spots, Payne and Hughes needed to successfully complete an online test of their automotive knowledge in January. They then advanced to the Tennessee State Finals, where they competed against other pairs of high school students in a hands-on competition similar to the national finals.