School of Automotive Machinists & Hot Rodders of Tomorrow

It was only natural that the School of Automotive Machinists (SAM) and the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow became partners in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge.  Debuting as an exhibition in 2008, the engine challenge has grown from the 5 original participating schools to over a hundred high schools that compete in the engine challenge.

Basically, the engine challenge is a competition where teams compete against each other, and the clock, to take apart a high performance Chevy 350 engine and reassemble it as judges and spectators watch.  When completed, the judges go back through the engine and check assembly and torque values for correctness, assigning penalties for any violations.

Regional competitions are held with the winners meeting for a head to head National competition at the annual SEMA tradeshow in Las Vegas.  This National competition has become “The Showdown at SEMA,” bringing with it all the excitement of high school sports.

This year’s Showdown at SEMA competition had additional meaning for the teams involved.  The School of Automotive Machinists (SAM) was set to award $202,000 in scholarships to six high school automotive teams competing at the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow National Showdown.

This year’s Showdown at SEMA was won by the Auto Meter Team of Loara High School in Anaheim, California.

“SAM is happy to support high school automotive students who are excited about the automotive industry,” said Judson Massingill, founder and Director of Education at SAM. “This competition is about engine building, and that’s what we teach our students to do, build engines that make a lot of horsepower and stay together to win races. We hope these students will continue their automotive training and go on to work in the high-performance and racing industries.”

Founded in 1985 by Linda and Judson Massingill, SAM has been dedicated to helping young people with a desire to become highly skilled and trained professionals in automotive maintenance. Graduates from SAM go on to become leaders in automotive maintenance, whether as independent operators or working for the industry’s elite companies like Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports Roush-Yates, Joe Gibbs Racing or Dart Machinery.

SAM is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and is approved by the Department of Education. The School’s curriculum focuses on the design, theory, machining, building and testing of high-performance engines. The students are taught by experienced instructors and trained on industry-standard machines.

For more information about the School of Automotive Machinists, call 713/683-3817 or visit their website at

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About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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