Students in the automotive technology program at the Saline County Career Center will
compete Friday for bragging rights in a NASCAR-style competition designed to show off their skills.
Students will work in three-men teams, changing tires around similar to a NASCAR pit crew. Each team will complete a series of tasks, including jacking up the car, removing and replacing tires and tightening lug nuts -- as fast as they can.
Competitions will take place Nov. 17 at the Saline County Career Center in Bauxite located at 3201 South Reynolds Road, on the former campus of Alcoa Reynolds.
Two competitions will be held -- at 9 a.m. for the morning classes and at 1 p.m. for the afternoon classes.
"They have worked hard to increase their speed while using safe practices," said Mary Jane Dove, the center's director.
Automotive Technology Instructors Zeke Woodard and Doyle Manis will serve as timekeepers.
"We've got some teams down to two minutes," Woodard said. "It's a fun competition, and they're honing their skills, too. We have students who are interested in that kind of work. They have aspirations of working on race cars, so we try to expose them to different kinds of experiences."
The Saline County Career Center, a division of Pulaski Technical College, offers secondary career programs for high school. Programs are offered in automotive technology, cosmetology and medical professions education.
About 80 students from Benton, Bryant and Bauxite high schools are enrolled in the automotive technology program.
Students learn tasks essential for entry-level work in the automotive technology field, such as mounting and balancing tires, diagnosing and repairing brake systems, changing fluids, diagnosing and repairing parts of a suspension system, diagnosing simple electronic circuits for faults, and minor engine diagnosis.
The program recently gained certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation in the areas of brakes, electrical electronics systems, engine performance, and suspension and steering.