NFADA announces 2018 AutoTech and Tire Changing Rodeo competition winners

Student teams from across Western New York are celebrating victories at the NFADA Ron Smith Memorial AutoTech Competition and Tire Changing Rodeo held on Jan. 13 in Orchard Park. The competition took place at the Erie Community College-Vehicle Technology Training Center located at 5885 Big Tree Road.

The AutoTech competition featured teams of two high school automotive seniors who were put through a series of diagnostic, workstation and performance tests to measure their automotive technical skills and abilities. Ford Motor Company served as the vehicle sponsor and provided six 2018 Ford Escapes for the students to compete on.

Taking first place in the AutoTech competition for seniors was the team of Kyle Huttenmaier and Alex Prims from Kenton Career & Tech Center, under the direction of instructor Gary Willis. Huttenmaier and Prims will now begin training for the National Automotive Technology Competition to be held at the New York International Auto Show. The two-day competition will feature teams from across the U.S. competing for prizes and college scholarships.

Finishing in second place was the W.D. Ormsby Career & Tech Center, East Aurora, team of Nick Ingelfinger and Tyler Tait, under the guidance of instructor Scott Sitarek. The third place team of Zephran Pennington and Donald Koch, and instructor Timothy Fisher, represented Ellicottville Career & Tech Center.

In the Tire Changing Rodeo, teams of two high school juniors were timed as they raced to replace a damaged tire in the quickest time. Taking first place in the Tire Rodeo was the team of Azston Ford and Theodore Millar, and instructor John Jeckovich, from Niagara Career & Tech Center. Hunter Phillips and Christopher Lorenz from Kenton Career & Tech Center, with instructor Gary Willis, finished in second. Taking third place were students Shane Devlin and Michael Martinez, with instructor Charles Shevlin Jr., from Potter Road Career & Tech Center in West Seneca.

For more information on the NFADA and the AutoTech and Tire Changing Rodeo competitions, please visit You can also follow the AutoTech program on Facebook at, where photos from the 2018 competitions have been posted.

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