Students from the Joliet Township High School engine-building team are advancing to nationals, with two teams qualifying after a competition in Schaumburg earlier this month.
The two teams will compete in national competitions held in Las Vegas and Indianapolis in November and December.
The engine-building competition requires students to disassemble and reassemble a Chevy V-8 race engine using only hand tools. Teams are timed and the engine is expected to run once assembled. To qualify for nationals, teams had to finish with a time under 34 minutes, including penalties.
Team Firestone finished in third place with a time of 26 minutes and 10 seconds, and team DEI finished in eighth place with a time of 33 minutes and 19 seconds, according to Joliet Central Automotive Instructor Sean Reisdorf.
“A total of 30 teams competed, and the first place champions were only 2 minutes and 41 seconds faster than our team [Firestone] with a finishing time of 23 minutes and 29 seconds,” Reisdorf added.
Before the trek to nationals, the two teams will have one last chance to improve their rankings at the Route 66 Raceway Invitational held July 30-31.
Reisdorf, who is the Engine Team sponsor, has set an ambitious goal for his team. He is hoping to bring the final time down to under 18 minutes.
Joliet Township High School students on team Firestone are Kevin Conroy, Eddie Arriaga, Gustavo Ruiz, Antonio Gonzalez, Kevin Gonzalez and Rogelio Mendoza. Students on team DEI are Martin Chavez, Jeff Law, Anthony Tokarczyk, Mari Rosas and Jimmy Miller.