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Tire Rodeo Competition is Serious Business for High School Students | Transportation

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Tire Rodeo Competition is Serious Business for High School Students
Transportation
Tire Rodeo Competition is Serious Business for High School Students

 

While high school seniors are squaring off in the 2014 NFADA Ron Smith Memorial AutoTech Competition this Saturday, Jan. 18, in Orchard Park, area high school juniors will once again be learning the ropes and taking part in their own competition — a Tire Rodeo. 

Both competitions will take place beginning at 9 a.m. and will conclude with an awards ceremony at approximately 2 p.m. at the Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center, 5885 Big Tree Road, Orchard Park. The event is open to the public.

During the Tire Rodeo, teams of two high school juniors will be timed as they race to replace a damaged tire in the quickest time. Students will also take a written tire safety test, with two seconds added to their time for each incorrect answer. The team with the quickest overall time will receive a Tire Rodeo trophy to proudly display in their school.

Gary Willis, a teacher at the Erie 1 BOCES Kenton Career and Technical Center in Tonawanda, looks forward to the annual Tire Rodeo. His students have won the competition a record seven times.

“About 20 of our 60 automotive students wanted to compete in the Tire Rodeo this year, and we tested them until we got it down to the two fastest students who we’ll send to the competition,” Willis said. In addition to repeatedly practicing the act of changing tires, the students have also taken numerous review tests to prepare for the written portion of the competition.

“We have had students in the Tire Rodeo who have come back and won the AutoTech Competition the following year,” Willis added. “We have been competing in the Auto Tech Competition for 18 years, and eight times our team has won and moved on to the national competition in New York City. Our best finish in the national competition was fourth place out of nearly 40 teams, and those two students each earned $65,000 in scholarships!”

Several graduates of the auto tech and auto body programs at the Erie 1 BOCES Kenton Career and Technical Center are now employed in the automotive industry in Western New York, a fact that makes Willis extremely proud. From technicians to service writers to shop owners, they have gone from Tire Rodeo participants to the people who now keep our vehicles safe and on the road.

“I would like to thank the NFADA and Dunn TIre for being wonderful liaisons between the schools and the automotive industry,” Willis added. “They always do their very best for the students.”

 

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