Maui High Heads to Auto Skills Nationals Again, 18th Time

June 1, 2015, 8:54 AM HST · Updated June 9, 5:00 PM
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The winners of the Hawaii hands-on state contest are instructor Shannon Rowe and students David Casayuran and Joseph Burger. Courtesy photo: Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.

The winners of the Hawaii hands-on state contest are instructor Shannon Rowe and students David Casayuran and Joseph Burger. Courtesy photo: Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.

By Wendy Osher

For at least the 18th time since entering, Maui High School has earned a spot in the national Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, taking place on Tuesday, June 9, at the Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

Students Joseph Burger and David Casayuran will join instructor Shannon Rowe in representing Hawaiʻi at the national event after earning a spot by winning the state title at a competition held on Oʻahu in April.

The team has a big set of shoes to fill after teams from Maui High School placed in the top 10 for the past decade and won national titles in 1995 and 2000, according to AAA data.  Last year was also the second consecutive year that a team from Maui High placed in the top five nationally.

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A field of approximately 12,000 students was narrowed to just 100 during state competitions held earlier this year.

Event organizers say the hands-on competition “tests high-school automotive technology students and their ability to diagnose uniformly “bugged” vehicles and quickly make repairs without sacrificing workmanship.”

During the national event, teams will sprint to their assigned identically “bugged” 2015 Ford Mustang Fastbacks in a quest to “perfectly repair” the vehicle.  Event organizers say factors that determine the national champ include: the fastest car repair time, plus best written test score.

By advancing to the national event, Burger and Casayuran have an opportunity to win part of the $12 million in scholarships and prizes available. The winning team will also get to “shadow” Wood Brothers Racing’s 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team leading up to and during the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla. in July.

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