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Our 2022 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown lineup is set.

The annual competition pairs 12 Hendrick Automotive Group certified master technicians and 12 Hendrick Motorsports engine builders together as they work in tandem on assembling a 358-cubic-inch Chevrolet engine, which contains 243 parts and is similar to the fuel-injected engines that run every NASCAR Cup Series weekend. Builders are not only racing the clock but other two-person teams for the fastest building time. And bragging rights, of course.
 

Live coverage of the two-day showdown will take place on RacingAmerica.com and HendrickEBS.com.
 

But before the horn blows on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 9:15 a.m. signifying the start of the builds, let’s meet the 12 Hendrick certified master technicians from our dealerships nationwide who will compete in the 2022 event.  
 

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Patrick Ashford – Gwinnett Place Honda
Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Chris Moroch


Ashford has come oh-so-close to winning the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline… twice. In 2011 and 2018, Ashford came up just short of the title working with Scott Vestor and Danny Emerick, respectively.


“I have learned that good team work and communication are very important to perform at a high level in the engine build competition,” Ashford said. “Hendrick is the only automotive group that has an event like this for its technicians.”

 

Ashford first joined Hendrick Automotive Group in April 2008, crediting his long-time mentor for helping him navigate his career.

 

“Ronnie Butler, I have worked with him for 14 years,” Ashford said. “First as a service advisor and now as an assistant manager. He is one of the nicest and understanding people I have worked with. He’s always willing to help and he would do anything for you.”

 

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Dennis DelGiudace – Hendrick Honda
Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Joshua Speir

 

New to the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline in 2022, DelGiudance of Hendrick Honda in Charlotte began his Hendrick Automotive Group career in April 2015.

 

“I am excited to just have the opportunity to be a part of the competition,” DelGiudace said. “I had first seen the competition in 2011 and have aspired to be a part of it ever since.”

 

DelGiudace first received his biggest career influence early on.

 

“The person that made the biggest impact on my career is my high school auto tech teacher, Mr. Rorie,” DelGiudace said. “Growing up I was interested in cars, but after taking his curriculum through high school, I knew it was the career for me. A piece of advice I would tell a new technician would be to stay open minded and ready to adapt.”

 

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Robert DenBleyker – Hendrick Lexus Charleston

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Kevin Moler

 

Ron DenBleyker will be traveling from Charleston and will be making his inaugural appearance at the Showdown and first visit to Hendrick Motorsports.

 

“This is my first time participating in the engine build off and I am excited about meeting Mr. Hendrick and seeing the race side of the business,” DenBleyker said. “The engine build off will be the coolest thing I’ve done in my career.”

 

His father was a longtime British car enthusiast while DenBleyker has caught the Lexus enthusiast bug. But that’s not his only passion.

 

“My bucket list item is traveling the country in an RV with my wife.”

 

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Anthony Dowless – Hendrick Lexus Charlotte

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Brian Franklin

 

Dowless joined Hendrick Motorsports’ Scott Vester to win the event in 2011, and has served as an alternate the past two years.

 

“I have learned over the years that there are a lot of talented and smart technicians (at) Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports,” Dowless said. “It’s an honor to represent Hendrick Lexus.”

 

The North Carolina resident, who first joined Hendrick Automotive Group in July 2002, credits Jerry Hilson for first getting involved and helping him to victory, “(He) made a big impact on my career and I know I would not have won in 2011 without his guidance and support.”

 

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Shane Fischer – Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ John Boydston

 

Returning 2019 champion Shane Fischer is making his third appearance in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. After first competing in 2016, Fischer and Hendrick Motorsports engine builder John Boydston outlasted the field to take home 2019 honors.

 

The Kansas resident first joined Hendrick Automotive Group in April 2002, and has always lent an ear and offered advice, “I would advise a new technician to be sure they do quality work and understand the jobs before trying to be fast.”

 

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John Grether, Jr. – Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Tyrus Gillen

 

John Grether, Jr., is making his fourth trip to Hendrick Motorsports to participate in this year’s Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. Grether first started at Hendrick Automotive Group in October 2010, inspired by a very special person in his life.

 

“I worked on cars, motorcycles, everything growing up with my father, Jack,” Grether said. “I owe my career aspirations to him.”

 

“Learn everything you can, don’t avoid difficult jobs,” Grether continued. “After you put in the hard work there will be no ‘bad jobs’ and you will be the most valuable person in the shop.”

 

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Brad Huston – Hendrick Lexus Kansas City

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Danny Emerick

 

Huston is competing in his first Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown in 2022. It is an opportunity he has been trying to obtain since he joined the company in August 2014.

 

“I am excited to see the motorsports side of Hendrick and to meet Mr. Hendrick,” Huston said. “He has visited our shop several times, but I have always missed him.”

 

Huston feels this competition fits right into his wheelhouse of enthusiasm, “The favorite part of my career is repairing engines and completing rebuilds, so I hope the experience helps me do well in this competition.”

 

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Kyle Kittell – Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Jared Morris

 

Kittel and Hendrick Motorsports engine builder Danny Emerick won the 2016 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown in impressive fashion. With a time of 21 minutes, 46 seconds, Kittel won his first title as a rookie builder. The 2022 event marks his third appearance.

 

“I learned that preparation, teamwork and (having a) solid game plan are super important,” Kittle said. “Also have to have the ability to work through the hiccups at that fast of a pace.”

 

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Jason Lobdell – Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Mike Maiwald

 

Lobdell first started with Hendrick Automotive Group in 2006, having participated in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown three times previously.

 

“I have learned a lot about teamwork and the need for a good plan when time is not on your side,” said Lobdell, about the competition. “One of the coolest things I have been able to do in my career is going to the Engine Builder Showdown.”

 

Lobdell is among the most skilled technicians in the dealership, working on the most difficult vehicles to diagnose as well as sixth and seventh generation Chevrolet Corvettes.

 

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Robert Marock – Honda of Concord

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Jason Ingle

 

Two-time event winner Robert Marock from Honda of Concord (North Carolina) is taking on his seventh Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. In 2013, Marock teamed up with another long-time Hendrick Motorsports engine builder Jay Willes to each score their second event victory.

 

The North Carolina resident is also a mentor to younger technicians, often providing guidance for their journeys, “I would advise a new technician to give 100% and be passionate about your career. Be willing to learn every day and join a dealership that (help) you grow.”

 

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Stephen Moore – Hendrick Collision Center of Kansas City

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Scott Vester

 

Moore returns for his second Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. The Missouri resident first competed in the event back in 2019.

 

“I learned from that competition that you have to slow down – to go faster,” Moore said. “My mind was racing two and three steps ahead of where we were in the build. That was costly to say the least.”

 

Moore joined Hendrick Automotive Group in September 2011, and has continually evolved his skills. Having gone from student to teacher along the way.

 

“The biggest impact to my career has almost always been the group of people that I work with,” Moore said. “The early years were full of people much older and wiser, teaching me how things work and how to fix them. Now, the people I work with rely on me for support.”

 

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Ryan Thor – Hendrick BMW CPO South

Paired with Hendrick Motorsports’ Sam Vernatter

 

Thor is making his inaugural appearance in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown, a competition he is excited about entering.

 

Having started at Hendrick Automotive Group in April 2011, Thor has steadily built his career – crediting two mentors for the success he currently enjoys.

 

“John White showed me the correct way to approach a repair. To take pride in your work and respect every vehicle like it belongs to a family member,” Thor said. “Jim Burton (Hendrick Porsche) showed me how much can be achieved by staying humble – you never know everything and never stop learning. Also, focus on being the best at what you do. These guys shaped my approach before I started at Hendrick BMW.

 

“Find leaders at work. Support them and gain from their experience,” he added.

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