Joshua is married to Lillian, together they have one child named, Lawson. Speir competed in 2015 and 2021, worked in support since 2013, and returns for 2022. Over his years competing and observing he has learned that it takes teamwork, lots of focus and proper tool placement to be a top contender. The North Carolina resident is very thankful to be a part of Hendrick Motorsports. The family values Mr. Hendrick instills throughout the organization have influenced Joshua’s outlook on his career. One of his biggest career accomplishments has been being part of Chase Elliot’s first championship in 2020. Speir’s favorite vehicle is a Mustang, he grew up around them and enjoys the driving experience. In the future, Joshua would like to go to the Grand Canyon. “Listen to the old-timers you might learn a few things,” Speir states.
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 Missouri 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.” One of Fischer’s passions is his Boss Hoss V8 motorcycle. He described his experiences as an enthusiast. “It has great performance and is also enjoyable to cruise long distances,” Fischer said. “Over the many years of owning this bike, I have traveled to many states to meet and ride with others with similar bikes. I have made many friends all over the world due to owning a Boss Hoss.” Fischer is married to Rachel and they have one daughter, Gracie, who just turned five years old and recently started kindergarten.
2020 runner-up Sam Vernatter is making his 15th appearance in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. “If you do not communicate with your partner, then it’s going to be a rough build,” Vernatter said. “And make sure you time the dang thing!” Vernatter says never underestimate the power of enthusiasm when it comes to the work you do. “Make sure you have a passion for what you do,” Vernatter said. “It will be a lot easier to stick out the hard times when you love what you do.” Away from work, Vernatter is excited to check a bucket list item off in October 2023 when he goes elk hunting in Wyoming with his dad. One of the best moments of his career was eating BBQ ribs with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his hauler at Talladega. Vernatter has been married to his wife Ashley for 12 years. They have two children, James (8) and Gabe (4).
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.” Marock has been married 36 years to his wife Beth and they have two children, daughter Megan, who serves in the U.S. Army, while son Robert works at Hendrick Lexus Northlake. “My wife Beth has been my biggest supporter to pursue my career,” Marock said. “My dealership has also given me opportunity to grow my career with support and guidance.” Away from the shop, Marock has a variety of interests and passions. “I would love to own a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS,” Marock said. “I have driven the new (C8) Corvette and can say (it is) my favorite to drive so far. I enjoy working and fixing just about anything. “My bucket list would be able to play August National golf course the week after The Masters.”
Brian Franklin has been married to his wife Shannon for 12 years. Together they have two daughters, Lilly (12) and Shelby (8). They also have a longhaired dachshund named, Jesse. Franklin looks to his dad as the biggest influence in his life not just professionally, but personally. In 2018, he won the NASCAR Truck Series race in Martinsville, North Carolina and his daughters were able to join him in victory lane. “My dad has had the biggest impact on my career,” Franklin said. “It’s a tradition to call him after the race to hash out all aspects of the good, the bad and the ugly. I do not have a bucket list because I am living my childhood dream.” This will be Franklin’s 10th year competing in the Engine Builder Showdown. He has learned that preparation is key along with being able to have effective communication with your partner throughout the build. Also being able to make changes on the fly if needed will help you win. “Still itching to win the decadent trophy or the lottery,” Franklin joked. “Each year brings a newfound knowledge, but communication is key.” As for career advice, he is very practical, “Be humble and listen. Keeping an open mind will make you a better technician and person.”
Steve Moore, 54, returns as an alternate for this year’s 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.” Moore is married and has twin daughters, Josephine and Patricia. Both graduated this past May from Baker University. In his down time, Moore often thinks about being more off the ground. “I LOVE to fly,” Moore said. “I would like to get my pilot’s license.”
Jerry Windell is married to wife, Lisa. Together they have a daughter, Lexie and a son, Tanner. This will be Windell’s third Engine Builder Competition. He has also assisted in coaching celebrity builds in years past. “I have learned it takes teamwork, dedication, communication and hard work to be competitive and win in the Engine Builder Showdown,” Jerry says. Windell states the teammates he has worked with have positively influenced his career and has been fortunate enough to win multiple championships at different organizations. Jerry’s favorite car is anything with a bowtie on it.
Ron DenBleyker will be traveling from Charleston to this year’s Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline as an alternate. He is 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.” DenBleyker has three children with his wife, Tammy, of 28 years. Alex is the oldest and he’s a tech sergeant in the Air Force, middle son Nicholas is a writer and personal trainer, while daughter Rachel is a photographer at Hendrick Volvo Cars of Charleston. “I worked in Raleigh for most of my career and recently moved to Charleston to work and live close to water,” said DenBleyker, who also had some advice for newer techs. “I would recommend learning automotive electrical repair for young technicians.” 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.”
Shane Parsnow has competed in 14 Showdowns and has learned there is always something new to learn about your partner, tool placement, etc., “It's all about communication and not making mistakes.” Throughout his career, Shane credits Alan Kulwicki and Randy Dorton to his success, but his biggest supporters have been his parents. They supported Parsnow from day one and have been there for the past 30 years of his career. “I guess the people who have had the most impact is my family,” Parsnow said. “My mother and father have been very supportive and understanding of the commitment to traveling and being gone all the time.” “My advice to someone starting their career would be to take your time and do the job one time and do it properly. Also, listen to the veterans and learn from them,” Parsnow states. One of the career highlights is that he is able to meet new people and strive to be better than the competition. “In starting the career as a technician, find the oldest, grumpiest tech and buy him a six pack and become his friend. He is the one who has been there and done that.” Shane is married to wife, Tami and have a daughter named, Shana. In the future, Shane would like to catch a 1000 lbs. Blue Marlin and fish in every ocean on earth.
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.” Engaged to girlfriend, Maria, Grether also has two adult children, Eric and Amanda. He is a big motorcycle enthusiast, often restoring and racing vintage Hondas. Grether is very appreciative of his time at Hendrick Automotive Group. “The support I got from the company when I was going through a very hard time five years ago changed life,” Grether said. “I just want to say a huge thank you to Mr. Hendrick.”
Jay is married to Tami and has two children, Jesse 26 and Josh 37. The two-time Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown champion won the inaugural event in 2001, winning again in 2013. “It is amazing to watch the transformation of this event from the very first year in the museum to the huge show that it is today,” Wiles said. “Randy (Dorton) would be very proud!” The people that have made the biggest impact on Jay’s career are all his teammates at Hendrick Motorsports. Mr. Hendrick, Dorton and Jeff Gordon have been his biggest inspirations. “It could be said that Randy had the biggest impact on my career from my initial hiring to all the things he taught me over the years,” Wiles said. “You could also say it was Jeff Gordon for all the wins and the championship we won while I was his track engine tuner. Scott Maxim and Jeff Andrews have also had huge impacts on my career, and of course, Mr. Hendrick for the GREAT leadership. But in reality, the single biggest influence on my career have come from everyone above, and all of my teammates at Hendrick Motorsports.”
Dave Frey teamed with Hendrick Motorsports’ John Boydston to win the 2021 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. Frey competed in the Engine Builder Showdown for the first time in 2018, learning that the biggest thing you need to account for is the unexpected, “We had a little stumble which threw off our timing, and while I feel we did a decent job to recover, it ultimately cost us a shot at the championship. The Engine Builder Showdown is by far one of the coolest events Hendrick Automotive Group does.” He feels Hendrick Automotive Group has made the biggest impact on his career by building a support foundation that has led to success. It’s allowed Dave to help others along the way, “The biggest piece of advice for a new tech would be, put down your phone, focus, and take pride in what you do.” Dave hopes to win the lottery one day. Dave is married to his wife Stephanie and together they have two kids, daughter Jordyn 11 and son Jackson 9.
Chris Moroch is making his 11th consecutive Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown appearance, bringing a tremendous amount of experience to the build floor in 2022. “The biggest thing I’ve learned from my previous experiences is how much communication and teamwork play a role into a successful engine build,” Moroch said. The North Carolina resident states that his dad has made the biggest impact on his career. Watching his work ethic over the years had an everlasting effect, helping him aspire to be the best he can be. “The coolest thing I have been able to do in my career is being able to work around and learn from some really talented people over the years.” He also has a sound piece of advice for new technicians, “The one piece of advice I would give to a new technician would be to listen, learn and communicate with others better than anyone else.” Moroch is married with two children, James and Emma. On his bucket list of items to accomplish, he would like to climb Mount Everest in under 10 days.
Kyle Kittell 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, Kittell 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 is super important,” Kittell said. “Also have to have the ability to work through the hiccups at that fast of a pace.” “To come to Hendrick Motorsports, this is my fourth visit now,” Kittell added. “When I started, I thought that will never be me.” Kittell, a Jerry Hilson Award winner, credits his late father for supporting his career. While not a car enthusiast, his father always motivated him to pursue whatever he wanted. As for those who would like to follow as similar path, Kittell offered this advice. “Be prepared for a lot of ups and downs,” Kittell said. “Tools and a full box cost way more than people realize. However, I feel I have supported family, and myself well.” Away from work, Kittell is married to Molly, and they have two children – Kendall (7) and Kaylee (4). He would like to retire early and achieve some of his “bucket list” goals.
Defending champion John Boydston has been on fire in recent editions of the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. After scoring an impressive victory in 2019 with Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission’s Shane Fischer, Boydston and Hendrick BMW’s Dave Frey captured another Showdown title last year. This will be Boydston’s fifth competition. “I have learned to communicate with my teammate, which makes it fun and enjoyable,” said Boydston of his Engine Builder success. He has been part of numerous wins and four championships with Hendrick Motorsports. The North Carolina resident credits his dad for all of his support. Boydston’s favorite car is a 1977 Trans Am, he “really likes the way they look and drive.” Carter and Wesley Boydston are his two children, and his dream trip would include a visit to Scotland.
This will be the second time (2019) Allen Barnes has received an invite as an alternate to the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. “I became a technician because of my Uncle Ted Black,” Barnes said. “He encouraged me throughout the years and I hope I haven’t let him down or disappointed him.” Today, Barnes aids newer technicians and has a bit of advice to those who would like to pursue a career, “Learn wiring diagrams and how electronics work.” Barnes is no stranger to elite competitions, having competed in the 2004 east coast Mazda Master Tech Competition in Florida, placing fourth overall. This year’s engine builder competition will mark the 15th year Barnes will have been with his girlfriend, Candy. They have three adult children together, Alex (28), Danielle (31) and Noel (32), who just had her first child this October.
Six-time Randy Dorton Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline champion Scott Vester first won this event in 2006, noting that terrific partner communication is key. Vester teamed with Jeffrey Heinz of Hendrick Chevrolet in Cary, North Carolina to win the 2020 event with an impressive build time of 22 minutes, 58 seconds. Personally, Vester says his parents have always taught him to be a better person than the day before. One of the coolest things in his NASCAR Cup Series career at Hendrick Motorsports has been the ability to be a part of winning so many championships. Vester talked about what advice he gives, “The best advice for a new technician is to stay positive. That mentality will take you farther in life.” Vester would like to visit all 50 states and his favorite car is one he does not have to work on. Scott proposed to his now fiancée Leslie last week and together they have a son named, Weston.
North Carolina resident Robert Adams is entering his first Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. Adams is very much looking forward to the opportunity. “The thing that excites me the most is the challenge,” Adams noted. “I have never been scared to get my hands dirty, I have been in the auto truck repair field all of my career.” Adams started in the heavy truck field in 1988, working on 18-wheel semis until a serious motor vehicle accident nearly took his life in January 1995. He needed to re-learn how to complete everyday activities but was able to persevere. Adams first started at Terry Labonte Chevrolet in August 2002, working on medium and light trucks and later returning to the dealership after a brief hiatus in January 2015. “I have tried to do my best at what I do and have excelled in my training to the point of (becoming) a GM World Class Technician,” Adams said. “I hope to be a part of Hendrick for the rest of my working career. I learn something new every day.”
Morris, a 17-year veteran of Hendrick Motorsports, is making ninth appearance in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. “My favorite part of this event is the people I have met from the dealership side of the family,” Morris said. “The challenges of this build are a good example of life and our careers. You are going to make mistakes; your partner is going to make mistakes. If you let those mistakes compound, you will find yourself down the time clock before you feel like you even get started.” Morris states. “The same thing can happen in life and your career. Everyone makes mistakes and if you do not, you are not trying hard enough. You just have to be incredibly careful to not let those mistakes build until you are way down the time clock.” Morris states that Jeff Andrews has made the biggest impact with his professionalism in his career. One day he would like to go to space. One of his biggest career accomplishments has been being part of 10 NASCAR Cup Series championship seasons. For eight of which Morris was the last to touch the engines before they went to the teams. “Racing has been a big part of my life and I have learned many lessons,” Morris said. “I would say the biggest lesson I have learned is that no matter how hard you try you cannot succeed alone. Life is a team sport and this competition embodies that.” Jared Morris is married to wife Stephanie and together they have a son, EJ.
Gwinnett Place Honda’s Patrick Ashford has been twice oh so close to winning his first Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. In 2011 and 2018, Ashford came up just short of the title working with Scott Vester and Danny Emerick, respectively. “I have learned that good teamwork 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.” Ashford has been married to Angela for 19 years, and they have three children: Emily (17), Kylie (15) and Grant (7). “We are so proud of our daughter, Emily,” said Ashford, talking about her upcoming graduation from North Forsyth High School early next year. “She has already been accepted to the University of North Georgia and will be attending next fall.”
Ben Proctor has worked at both Hendrick Automotive Group and now at Hendrick Motorsports, winning back in 2015 for the Automotive Group side and then competing in ’17, ’18 and ’20 for motorsports “I have learned to enjoy the process and have enjoyed bonding with the All-Star technicians that are competing in this event.” Fellow builder Danny Emerick has been the most significant teammate in Proctor’s career, “We won the 2015 EBS together and with his help, I was able to move from Hendrick Automotive Group to Hendrick Motorsports. His continued support and guidance have made me a better engine tuner. “The sky is truly the limit within both Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports,” Proctor continued. “I never would have thought that I would be where I am at in my career path back when I was an 18-year-old kid, just starting out in a Hendrick Automotive Group dealership, changing oil.” The North Carolina resident’s favorite vehicle just so happens to be something to brag about, “the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Driven by William Byron. That car is responsible for my first win in the Cup Series.”
Ryan 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. Thor is married to Melissa and they have two children, Harrison (6) and Ellarose (3). Away from the shop, Thor enjoys working on older vehicles and feels like he’s “living his bucket list,” including IMSA track support at Forida’s Daytona International Speedway. “Working the Daytona 24-hour race in particular was an eye opener.”
Mike Maiwald has competed in all but one Engine Builder Showdown since it began in 2001. Career wise, Randy Dorton made the biggest impact, teaching everyone how to look at things from multiple points of view and to listen to the people on your team, “You can learn a lot from listening. “One piece of advice I would give is to be open-minded and listen to the experiences of the people around you, it will usually give you a different way of looking at things than you originally had,” Mike continued. The Dallas, North Carolina resident’s loves the power of favorite vehicle, his diesel Denali 2500hd. One day he would love to drive coast to coast. Over the years of his career, Mike has won the NASCAR Engine Builder of the Year Award (2003) and in 2006, won the nationally recognized Mahle/Clevite Engine Builder Showdown with Shane Parsnow. Mike is married and has four adult children, Tyler (28), Keahan (29), Stephanie (33) and Cameron (33).
Anthony Dowless is married to wife, Alison of 16 years. Together they have three kids, Russell 14, Wesley 12, and Elise 10. Dowless joined 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.” His favorite vehicle is his Toyota Tundra because he is able to load the entire family, all their dirt bikes and enjoy an afternoon of riding. Dowless is also a huge MotoGP World Championship fan. “I would like to see a MotoGP road racing world championship race in person,” Dowless said. “As a former (motorcycle) road racer, I’m amazed at the speed of the riders and motorcycles today.”
Kevin Moler’s first entered the Showdown in 2008, competing every year since (outside of one). Throughout his experience, Moler realized that as a team you must work together for the best result. Moler’s career has been a continuous highlight reel, being part of numerous wins and championships at Hendrick Motorsports has been incredible. He is often asked how someone can work and get into the sport. “Anyone just starting in their career needs to focus and get all the training you can, knowledge is priceless,” Moler advises. His favorite vehicle is his Pontiac G8, and he has plans to find a low mile Chevrolet SS to put alongside it. He would love to go sky diving and go to Australia one day. Kevin has a son named Carter and they live in Concord, North Carolina.
New to the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline in 2022, Dennis DelGiudice 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,” DelGiudice said. “I had first seen the competition in 2011 and have aspired to be a part of it ever since.” DelGiudice 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,” DelGiudice 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.’ Married to Kiera, the DelGiudice family has a daughter named Riley and a son on the way. One day, DelGiudice would like to experience an unusual road trip. “If I could check something off my bucket list, it would be to take a ‘roadkill’ style road trip with my wife in a beat-up old car we bought online and are driving home.”
Danny Emerick, a four-time Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown champion from 2015-2018, is married to wife Crystal and together they have a six-year-old son, Everett. Over the years of experience at Hendrick Motorsports, Emerick has learned how the culture is a primary reason for success across all of Mr. Hendrick’s teams. “Impressive to witness the overall Hendrick culture companywide relate to the company’s success,” Emerick said. Throughout his career, Danny credits Mr. Hendrick, Randy Dorton, Jeff Andrews, and Chad Knaus for making the biggest impacts, “They set a high level of expectation and leadership that has proven to be successful in this competitive industry.” Emerick’s favorite vehicles are early 1950's Chevrolet trucks. He loves their simplicity, beauty and the era they represent. One day he would love to see the Northern Lights, drive across Australia and stated that one of the coolest moments he has had to date was meeting former President George W. Bush on pitroad at Daytona International Speedway in 2004.
Jason Lobdell first started with Hendrick Automotive Group in 1996, having participated in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown three times previously. “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. He and his wife have 10 children together. Outside of the shop, Lobdell enjoys his time outdoors. “I fish a lot and (compete) in some bass tournaments,” Lobdell said. “I hunt and have German Shorthair pointers to bird hunt with.”
Jay Nolan is married to his wife Dee and together they have three boys, Michael 14, Camden 7 and Eli 5. His family has been an incredible influence in his life and career. For those wanting to become technicians, Jay is quick to point out the importance of education, “Any new technician needs to be able to be humble and be willing to reach out to veteran techs. Experience is the most valuable thing you can have, and veteran technicians have seen it all.” He is competed in the Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown the past three years, “I have learned to always expect the unexpected, but that also makes the Engine Builder Showdown exciting. A new partner and new challenges are always exciting to think about.” His career with Hendrick Motorsports has given him many memorable experiences, but one of the best was being able to spend a day at Fort Bragg. Time with our soldiers and hearing their experiences along with being able to participate in some of their training was extremely memorable. One day Nolan would like to cage dive with great white sharks.
Brad 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.” Throughout his eight years of building his Hendrick Certified Master Technician resume, Huston has sought advice on how to improve at his trade. “I have had a lot of technicians in my career that have made an impact on me,” Huston said. “They have all given me insights and built into my character that I now hold. I have dozens of quotes from them that shape how I inspect and repair the vehicles we service. The most important one is to treat every vehicle as if it were your mothers and she was about to drive it across the country.” Huston has been married to his wife, Jessica, for seven years, and they have two children – Vivian (6) and Benny (3). They also have two beloved dogs.
Tyrus Gillen is making his second consecutive and third overall appearance in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. He feels his experience will help in this year’s competition. “Communicate and have trust in your build partner,” Gillen said. “You can never communicate too much. Competing in this event is definitely at the top (of my career list). Gillen first joined Hendrick Motorsports in March 2013. It was an important moment in his career. “David Evans has been the most influential person in my career. He gave me my start at Hendrick Motorsports,” Gillen added. One of his best career accomplishments has been winning races with his childhood hero, Jeff Gordon. When asked about his career, he offered some important advice, “When starting in this industry my advice is to stay hungry. Never stop learning and always be willing to pass your knowledge to someone new.” “Being able to win multiple championships with Hendrick Motorsports is by far the coolest.” On the personal side, Gillen loves anything Chevrolet and Harley-Davidson and would love to play at St. Andrews golf course one day.
Shane Flake is a three-time Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown competitor (2015, 2018 & 2021), including his impressive runner up finish in last year’s competition. A 21-year employee with Hendrick Automotive Group, Shane credits his career to high school shop teacher, Mr. Webb, the only person who would make him, “toe the line no matter what.” His favorite manufacturer is Toyota (of course) and when asked what advice he’d give to someone just starting in their career, he said, “work hard and learn all you can, and the money will eventually show up.” Shane, his wife and six children thoroughly enjoys everything the outdoor life has to offer, often taking part in activities such as camping, kayaking, hunting and fishing. One of the family’s bucket list items would be to visit and explore every national park in the U.S.
Jason Ingle grew up in Alabama and served in the Army for eight years before starting work at Hendrick Motorsports in 2005. Jason is married to wife Stacy and they have two boys Colt 9 and Knox 4. Ingle is competing in his 10th Engine Builder showdown, having participated in 2006-2009, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021, “When in the build you have to talk to your teammate about what you are working on and what is next in the build to succeed.” Jason, who began his career at Hendrick Motorsports cleaning machines, credits Larry Zentmeyer as having the biggest impact on his career. One of Ingle’s best moments was winning races with Jeff Gordon. “One of the best pieces of advice I can give someone starting their career, have your eyes and ears open and keep your mouth shut,” Ingle said. His favorite vehicle is a Jeep Gladiator because you get the best of a Jeep and a truck.
Billy Davis, married with two daughters, Andi and Ryan, has competing in three Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline. One of the most important things Davis has learned through his past three engine builds is to stay calm and tool placement. Communication with your partner is also key. He is also an accomplished NASCAR builder, having started at Hendrick Motorsports in January 2000. “Some of the coolest things in my career are winning the Coca-Cola 600 twice as an engine tuner in my hometown. I also won the Mahle 2014 Engine Builder of the Year Award,” Davis said. “I’d have to say building Jimmie Johnson's championship winning engine in 2016 at Homestead was the pinnacle of my experience as a technician.” Davis is most excited to watch his kids grow up and continue learning. His favorite vehicle is the 1969 Camaro.