Previous Winners

Hendrick 2019 Engine Builders

Michael Veleke
Honda of Concord (North Carolina)
China Grove, North Carolina

Returning for his third competition after participating in 2011 and 2014, Michael has learned, “to stay in communication and try to never have any down time, always stay moving.” He credits his success for the last 26 years to the support from his friends and family. He began his career with the co-op program at CPCC and started his Hendrick Automotive Group career at Honda of Concord in 1993 Michael, who is married to Jenny and they have four children, Ross (20), Gracie (16), Amber (12) and Georgia (10), has long credited family and friends for his success. “They are always encouraging me and thanking me for all I do,” said Michael, who wants to really treat them one day. “I’ve always said I would take a one-way ticket to Bora Bora. Its looks like the most relaxing place on earth.” Away from the dealership, Michael loves being outdoors and taking his truck deer hunting, playing golf or enjoying their fire pit. Giving back is also something very important to Michael. “Always love to go with my church on a mission trip every year to an orphanage in Mexico and work on their vehicles and whatever else they need.”

0 Wins
Scott Vester
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Assembler

Hendrick Motorsports engine assembler Scott Vester has won the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011) more times than any other builder competing. “Each year is a new set of challenges with new partners. Teamwork and communication are key to winning,” said the Huntersville, North Carolina resident, who started at Hendrick Motorsports in May 1999. “Feel more excited and dedicated to winning another trophy than ever before. Re-dedicated myself to do some new things for the build and win again.” He’s learned a lot in the time that he’s been in the organization. Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has had the biggest impact on his career, “getting to the top isn’t that hard, staying on top is what’s hard. Jimmie has been a great motivator for conducting one’s self to achieve that.” Scott would like to one day scuba the Great Barrier Reef. Fun fact: Scott dreams of owning a Koenigsegg. “Just a normal guy like us that took a passion and made the fastest cars on the street.”

5 Wins
Kyle Kittell
Hendrick Chevrolet (Shawnee Mission, Kansas)
Overland Park, Kansas

Teaming with Danny Emerick, Kyle competed and won his first Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown in 2016. “I learned planning and teamwork is what wins. You need to get past the initial excitement and be able to stick to the plan and get the engine built without mistakes. “I’m laid back, easy going,” Kyle said. “But when it’s time to work, I get my game face on and do what I can to win.” Kyle’s late father Ken was the most impactful person on his career, always encouraging him along the path towards his passions. “He saw that I was passionate about cars at a younger at a younger age. He never was a car enthusiast, but he encouraged and helped me choose this as a career path.” Kyle states that Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission has pushed him to achieve his goals by, “hard work, a good work ethic and to never stop learning and improving.” Kyle and his wife, Molly, have two children, Kendall (4) and Kaylee (1). One day, he would love to take his family to visit the tropical beaches of the South Pacific. Fun Fact: While Kyle is a car enthusiast, he says he doesn’t have a dream car that, “he drools over.” However, he really enjoys the 351-cubic-inch Windsor V8-powered ’83 Mustang he currently owns, “It’s old, it’s cheap, no frills, really fast and fun to tear the tires off.”

1 Win
Danny Emerick
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Assembler

Defending and four-time Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown champion, Danny Emerick, returns for 2019. “I have competed off and on since the inception and have learned the level of respect each division has for one another and how that reflects on the Hendrick Motorsports success. Hendrick Motorsports had set the gold standard in racing, setting the bar in NASCAR and I wanted to work for the best. It has awarded me with many great memories and friends.” “Chad Knaus, David Evans, Jeff Andrews and Ron Malec,” have all had a big impact on Danny’s life he said. “These guys all helped bring me to the next level.” Danny also commends the Hendrick Automotive Group technicians that compete, “it’s a big accomplishment for them to earn a spot and compete.” Danny currently resides in Concord, North Carolina with wife, Crystal, and son, Everett (3). One day, he would like to take his family – including his dog – “I would like to drive there to see the remoteness and the Northern Lights.” One of his favorite types of cars is the 1950’s era Chevrolet Truck. “I love their classic look and the era they represent.”

4 Wins
Matt Pennell
Hendrick BMW
Oakboro, North Carolina

Matt Pennell, a four-time (2009, 2010, 2013, 2016) contestant, is back this year to take home the championship. “I learn every year that all good plans come unraveled about six minutes after the start. It is great fun to finish first and just about as much fun to finish last when for some reason it just will not start.” Matt is a Hendrick Certified Master Technician at BMW and first joined Hendrick Automotive Group in June 1996. “Mr. Hendrick's core values describe my everyday life and overall goals. I show up every day early and with my game face on, ready to attack the next challenge. I know that my managers will support my needs in the shop, and I will support our technicians that I lead in every way I can. As in most business, to move up, it takes 110% focus and dedication to your craft and your customers. You must train endlessly, push yourself every day to be better and approach every situation as an opportunity.” Matt is an enthusiast of a wide variety of cars and appreciates the individual technologies that keep them durable and on the road. But he does have his favorites. “As a kid, I always wanted a BMW M3, Corvette ZR-1 or Toyota MR.2,” Matt said. “Those were the cars I felt that I could one day afford. I also had a lot of posters on the wall of the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959, but I haven’t been able to finds any of those in my price range.” He is married to Bonita and they have two children, Nash (14) and Nolan (12). When asked about his future travel plans, he said he would like to visit Germany. “To drive the Nürburgring, of course. Family would be welcome to go but may not want to ride. My times are very good on the Xbox so that should translate exactly. Crashes are still just cosmetic, correct?”

0 Wins
Brian Franklin
Hendrick Motorsports
Xfinity Series Engine Tuner

Brian Franklin, a NASCAR Xfinity Series engine tuner and member of Hendrick Motorsports since September 2010, is competing in his seventh (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. “From my past experiences, I’ve learned that preparation is key. But you have to be able to change your game plan and adapt to changes on the fly without it affecting you or your partners rhythm.” Brian first joined Hendrick Motorsports because of its reputation, “I wanted to work for the best team in racing. Hendrick Motorsports has been the benchmark of NASCAR racing for many years and I wanted to be a part of that legacy. I always have tried to be the best I could be in whatever I was doing. What better way to surround yourself with the best people and best race team in the business, that always continues to elevate and help you to the next level.” Brian lives with his wife, Shannon, and two children, Lilly (9) and Shelby (6). Away from the shop, Brian hopes to plan trips to England and Ireland with his family. Fun Fact: Brian is an avid I-Racer.

0 Wins
Jeremy Miller
Lexus of Pleasanton (California)
Modesto, California

Jeremy Miller competed back in 2014, qualified in 2017 but was unable to participate. This year he’s back with a vengeance to bring a 2019 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown Championship trophy back to California and Lexus of Pleasanton. He learned a lot from his last visit. “It was a great reinforcement of the family atmosphere of the company,” Miller said. “The competition itself illustrated Mr. Hendrick’s passion for his team and competition.” Jeremy has worked within the company since 2000, first coming onboard after graduating from his college’s automotive program, “In the years that I have worked here I’ve had the opportunity to grow as a mechanic and just grow up. I was a teenager on my own when I started, and now I have my own family that working for Hendrick Automotive Group has enable me to care for.” Jeremy and his wife, Samantha, have two children, Lillian (8) and Harrison (6). “In the 19 years I’ve been here I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow with so many amazing people,” Jeremy continued. “I don’t feel I would have had remotely similar opportunities had I chosen a different path.” One of the main reasons Miller has such a passion for cars is his love of the Model A Hot Rod, “I’ve had a few 50’s Chevys over the years. But to me, a Model A based hot rod is what really made me fall in love with cars.” Fun Fact: “It is my dream to take my family to every Disney theme park in the world,” Jason said. “We’re ridiculous Disney fans and would love to experience all of it.”

0 Wins
Shane Parsnow
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Assembler

Having competed in all but one since its inception, Shane Parsnow is a decorated engine assembler in the Hendrick Motorsports Engine Department and winner of the 2005 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. “It's all about communicating with your partner. I always look forward to meeting other teammates.” “I choose to work at Hendrick Motorsports because of the resources and tools that Mr. Hendrick gives us to the job to the best of our ability, and of the people that in a lot of ways are like family to me.” Shane said. Shane lives in Concord, North Carolina with wife, Tami, and daughter, Shana. One of his lifetime goals is to catch a blue or a black marlin in each of earth’s oceans, as well as visit New Zealand, “I would love to see the mountains, the scenery and they have world-class billfish fishing.”

1 Win
Patrick Ashford
Gwinnett Place Honda
Cumming, Georgia

Patrick is the returning runner-up from 2018 and also competed in 2011. He learned through those two years of competition, “that focus, speed and communication are very important when competing in the engine builder show down.” Patrick states the reason he has worked for Hendrick Automotive Group is that he, “wanted to work for the best automotive group in the industry. I got to where I am today through hard work and determination. Also, the support of my wife and kids.” His favorite car is a 1984 Ford Bronco that he’s owned for 25 years. “It was my first car,” Patrick said. “One day I would like to restore it.” Patrick and his wife, Angela have three children, Emily (14), Kylie (12) and Grant (4). He hopes to take his wife to Alaska in the future, ‘to see the mountains, glaciers, wildlife and wilderness.”

0 Wins
Jerry Windell
Hendrick Motorsports
alternate builder
Engine Assembler

Hendrick Motorsports engine assembler, Jerry Windell, is making his fourth appearance (2013, 2014 & 2015) in the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. Joining Hendrick Motorsports in January 2012, Windell said, “teamwork and communication is key to a clean build. If you don’t have a clean build, you’re done.” One of the reasons Jerry chose to work for Hendrick Motorsports was, “it’s the premier company in NASCAR. I’ve been able to make many long-lasting friendships over the years.” “(Richard) Petty, (Bobby) Allison, (Cale) Yarborough. The old school guys took me in when I was young and showed me all the ropes that had to be walked to be the best,” Jerry said of his start. Jerry is married to Lisa, and they have two children, Tanner (25) and Lexie (20). One day, Jerry would like to take his wife to Tokoriki Resort in Fiji, “That way I can say I walked the same beach as my pal, Sam Vernatter.” Fun Fact: Jerry has an identical twin brother that also works in NASCAR.

0 Wins
Daniel Rolf
Hendrick BMW
Charlotte, North Carolina

Daniel, an alternate last year, is now participating as a builder in this year’s Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. “I chose to work for Hendrick for the culture and team. Everyone works together to accomplish a goal. I have gotten to where I am by working hard and giving it my best every day.” said Rolf, who went on to talk about his biggest career influence. “My father has made the biggest impact in my career. I learned my work ethic and effort from him growing up.” He hopes to one day take his girlfriend, Jenn, to Monaco for the Formula One race. Fun fact: Daniel’s favorite car is the McLaren F1. “The car was very technologically advanced for its time.”

0 Wins
Tom Karas
Hendrick Motorsports
alternate builder
Engine Shop, Assembler

Mooresville, North Carolina resident Tom Karas, a Hendrick Motorsports engine assembler, is the 2003 winner of the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. He wanted to work for Hendrick Motorsports because, “I wanted to work for the best. It has impacted my life by helping me form long lasting friendships. I was lucky enough to get an interview with Jeff Andrews. He made the biggest impact on my career here at Hendrick Motorsports, he has always presented himself in a professional manner and will get down to the root cause of a problem before making a judgment.” Tom’s dream travel location? “I want to travel to Croatia to see where my Grandfather was born.” Fun Fact: Tom owns a 1969 Nissan Patrol. “It is my favorite because I own one and maybe one day it will actually run.”

1 Win
Keenan Lau
Hendrick Lexus Northlake
Denver, North Carolina

Keenan Lau comes this year to show his support to his fellow teammates as the 2018 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown Champion. In 2018, Lau learned, “to do what is most comfortable and don't rush. Mistakes will make or break your chances of winning.” But Lau isn’t done competing quite yet, “I will return, and I will win again.” Keenan chooses to work for Team Hendrick because of Mr. Hendrick, the care he has for his team radiates through the organization. Keenan is married to Ashley and they have two children, Cameron, 3, and Harper, 1, “They make me strive to do better and go further, so I can give them a wonderful life.” They’d love to visit Bora Bora or the Maldives one day.

1 Win
Jared Morris
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Dyno

Jared, who works on the production engine dyno for Hendrick Motorsports, has already competed in five (2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017) Engine Builder Showdowns. “Teamwork is key,” Jared said. “Getting to work with the guys from the Hendrick Automotive Group side helps you really appreciate what these guys do every day.” When investing in his career, he chose Hendrick Motorsports Jan. 2005 because “the best team in NASCAR. Working at Hendrick Motorsports has taught me that no matter how hard you work the team is the most important part. I never met Randy Dorton, (but) Jeff Andrew’s leadership and willingness to take on running the engine shop has really shown me what leadership looks like.” A 2004 C5 Electron Blue Z06 Corvette is a car that makes Jared swoon. “It was the first Corvette in a while that made me say, “Wow.” He would like to one day take his wife Stephanie to Italy to see the old architecture and go wine tasting.

0 Wins
Jason Lobdell
Hendrick Chevrolet Shawnee Mission
Overland Park, Kansas

Jason is competing in his first Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown in 2019. “I was an alternate several years ago and I learned that teamwork is what it takes to win,” Jason said. Having has worked at Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships for over 23 years, choosing to work here because of the leadership and processes that were in place to assist in his career journey. Before arriving, Jason discovered and cultivated his passion for working on cars through his auto tech teacher in high school. “He taught me everything I needed to be successful in this career,” Jason said. In his years of experience, he has learned that “teamwork and communication is what it takes to win.” Jason and his wife Tami live in Overland Park, Kansas and have 10 children: Alexis (24), Hunter (21), Fisher (18), Maynard (16), Benjamin (14), Jaxon (12), Addi (10), Josi (8), Wyatt (6) and Cody (4). Jason is open to traveling anywhere, as long as his wife is alongside. But if he had to choose a place to go, it would be Mexico. He would love to visit and maybe one day, catch a few fish there. Fun Fact: Jason loves to hunt and fish, which is why his favorite vehicle is the Chevy Silverado. “It will always get me back from the lake or hunting without any trouble, every time.”

0 Wins
Kevin Moler
Hendrick Motorsports
CNC Specialist

Hendrick Motorsports Engine CNC specialist Kevin Moler, winner of the 2012 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown, is making his twelfth-consecutive appearance in the event. “Every year I learn small things to help the flow of the build. Things like tool placement and the order of assembly make a difference in how fast we can work.” Kevin states. He wanted to work for the best team in NASCAR and hopes to retire from Hendrick Motorsports many years from now. Randy Dorton made the biggest impact on his career, “he never got excited about problems, just methodically came up with solutions.” Kevin spends lot of time with his 14-year-old son, Carter. “I am a pretty private person. But I have an autistic son and he teaches me not to get too wound up in day-to-day things. He is just so happy so much of the time.” Fun fact: Loves the Australian Holden brand. “I own one and they are amazing cars!” On his bucket list is taking his girlfriend to visit Australia so he can see where his aforementioned car was built.

1 Win
John Grether Jr.
Hendrick Honda Pompano Beach
Pompano Beach, Florida

John Grether qualified as an alternate in 2012 and competed in 2013 and 2016, talked about the importance of build partner dynamics and preparation. “I learned that the most important thing is that the two work as a team,” John said. “And that the tool placement is managed and managed well.” John, an Illinois native, has had many influences on his life that’s helped get him to this point. But it was his father, school and friends growing up that had the biggest influence in his career choice. “My dad, he showed me how to go about fixing things at a very young age,” John said. “My high school also had a great shop class and I had many friends that were into cars and hot rodding.” For John, working at Hendrick Automotive Group is had a very positive impact on his life, “I’d like to share how great I have been treated by this company. A few years ago, when I was going through a very hard time in my life, my teammates helped me change it for the better.” John has two children, Eric and Amanda. His dream trip would be to take his girlfriend, Maria, to Monaco to see the world-famous Grand Prix of Monaco Formula One race, as well as enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. Fun Fact: John is a huge motorcycle enthusiast. “I’ve been riding since I was a small child. Being around cars all day I’m not really into them as a hobby or a passion.”

0 Wins
Billy Davis
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Assembly

After competing in three Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdowns, engine assembler Billy Davis is making his fourth appearance in this year’s event. “Communication is key. Talk with your partner as much as you can before the builds and during. Every team will make some mistakes during the build just stay calm and fight through it.” Working for Motorsports has changed Billy’s life, “Being a race fan growing up, and living in this area, I always wanted to work in racing. After I saw the campus and some of the shops as a kid, I knew this was the place I wanted to work one day. It has impacted me in so many ways.” Davis would one day like to take his wife and three daughters on a trip to all the Disney parks around the world. “Anything that makes my kids excited is a good trip for me,” he said. Fun fact: Billy’s favorite car is a 1969 Camaro. “My dad had one growing up and we would burn rubber all over town in that car.”

0 Wins
Todd Wayman
Hendrick Lexus Kansas City
alternate builder
Lenexa, Kansas

Todd was an alternate back in 2015 and is excited to be one again, “all of the excitement with none of the pressure.” Todd first joined his Hendrick Automotive Group dealership in 2010 from the advice of his friend. “I was a Toyota technician at a different dealership right down the street from Lexus. Another technician friend of mine had moved to Lexus about three years prior to my start. A long-time technician was retiring, which provided a rare opportunity at this dealership,” Todd said. “I wasn’t really looking to change dealerships, but this opportunity seemed too good to pass up and I am very glad that I have made the switch.” Back when he originally began at Toyota, Todd had a mentor that took his time and taught him how to fix vehicles the right way, “He did a really good job of having me learn how to fix cars.” Todd and his wife, Deanna, have once child, Aaron (14). One of Todd’s favorite past times is long walks on the beach at sunset. His dream travel destination is Monaco, “I’d like to go to the Formula One race in Monaco with my wife. Preferably on a yacht in the harbor.” Fun Fact: Todd is a Porsche fan. “I am pretty partial to the Porsche brand and the 996 GT3 is my favorite of those.”

0 Wins
Mike Maiwald
Hendrick Motorsports
R&D Engineering, Engineering Technician

Multi-time Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown record holder, engine development dyno technician Mike Maiwald is also the only competitor to compete in every Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. Extremely competitive by nature, Maiwald, who won this event in 2004, is genuinely impressed with the talented Hendrick Certified Master Technicians he has teamed with throughout the years and has worked hard to prepare himself to capture this year’s event. “Over the years I learned the importance of good communication when in a teamwork environment.” Maiwald said. “Hendrick Motorsports represented the best in the business. It impacted me outside of work with a different thought process on how to overcome problem or simply to do things the right way the first time.” Mike and his wife, Rebecca, have three children, Stephanie (30), Cameron (30), Keahan (26) and Tyler (25), and hope to take his wife to Hawaii and experience the island life one day.

1 Win
Robert Marock
Honda of Concord
Concord, North Carolina

Robert Marock, the 2010 (partner Scott Vester) and 2013 (partner Jay Wiles) Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline champion, is making his sixth (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016) appearance in the competition. “The competition is awesome,” talking about his favorite things about this event. “It’s about building friendships with fellow competitors, motorsports teammates and people from Hendrick Automotive Group.” Robert, a graduate from Akron University with a degree in automotive technology which was part of the manufacturer tech school, joined his team at Honda of Concord in May 2004. “Working here has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and a technician,” Robert said. “Having the drive to succeed and not wanting to be ordinary, this has been a place for me to achieve my goals. My wife Beth has always been there, supporting and encouraging me to keep striving to improve in my career. Honda of Concord has also given me the opportunity to advance in my career.” Robert and his wife Beth have been married for 33 years and she is his career’s biggest supporter and encourager. Together, they have two children, Meagan (27) and Robert (25). Robert would one day like to take Beth on a trip to Ireland for golf. Fun Fact: Robert’s favorite car is a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. “Always has been my favorite muscle car. A 1963 Corvette split-window coupe would be a close second.”

2 Wins
Jason Ingle
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Shop, Dyno

Jason Ingle, who runs NASCAR Cup Series engine dynos for Hendrick Motorsports, has competed in the event on seven different occasions (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016 & 2017). Hopefully this year he will be able to check “winning this event,” off his bucket list. Jason’s advice to new builders is, “teamwork, you have to talk to your partner.” And credits Larry Zentmeyer for his success. Jason has been loyal to Hendrick Motorsports since 2005 when they were first to offer him a job in racing. Jason Ingle lives in Denver, North Carolina with his wonderful wife Stacy and two children, Colt (6) and Knox (1). In his few moments of downtime he enjoys being able to camp with his family and friends and hopes to visit Fiji one day. Fun Fact: A Lotus enthusiast. “Great small sports car.”

0 Wins
Allen Barnes
Rick Hendrick Toyota
alternate builder
Stedman, North Carolina

Allen makes his Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline debut in 2019. He’s excited to meet the other Hendrick Automotive Group technicians and experience the event for the first time. “I get to share an experience most people don’t get the opportunity to do,” Barnes said. When asked why he took this career path, Allen talked about a couple of important influences. “There are actually two people for why I am a tech today. First being my uncle Ted back in Tennessee. When I was five, he was paralyzed from the waist down and he’s a mechanic and can fix anything. Second person is Axel Carlson. If he can’t fix it, nobody can.” Allen has been dating his girlfriend, Candy Honeycutt, the last 11 years, and he has three stepchildren, Alex Riley (25), Danielle Riley Aaron (27) and Noel Riley Palermo (29). On day, he would like to visit Ireland and Scotland. “I would like to see the green grass and rolling hills where my ancestors came from.” A prior Marine and former member of the Royal Rangers, Allen is often focused on the service of others. “I enjoy riding my Harley-Davidson Road King in various charity rides where I block traffic at intersections (to let the riders through). I also hold a mentoring position at my dealership for young aspiring techs.” Fun Fact: A 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle was his first car (he bought it when he was 12).

0 Wins
Jay Nolan Jr
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Sub Assembly

Jay, who works on Engine Sub-Assembly & NASCAR Cup Series EFI components for Hendrick Motorsports, has competed in the two previous Engine Builder Showdowns and hopes his experience will help him win this year’s competition. Saying “that communication with your partner key.” Jay has scored wins with five different drivers and went on to describe why he joined Hendrick Motorsports, “I was a huge Jeff Gordon fan as a child and I had it in my mind that if I got into racing as a career when I grew up, Hendrick Motorsports was the place I wanted to be. It has really shaped me personally and professionally. I started when I was 20 so I grew up here. I've made countless relationships here including my wife that I met in Daytona while traveling for work. It has also made me constantly think and push how to make myself better and what I do better, both at home and work.” Jay lives in Huntersville, North Carolina with his wife Dee and his three kids, Michael (12), Camden (5) and Elijah (3). Fun Facts: Jay is a big fan of the 1970 Chevelle SS 454 and would one day, love to visit Ireland with his family.

0 Wins
Matthew Kelley
Honda of Newnan
Dunwoody, Georgia

Matthew Kelley is making his Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown debut this year and is excited about this opportunity. “First year qualifying and about dang time,” said an excited Matthew. “Took the test six times and started to think it just wasn’t in the cards. Excited to just compete and hopefully get to be the one hoisting the trophy.” Matthew started his Hendrick Automotive Group career in September 2005 with Gwinnett Place Honda, recently transferring to the newly opened Honda of Newnan (Georgia) May 2018. “Stayed with Hendrick Automotive Group because they are by far the best automotive group I have seen,” Matthew said. “Awesome benefits and amazing culture. I was able to progress from a lube tech to a Hendrick Certified Master Technician with a lot of hard work and support from management.” He attributes a lot of his growth to his long-time mentor and Hendrick Automotive Group teammate, Kam Cheung “Without a doubt would not be where I am without his leadership and guidance,” Matthew continued. “He is the kind of guy that you will do something you don't really want to because it will help him out. Completely embraces servant leadership. He took me under his wing through a really rough personal time and (I) probably would have been fired if a different manager was at the helm.” Matthew is married to Christine and they have one child, Luke, who recently celebrated his fourth birthday. Away from the dealership, Matthew is an avid NHRA drag racing fan and he hopes to be able to drive or ride in a Top Fuel or Nitro Funny Car one day. An avid fisherman, Matthew wants to take a friend to fish the Great Barrier Reef. “Had my son out on the river when he was only six months old.”

0 Wins
Sam Vernatter
Hendrick Motorsports
Head of Combustion Acquisition Systems

Sam Vernatter is one of NASCAR’s premier engine builders, taking home the prestigious MAHLE Engine Builder of the Year Award in 2015, as Hendrick Motorsports engines powered five of the top-12 finishing NASCAR Cup Series teams by the end of that season. “Hendrick Motorsports is the best organization in racing for employment stability, values and winning heritage,” Vernatter said. “I have created a family in North Carolina, and I am glad to be here.” His keys to victory and what he enjoys most about competing, “Clean builds are key. Also have to keep up with tools. Mr. H loves to brag about his guys at this event. Its one of his favorites and I am glad to be here.” Sam lives in Concord, North Carolina with his wife Ashley and sons James (5) and Gabe (1). In the future, Sam hope to visit the Amazon river basin with his wife to see the vast diversity of life there.

0 Wins
Stephen Moore
Hendrick Collision Center of Kansas City
Raymore, Missouri

Stephen Moore participated in 2016 as an alternate and this year is making his builder debut. “I learned how to take the engines apart very well. This is my first year as a competitor and I’m excited to see how well I do at putting them back together.” Stephen is glad he moved to the Hendrick Automotive Group and the Hendrick Collision team back in 2011, crediting his family and friends for helping get him where he is. “I’m glad I switched to Hendrick,” Stephen said. “I’ve managed to get to where I am today through hard work and lots of help from my family and friends.” One day he would like to take his wife, Jennifer and daughters Josephine (19) and Patricia (19), to Hawaii for a family vacation of rest and relaxation. Fun Fact: “My favorite type of vehicle has been a 4x4 ever since I discovered it was more fun to throw mud, then burn rubber.”

0 Wins
John Boydston
Hendrick Motorsports
Engine Sub-Assembly

Hendrick Motorsports engine sub assembler John Boydston, who competed in the 2006, 2017 and 2018 events, returns to compete in the 2019 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. “Being nice and steady with your work and not getting too crazy,” John said when remembering what he has learned over the years competing. “Becoming part of the best team in motorsports in 2003, made me the focused worker I am today.” said John, who attributes his success to his father. “My father made the biggest impact on my career. Though I felt like I didn’t know it at the time, he always taught me to work hard and pursue my goals.” John and his wife, Andrea, have two children Carter and Wesley. He would love to visit Scotland one day to experience the countryside and all the old castles that have been left standing. “I like to think of myself as an outgoing fun person, but I’m sure my boys would say different!” Fun Fact: “I have always loved the body style and the way they look going down the road,” John describing his favorite vehicle – a 1977 red hardtop Pontiac Trans-Am.

0 Wins
James Lowry
Hendrick Lexus of Kansas City
Olathe, Kansas

James is a returning builder from 2010 and 2015. His experience from both competitions has taught him a few lessons about the competition. “I learned about the importance of tool management and time management.” James joined Hendrick Automotive Group back in 2001, he “took a tour of the Lexus facility prior to employment and it was as clean as a training center. I enjoy what I do. Every vehicle is a different puzzle. I consider myself lucky. Automotive technology is fascinating as your always looking towards what will come up next.” He truly enjoys the Lexus brand with his favorite version being the Lexus GX 460. “Great ride and performance for a large SUV,” James said. “I’m kind of brand loyal and would drive any Lexus model.” James has two children, Sidney (17) and Samantha (11). His dream vacation would be to Australia, where he would take his soulmate Rebecca Martin to see the exotic animals, insects and giant redwoods.

0 Wins
Jay Wiles
Hendrick Motorsports
alternate builder
Engine Builder

Two-time Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown winner Jay Wiles has been competing in the event off and on since the inaugural build. The reason Jay chose Hendrick Motorsports at his career launching pad because of Jeff Gordon, “the experience over the last 21 years has changed my life!” Wiles attributes his success in his career to Scott Maxim and Randy Dorton, “They are responsible for hiring me. Not only did they give me the opportunity of a lifetime, they both taught me how to be better both on and off the track.” Jay is married to wife, Shannon and they have two children, Jesse and Joshua. One day he would like to visit Monaco to see the Formula One race. Fun Fact: Wiles is a huge vintage Chevrolet fan. His favorites? 1955 and 1966.

0 Wins
Shane Fischer
Hendrick Chevrolet Merriam
Freeman, Missouri

Returning from 2016 debut, Shane learned that the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown presented by Valvoline is intense, and that every moment is meaningful. “Every move or motion counts,” Shane said of the competition. Shane first joined Hendrick Automotive Group in 2002. It was an easy choice. “I chose to work for Team Hendrick because of the high standards they set, the up-to-date equipment and maintained facility.” Said Fischer, who also credited his parents for his career choices. “They have made the biggest impact on my career. They raised me with good work ethics and supported me in my choices.” He lives in Freeman, Missouri with his wife, Rachel and two-year-old child, Gracie. Away from the dealership, he enjoys a nice ride on his Boss Hoss Chevy-powered motorcycle. And his favorite vehicle? “Chevy trucks. They have always been my first choice to drive and I can depend on when I need to get work done.”

0 Wins
Chris Moroch
Hendrick Motorsports
alternate builder
Engine Development

Chris Moroch is quite familiar with the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown, having competed the last six years (2013-2018), which has given him an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with teammates throughout both organizations. “The best part about Engine Builder Showdown is how it brings both the motorsports side and the dealership side together.” “Hendrick Motorsports is the premier team in motorsports,” said Moroch, who started in 2012. “The workplace environment brings the best out of each employee every day.” He attributes his success in large part to his father. “Watching his work ethic from early on in my childhood years and onward as I got older.” Married to wife, Jennifer, they have a son, James (11) and daughter, Emma (7). They live in Statesville, North Carolina and enjoy spending time outdoors and with each other. His favorite car is a 1967 Corvette. Fun Fact: He would like to take his family on a North Pole expedition. “Because its part of the planet that you will not be able to travel across in a few years.”

0 Wins
Jamie Hairr
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
alternate builder
Wilmington, North Carolina

Jamie Hairr is making his Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown debut this year as an alternate and he is excited about the experience. One of the reasons Jamie has continued to work for Hendrick Automotive Group he states, “I love working for a company that genuinely cares about their employees. Hard work and a strong support system have built my career into what it is today. I really enjoying working with a great team!” Part of the passion he has for his career is that he gets to work on his favorite car. “I have been a Corvette technician at Jeff Gordon Chevrolet since 2008, so I have a special bond.” Jamie and his wife, Aimee have three children, Landen (8), Jackson (6) and Jaxson (5). “My wife has made the biggest impact by being a strong support system and always encouraging me to better myself,” said Jamie, who would like to take his family to Hawaii one day. “I would love to go visit for the experience, scenery and relaxation with my wife and kids.” Fun Fact: Jamie is a self-proclaimed “gearhead” and loves building high-performance engines.

0 Wins