After two grueling days of feverish-paced engine building at the Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, North Carolina, it was John Boydston and Dave Frey who emerged victorious in the 20th Annual Randy Dorton Engine Builder Showdown.
The duo put their engine together in just-over 23-minutes, as their clock read 23:09.86 when their motor had been running for the mandatory 60-seconds. However, in post-build teardown, their engine was found to have one nut not fully tightened, which is a 30-second penalty.
Fortunately for them, the duo of Danny Emerick (four-time event winner) and Shane Flake (Hendrick Toyota of Concord), which finished less than 30-seconds off their pace, had two loose nuts, which resulted in a one-minute time penalty.
Here was the scene as Boydston and Frey (right bay) finished work on their engine to win the 2021 contest.
After the results were confirmed, Boydston admitted that he was the one, who failed to secure the nut that resulted in their 30-second penalty.
At one point in the contest, Boydston yelled in anguish that his forearm was killing him due to the physical exertion needed to crank the engine together in such a fast-pace. But the pain of the forearm, paled in comparison to the pain Boydston had in his heart knowing he potentially cost Frey a win in the competition due to a loose nut.
“The forearm will go away. It’s all about these guys from the dealerships,” Boydston said. “We volunteer to do this, because we’re competitive and we love to do it. These guys, they are the best in the business. They score highest on their test against thousands of other mechanics. So, to come here and have a nut I was supposed to tighten, loose, it just breaks my heart. I don’t wish bad upon anybody, but I’m glad they had one more than we did. I feel a little bit better about it.”
Boydston said his pairing with Frey was perfect. As far as tightening the nuts go, Frey was precise and they had a great, fun energy with each other.
“Oh no doubt. The thing is, you have to understand it’s not just about me,” Boydston said. “It’s how the team works. If the team doesn’t work well, you don’t get here. So, when the team works well, that’s when good things happen. He carried me for a little bit. I feel I helped him. The good thing, we had fun. We kept talking and keeping each other in the game both sides. Really fun, can’t wait to do it again next year, I hope Dave comes back and maybe we’ll get lucky and get paired again.”
The Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown, which is a yearly tradition at Hendrick Motorsports pits 12 two-mechanic teams against each other in an all-out assault against the clock to see who can assemble an engine the fastest.
The unique thing about this contest is that 12 mechanics from the Hendrick Motorsports engine department are randomly paired with 12 master certified technicians from the Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships across the country to make 12 two-mechanic teams.
For Boydston, a member of the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, this is his second-time winning the competition.
“You know, honestly, every time is a blessing. It’s a very tight and very tough competition. The guys we’re going against, were all within a couple of seconds of each other. When you get up there — especially in the final — there is a lot of emotion.”
Frey, who works at Hendrick BMW in Charlotte, North Carolina, snagged his first trophy in just his second appearance in the competition.
“To qualify for the championship and to win it, is just amazing,” Frey stated with enthusiasm. “Just being here, alone, is such an honor in itself. To compete at the level we were able to compete at and make it to the end and win it, is just amazing.”
For Frey, there is a little extra pride associated with the win, as a fellow long-time technician at his dealership recently left and took his championship trophy, from a former edition of this competition, with him. Now, Frey can bring home the cup back to Hendrick BMW.
“At Hendrick BMW, we pride ourselves in being No. 1, so, we’ve been missing that spot. That trophy,” Frey explained. “So, it’s a talking point on a pretty regular basis. Our shop is full of young guys, and they were all watching this online. It’s going to be quite awesome getting this trophy back up there.”
Here are the final results of the 2021 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown:
- John Boydston (HMS), Dave Frey (Hendrick BMW)
- Denny Emerick (HMS), Shane Flake (Hendrick Toyota of Concord)
- Scott Vester (HMS), Karl Siegal (Hendrick Toyota of Concord)
- Chris Moroch (HMS), Lee Steffensen (Hendrick Toyota of Wilmington)
- Sam Vernatter (HMS), Joe Gagatch (Hendrick Lexus)
- Kevin Moler (HMS), Tyler Johnson (BMW of Kansas City South)
- Jason Ingle (HMS), Brian Myers (Hendrick Dodge)
- Brian Franklin (HMS), Jonathan Wock (Hendrick Chevrolet)
- Shane Parsnow (HMS), Chris Baggott (Rick Hendrick Chevrolet)
- Joshua Speir (HMS), Donovan Smith (Hendrick Lexus Charlotte)
- Tyrus Gillen (HMS), Jim Stevens (Darrell Waltrip Volvo)
- Jared Morris (HMS), Adrian Constantinidis (Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet)