Messing around under the hood is more than a weekend hobby to recent Evans High School graduates Chris Canter and Ed Driver. Their talent for working on cars is getting them a free ride to the nation's capital.
Evans High School graduates Ed Driver (left) and Chris Canter won a state championship in an auto mechanics competition and are going to compete in the national competition on Sunday and Monday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Canter, 17, and Driver, 19, will compete in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills national competition in Washington, D.C., on Sunday and Monday.
The teens earned a spot in the national competition after becoming the first students from Evans High to win the competition on the state level in April.
Canter and Driver managed to repair or replace a horn, two head lamps, the intake, a camshaft sensor and a spark plug wire on a Ford Taurus in less than 20 minutes.
"We were done in 18 minutes," Canter said. "It took the second place team 40 minutes to finish."
For their coach, second-year Evans High automotive teacher Jason Brooks, the victory was especially poignant.
"I graduated from Thomson (High School), and they almost always win this thing," he said. "For my guys to win as big as they did and then to beat Thomson was great."
While in Washington, Brooks said, they plan to tour the capital, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
But for Canter and Driver, tourism is a secondary concern. Because of a loan from Bobby Jones Ford, Canter and Driver are already practicing for the national competition on a 2005 Ford Focus, which is what all the competitors will be asked to make repairs on.
"It doesn't matter to me what we're working on," Driver said. "They all need fuel and air to work."
Both the teens plan to pursue careers as mechanics, and several doors have already been opened since their state win. The two said winning in Washington would be a bonus.
"It just feels good to win," Driver said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.