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Nevada Students Win Ford/AAA National Auto Repair Title

    WASHINGTON--June 18, 2001--A two-student team from Churchill County High School in Fallon, Nevada, won the national high school auto repair championship at the 2001 FORD/AAA STUDENT AUTO SKILLS national finals here today.
    Greg Bolender, 18, and Destin Corbett, 18, outpaced a field of competitors from every state to earn $96,180 in scholarships and prizes. Their instructor is Richard Evans. "Greg and Destin represent the best of a new generation of automotive technicians who will be fixing tomorrow's cars," said James Dunst, STUDENT AUTO SKILLS contest manager. "Today's automobile is an extremely sensitive, sophisticated piece of equipment, and these two will help them last longer, run cleaner and get better fuel efficiency."
    AAA's Director of Automotive and Consumer Affairs, Dave Van Sickle, calculates that motorists can realize a 25 percent improvement in gas mileage by following a four-point maintenance program with a certified automotive technician that includes engine service, cooling system service, tire inflation and alignment.
    For motorists who regularly maintain their vehicles, that's the equivalent of paying $1.25 per gallon for gas.(1)
    The contest, held near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. involved teams from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Argentina, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and Puerto Rico. At exactly 9:15 a.m., participants sprinted to identically "bugged" 2001 Ford Focus vehicles, popped the hoods and began diagnosing and repairing the problems. Australia placed first among the international teams.
    The hands-on portion of the competition counted for 60 percent of the overall score. A written exam taken on Sunday counted for 40 percent.
    The STUDENT AUTO SKILLS contest is held to encourage students to pursue careers in automotive service and is jointly sponsored by Ford Motor Company and AAA.
    Teams placing second through tenth received scholarship awards scaled from $52,500 to 13,400. Second place went to Mathew Saunders, 18, and Matthew Crawford, 18, of C.S. Monroe Tech Center in Leesburg, Virginia. Bobby Mauck, Jr., 18, and Boyce Treadwell, 18, of Thomson High School in Thomson, Georgia, took third place.

(1) Compared to figures from AAA Fuel Gauge Report, which showed the
    price of unleaded regular at $1.643 per gallon late last week.

    Note Editors:

    The top ten winners in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition were:

1st Place...Nevada (Greg Bolender, 18, and Destin Corbett, 18,
    instructor: Richard Evans)

2nd Place...Virginia (Mathew Saunders, 18, and Matthew Crawford, 18,
    instructor: Everett Sutphin)

3rd Place...Georgia (Bobby Mauck, Jr., 18, and Boyce Treadwell, 18,
    instructor: Chan Drake)

4th Place...Hawaii (Karl Espinda, 18, and Robert Bonnes, 18,
    instructor: Dennis Ishii)

5th Place...Wisconsin (Christopher Stolte, 18, and Joseph Gooding, 17,
    instructor: Carl Hader)

6th Place...Florida (Jerry Navin, 19, and Daniel Colella, 18,
    instructor: Daniel Sorrentino)

7th Place...Oregon (Luke Keller, 18, and Travis Amick, 18, instructor:
    Merle Saunders)

8th Place...Minnesota (Jacob Bauernfiend, 18, and Marcus Johnson, 18,
    instructor: Mark Lessman)

9th Place...North Carolina (Joshua Shoemaker, 18, and Christina
    Miller, 18, instructor: Tony Cash)

10th Place... Oklahoma (Travis Fowler, 18, and Jonathon Moore, 19,
    instructor: Randy Henderson)

    The team from Australia placed first among the international teams.