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Find Your Car Mechanic of Tomorrow as Automotive Students Vie for Ford/AAA State Championship on Friday, May 5

--Automobile Club of Southern California:
WHAT:   Racing against the clock and each other at Irwindale Speedway,
        10 teams of the Southland's top high school auto technology
        students will repair disabled Ford cars during the 2006
        Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition state finals.

        The competition requires repairs to be made with the highest
        quality work in the lowest total time. The winning pair from
        the Southern California or the Northern California contest
        held concurrently in Danville, Calif., will represent the
        state at the national finals on June 25 in Dearborn, Mich.
WHY:    Trained automotive technicians are among the most sought-after
        and highly paid professionals in today's job market, but many
        high schools are scaling back or eliminating their automotive
        programs due to lack of funding and/or trained teachers. The
        annual demand for qualified auto technicians exceeds the
        supply by about 32,000 and the auto repair industry is
        predicted to increase in size. This skills competition has
        been in place since 1949 as part of an effort to attract and
        train more young people for automotive professions.
WHEN:   10 a.m. Friday, May 5. Awards presentation will follow at 1

WHERE:  Irwindale Speedway, 13300 E. Live Oak Ave. Public Relations:

WHO:    Twenty of the Southland's top high school automotive
        technicians (two students per team) representing the

        School                             City
        Agoura                             Agoura Hills
        Arroyo Grande                      Arroyo Grande
        Bishop Union                       Bishop
        Morro Bay                          Morro Bay
        Ramona (2 Teams)                   Ramona
        San Clemente                       San Clemente
        San Luis Obispo High School        San Luis Obispo
        Sultana                            Hesperia
        Ventura                            Ventura