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Princeton CATE students compete

Princeton students enjoyed the pace car.

Three CATE students represented the Princeton Auto Tech program when they participated in the North Texas Automobile Dealers competition this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

According to Princeton ISD CATE Director Brett Hackman, the auto tech competition gives high school seniors a high-profile stage to demonstrate their skills, measure knowledge and race against the clock in competition. It features North Texas’ best high school automotive education students from across the country competing for top honors and scholarships.

Draven Smith, Federico DeLeon and Ross Barham, who were sponsored by Brandon Tomes Volkswagen of McKinney, competed for Princeton High School.

Three Princeton students competed at Texas Motor Speedway.

Throughout the weekend, students participated in eight different stations inside Texas Motor Speedway's Indy Garage during the morning testing, which measured their proficiency in various components within the automotive world. In addition, the auto tech students were individually interviewed to test them on their communication skills.

In the afternoon sessions, students diagnosed problems on a car they had been training on from McKinney dealership Brandon Tomes Volkswagen.  

Draven Smith finished first in the "tool identification" test, and Federico DeLeon finished first in the "electrical component" portion of the contest.  

Princeton student wins first place.

As a special treat, students were awarded with a couple laps in the pace car around the speedway, as well.

"Statistics show there is high demand for trained automotive technicians nationwide in dealerships, and many of these job openings are in North Texas," Mr. Hackman said.

According to Mr. Hackman, since well-trained technicians are needed, this prompted the North Texas Automobile Dealers (NTXAD) to join forces with educators to train, certify and employ students to work in the auto industry in North Texas.