ANN ARBOR, MI --
This year's final round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown will become a particularly poignant celebration, serving as a memorial to the life of the late Randy Dorton, former director of engine development for Hendrick Motorsports. Dorton, and seven other members of the Hendrick Motorsports team, along with two pilots, were killed in a plane crash last October.
The Dorton family, along with Clevite Engine Parts and the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI), where the final round of competition will be held on May 24, have teamed up to organize a number of events in memory of Dorton. A silent charity auction will be held, featuring NASCAR memorabilia and will follow with a VIP reception featuring some of Randy's closest friends from racing. The event will include the announcement of the new Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting NTI students focusing on engine building. A second, live auction will also take place with proceeds benefiting the new scholarship fund.
"We were honored that Randy thought so much of this event and what it means to engine builders," said Ted Hughes, marketing brand manager for Clevite Engine Parts, "and were especially moved that Dianne wanted to come together to build an event to honor their contributions, remember Randy and focus on the future by giving deserving students a chance to compete in this challenging field. We look forward to this phenomenal event and are proud to work with such a wonderful group of people."
This year's final round will feature competitors Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Motorsports against Tom Karas and Kevin Webber of Hendrick Engines, Mike Lanci and Jesse Hardee of Ernie Elliot Engines and Danny Lawrence and Greg Gunnell of Richard Childress Racing.
The champions of this year's showdown will be presented with the new Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. The trophy will be presented by Dianne Dorton and Terry Shively, vice president and general manager of Clevite Engine Parts.
"There is no question Randy would be proud of the support that has been given by both Clevite and the NASCAR Technical Institute in furthering the vision and passion Randy had with his profession," said Dianne Dorton, Randy's wife. "The naming of the Randy Dorton engine room as well as the establishment of the scholarship fund for future engine builders is the perfect way for Randy's family, friends and peers to pay tribute to his memory. We hope the dollars raised through the auction and the VIP reception will go a long way toward making a significant difference in not only the deserving winners of the NTI scholarship fund but other charities that embrace Randy's philosophy of sharing knowledge."
Josh Garbert, National Automotive Aftermarket director for NTI, added, "NTI is humbled by Randy and Dianne's appreciation for our campus and our corporate mission, 'to change one life at a time.' We are honored to be the home of the Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship and take great pride in furthering the Dortons' mission of passing knowledge on to the next generation of engine builders."
Those wishing to make a contribution to the Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, or donate an item for the Randy Dorton Memorial Showdown charity auction, can go to the Randy Dorton Web site, www.randydorton.com or call 704-748-6829.
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