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Forsyth Central auto team seeking votes in national competition
Miranda WEB
Marlo Miranda, the leader of Forsyth Central High Schools automotive program, said the team has won national competitions before and hopes to make it further this year with the help of the community. - photo by FCN file photo

CUMMING -- Forsyth Central High School’s auto shop class is back at it and once again asking the community for votes to aid them in a national competition.

For the second year in a row, Central’s automotive program has been selected to compete in motor oil company Quaker State’s Best in Class Challenge.

Monday marked the start of the nomination phase, during which 55 semifinalist schools try to secure as many votes as possible by Sept. 25 to move forward in the competition.

This is the second year Quaker State is holding the competition, a six-week automotive education competition featuring high school auto shop classes across the United States.

“The competition will offer these students the opportunity to hone their tuning and customization skills while being mentored by the top automotive experts in the field,” said Laura Jamie, Quaker State North American marketing manager, in a news release.

The goal of the challenge is to restore “clunkers into certified hot rods on a budget,” the competition’s website says.

“We put these kids through the wringer with six weeks of challenges, get-your-hands-dirty learning and auction experience to put their passion for vehicles to the test,” the website says. “Don’t worry, they get help along the way from expert judges Tommy Pike of Tommy Pike Customs and actor, producer and car enthusiast Sung Kang of ‘The Fast and the Furious’ films.”

Because one school is chosen to represent each market (Chicago, Illinois; Northern New Jersey; Atlanta; Orlando, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina), Central is only competing in this round against other Atlanta-area schools.

Central must receive more votes than the nine other local schools to move forward.

If it does receive enough votes, the class will move on to the Challenge Phase. Only five schools will advance to this final round.

Those top five schools will each receive a pre-owned vehicle valued at up to $3,000. Teams will be given $2,000 to purchase supplies and tools and will be scored on their progress at the end of each week based on the “quality of their work and their overall final product.”

Teams will also work to secure online votes each week that will be incorporated into their final scores.

Last year, Maxwell High School of Technology, located in Lawrenceville, was not only selected as the Atlanta competitor, but also won the competition. They are competing again this year.

The program at the school on Elm Street in Cumming, led by Marlo Miranda — he was named Forsyth County Schools Teacher of the Year in 2015 — has won national competitions before and hopes to make it further this year with the help of the community.

Finalists will win prizes in varying amounts, including $750-$2,500 to AutoZone, a customized tool kit and ownership of their customized vehicle.

To cast a vote — one per person per day — visit