HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - April 25, 2008) - A two-person team from the small town of Haltom City, Texas took top honors in the statewide AAA/Ford Student Auto Skills competition held today at San Jacinto College Central in Pasadena, Texas.

Students Jeff Bolt and Pablo Porras of the Birdville Career Center moved one step closer to becoming the best student automotive technicians in the country by winning the Texas competition. Their instructor, Olin Harington, was also the instructor of the statewide winning team in 2005. The students now advance to the 2008 AAA/Ford Student Auto Skills national finals in Dearborn, Michigan, June 22-24.

The state competition was a fast-paced hands-on contest to diagnose and repair vehicles that were deliberately "bugged." The team with the highest written score, and the team that finished today's hands-on competition first and correctly, won. The state competition was open to all high school juniors and seniors enrolled in automotive technology courses.

"The goal of this competition is to encourage young men and women to continue their education in automotive technology and to view the automotive field as a promising career," said Patrick O'Reilly, manager of AAA Texas Automotive Repair Program.

The contest is designed to encourage automotive students from across the country to pursue careers in the automotive industry by learning about high-tech equipment, the need to be well trained, and complex, modern vehicle systems, added O'Reilly.

At the national finals, the Birdville team will square off against teams from the 49 other states in a two-part contest comprised of a written exam and a vehicle repair exercise. The hands-on repair portion requires competitors to accurately diagnose and service identically "bugged" vehicles.

One team will be recognized by AAA and Ford as the best student auto technicians in the country. Overall, more than $5 million in scholarships and prizes will be awarded.

For winning the state contest, the winning students earned scholarships in Ford Motor Co's ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) or FACT (Ford Accelerated Credential Training) programs.

The Texas contest is one of 50 state competitions before the national event. This is how the other schools ranked in the statewide competition:

   2.  Automotive Technology Academy (San Antonio, TX)
       Team: Ruben Rodriguez, Cameron Girgus     Instructor: Armen Nazarian
   3.  Seminole High School (Seminole, TX)
       Team: Carbie McClearen, David Harms       Instructor: Bob Summer
   4.  Amarillo Auto Tech Center (Amarillo, TX)
       Team: Dennis Grabbe, Matthew Beaton       Instructor: Scott Blevins
   5.  Klein High School (Spring, TX)
       Team: Sean Fontana, Ricardo Gonzalez      Instructor: Andy Mize
      (The team from Klein received an award for the overall highest
       written score.)
   6.  Amarillo Auto Tech Center (Amarillo, TX)
       Team: Trey Campbell, Lauren Supina        Instructor: Lee Thompson
      (Lauren Supina was the only female to compete in today's
   7.  Stuart Career Center (Baytown, TX)
       Team: Jorge Chagoya, Fernando Rodriguez   Instructor: Steve Barron
   8.  Automotive Technology Academy (San Antonio, TX)
       Team: Hilario Villarrel, Andrew Burke     Instructor: Juan Martinez
   9.  Georgetown High School (Georgetown, TX)
       Team: Joe Wyatt, Zachary Waits            Instructor: Roy White

Note: Video of Event Delivered to major TV affiliates in Houston.

Contact Information: Contact: Rose Rougeau 1.800.888.5521 ext. 6552 713.292.7251 (cell)