What’s the Best in Class Challenge?

It ain’t your average extra credit assignment.

To empower the next generation of auto technicians, we invite schools across the country to compete in restoring clunkers into certified hot rods on a budget. This year’s ride? A fourth generation edition of the muscle car that started it all: The Ford Mustang.

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. 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. 

Like a fresh paint job, this competition has a few layers.

The Nomination Phase (September 12—September 25)

Starting September 12th until the September 25th will be the Nomination Phase. That’s just a fancy way of saying the time where people get to vote on the 57 semi-finalist schools to be one of the top five schools that advances to the challenge phase.

The Challenge Phase (October 10—November 20)

Then, come October 10th until November 20th, we move on to the Challenge Phase of the competition where online voting to decide which team is truly the Best in Class.

Lucky for you, the kids don’t get to have all the fun. When you vote for your team, you can also enter into our Voter Sweepstakes Prize for a chance to win an RC Truck customized by Tommy Pike (an $800 value).

Meet the Expert Judges

Tommy Pike

Tommy Pike grew up tearing things apart and putting them back together. From Hot Wheels to bicycles, it was his pastime. In high school, Pike took a part-time job at an automotive store in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. By the time he graduated, Pike was working full-time doing everything from regular window tinting to low-par accessory work. By the year 2000, he had purchased the store and was the owner of the company. Pike built the company from a 2,500 square-foot facility to a 30,000 square-foot facility where in 2005, Tommy Pike Customs™ began cranking out full custom builds and restorations while also performing service work for his clients.

Pike specializes in modern muscle performance and cutting edge customization of both new and classic vehicles. Tommy participates in an average of twelve major events a year including the Motor Trend South Carolina International Auto Show, NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, Pennzoil AutoFair, Coca Cola 600, Quaker State 400, Goodguys Southeastern Nationals and The SEMA Show.  Tommy has used Quaker State for years and is a proud supporter of the Shell Family of Brands.

Sung Kang

Born and raised in Gainesville, Georgia, Sung Kang is of Korean descent. He began acting at the Los Angeles-based experimental theater group F.A.T.E. (Friends Artist Theater Ensemble). He made his motion picture debut in 1999 with a small role in Mystery Men (1999) starring Ben Stiller. A variety of small roles on television shows such as Felicity, Martial Law and Spin City followed.

He worked with director Justin Lin on the critically acclaimed drama, Better Luck Tomorrow, which premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and garnered a Grand Jury Prize nomination. He's also been seen in action movies such as Fast Five, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, and Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee. His other film credits include supporting roles in Denzel Washington’s Antwone Fisher, Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor, and a starring role opposite Sylvester Stallone in the 2013 release, Bullet to the Head. Kang currently resides in Los Angeles.

Quaker State Best in Class



Special Thanks to the Best In Class Challenge Sponsor

Quaker State would like to extend a special thank you to our partners who help make the Best in Class Challenge possible:

Thanks to Autozone for providing the parts and supplies that the schools require to upgrade the cars during the challenge phase as well as supplying prizes worth competing for.

And thanks to Barrett-Jackson for hosting the huge event in West Palm Beach where the Grand Prize car will be auctioned off in April of 2017.