Castrol GTX top techs national scholarship winner announced

(WAYNE, N.J.) - August 22, 2003 - Castrol GTX today announced Dallas-area native Daniel Gilbert, has been named the first national winner of the Castrol GTX Top Techs contest, which awards him the title of "America's Top Automotive Student" and a...

(WAYNE, N.J.) - August 22, 2003 - Castrol GTX today announced Dallas-area native Daniel Gilbert, has been named the first national winner of the Castrol GTX Top Techs contest, which awards him the title of "America's Top Automotive Student" and a handful of prizes. Castrol GTX and legendary drag racing champion John Force will honor Gilbert Friday, August 29, 2003, at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont (Indianapolis) at the 49th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in the Top Eliminator Club at 12:00 p.m.

Castrol GTX and John Force Racing initiated the annual Top Techs program to help increase the automotive student and technician population by making it more accessible for students to attend and be successful in automotive programs. To enter the contest, automotive students nominated themselves or were nominated with an essay explaining why they are the best and brightest in their class. This year, eight regional winners were selected from 246 highly qualified nominations, with each regional winner receiving $1,000 in Mac Tools and the opportunity to serve as an honorary pit crew member for Force. The eight regional winners were then evaluated by a blue-ribbon panel of judges to determine the national winner of a $7,500 scholarship.

"Just when there seems to be more and more cars on the road, Castrol told me that just 12 out of every 600 people choose an automotive career," said Force. "That's why the Castrol GTX Top Techs program is so important. It recognizes these young kids who are going to be our future mechanics. Bottom line, it shows them the opportunities they have in the automotive field and encourages them to succeed in school. Who knows, maybe they'll even wind up working in drag racing some day. If they do, I sure hope it's for me instead of against me."

Gilbert, who attends Universal Technical Institute in Houston, was personally contacted by Force to receive the good news. Gilbert's excitement was evident. "This is crazy - I couldn't possibly have won, could I," said Gilbert. "The next thing I knew, my fingers were twitching and I just couldn't believe I earned the honor. I'm so glad my parents encouraged me to enter the contest."

"The sheer volume of miles logged by American motorists each year has increased the demand for auto service professionals by 13 percent," said Chris Heye, Castrol North American marketing manager. "We can hope Gilbert and the seven regional GTX Top Techs runners-up, years from now, will also have earned the distinction of helping to zero-out the once massive need for technicians. We're thrilled to be involved with the excitement surrounding that possibility and the enthusiasm these students have for becoming automotive technicians."

In addition to Gilbert receiving his award, one of the other regional Castrol GTX Top Techs winners, Pete Johnson of Mooresville, IN, will be participating in the weekend's Castrol GTX Top Techs and NHRA events as well. As part of the regional winner's honors, the student at Lincoln Technical Institute in Indianapolis will serve as John Force's honorary pit crew member during the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

"Pete Johnson's commitment to excellent coursework and his tremendous involvement with all things automotive make him well-deserving of this honor," said Tim Miranda, Engineering/OEM manager for Castrol North America and one of five contest judges. "He is a talented individual who has a bright future in the automotive industry - I wouldn't be surprised to see him become a full-time pit crew member for a racing team."

The national winner's scholarship to continue his education is donated by Castrol North America and Primedia, publisher of automotive enthusiast magazines such as Hot Rod, Car Craft and Chevy High Performance. Additionally, prior to being named national winner, Daniel's regional status won him the chance to serve as honorary pit crew member for John Force, a toolbox from Mac Tools filled with $1,000 of new tools, a Castrol GTX hat and t-shirt, and donations of Castrol GTX and Castrol GTX High Mileage motor oil for use in his current automotive program at Universal Technical Institute and his high school's automotive program at Dale Jackson Career Center.

Contest judge, Tim Miranda, said, "Daniel's enthusiasm, energy and dedication to his education and career really set him apart. Castrol GTX is delighted to have the opportunity to further Daniel's education."

Castrol is a global leader in marketing premium automotive product brands such as Castrol GTX, Castrol GTX High Mileage, Castrol SYNTEC, Castrol SYNTEC Blend and Castrol Super Clean. Castrol North America markets its lubricants and services to lube operators, automotive service providers and select retailers in North America. Castrol, the automotive marketing and technology leader with more than 100 years' experience, offers world-class retailer and installer support under one united global brand. Call 1-888-CASTROL or visit www.castrolusa.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force