Denver-area students heading to Detroit for Ford / AAA auto skills finals

In news local to me here in the Rocky Mountains, two Smoky Hill Automotive students took first place and scholarships at the 2014 State Ford / AAA Student Auto Skills Competition and are now going to Detroit, Michigan for the Auto Skills National Finals. The Denver, Colorado-area students, seniors Jared Freihoefer and Shane Cleavenger, could become national champions and win further scholarships to go with their post-secondary two year rides already won.


The competition had Ford automotive technicians creating problems in a 2014 Ford Fiesta with the two students then required to diagnose and repair those dozen “bugs” in the Fiesta. Judging was based on speed and quality of the repair work. Freihoefer and Cleavenger repaired the twelve problems on their 2014 Fiesta in 85 minutes with high quality scores.

For their efforts, both students won two-year scholarships to the post-secondary school of their choice. These full-ride scholarships are worth over $80,000 between them.


The team, plus their instructor Brian Manley from Smoky Hill Automotive, are now in Detroit competing in the finals.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at