Thomson high school seniors compete in national auto skills comp - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Thomson high school seniors compete in national auto skills competition

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Austin Reed has always loved repairing cars.

"My dad has a shop at the house and he usually fixes up old stuff. When I was little I used to help him and I've been drawn to it ever since," Reed said.

Reed, a Thomson High School senior, is headed to Michigan today to represent Georgia in the 64th Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.

"It's a good feeling," said Reed. "We've worked hard for it, so hopefully we'll do well down there."

His partner, Clay Blasingame, makes up the other half of this dynamic duo. The two have been working non-stop in preparation for the competition. Some weeks they have worked up to 60 hours.

 "It's great when you got somebody you can talk to, that understands you and you understand him. It's great to have a partnership like that," Blasingame said.

The competition is held annually in Dearborn, Mi. The two will take a written exam and compete in a hands-on exercise against teams from the other 49 states.

All two-student teams will have a certain amount of time to find bugs in a car, fix them and restore the car to acceptable condition.

This year's vehicle to repair is the 2013 Ford Explorer XLT. Reed and Blasingame have become familiar with the car and have worked on one donated by Bobby Jones Ford in Augusta.

Jason Brooks teaches the two at Thomson High School. He said these men stand out from the rest.

 "They probably put the most time in effort in preparing for it – for the test that qualified them to go – and they went out and got it. The worked hard and achieved it," Brooks said.

Brooks competed in the competition in the 1998 and placed 5th overall.

Blasingame said he hopes to do better and had a particular strategy in mind.

"Check everything, check it twice," Blasingame laughs.

Both men have already received nearly $20,000 in scholarships and prizes.

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