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Butch Estrada could fix a truck in his sleep, and he just about proved that during SuperTech 2009 in Raleigh, N.C. The national competition tests the skills of the top truck mechanics in the country. The Lake Station, Ind. TA technician, got held up getting to his flight out of Chicago. So he rented a car and drove for 14 hours, arriving at 5:30 a.m., little time to rest before the 7 a.m. start time for the event. Estrada, who won two categories at the event last year, had the second highest score on the written test, and the top spot in the Starters and Alternators category.
This was Estrada’s third time to compete at SuperTech. He won two stations last year (Brakes and Fasteners). TA and Petro tech participants were: Jerry Bodkins, Youngstown, Ohio TA; Jeremy Gahr, Barkeyville, Pa. TA; Matthew Rylee, Tuscaloosa, Ala. TA; Justin Munoz, Boise, Idaho TA; Charles Ralston, Eloy, Ariz. Petro; Timothy Whittaker, St. Louis E, Ill. TA; David Greenfield, Hudson, Wis. TA; Jaime Cortez, Kingman, Ariz. TA; Rene Martineau, Knoxville, Tenn. Petro; Matt Beuthien, Walcott, Iowa 80 TA; Ernie Pavolsky, Oak Grove, Mo. Petro.
Three TA trainers, Amber Strope, Chad Estle and John Hutton were among the judges for the competition, but did not judge TA/Petro technicians.