SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Blake Brown, an open-wheel dirt modified racer who resides in Corbin, Ky., and Derek Fetter, an automotive enthusiast and collision repair technician from Troy, Mo., are the grand-prize winners in the 2017 “Search for a Champion” contest from Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ iconic Champion brand.
As winner of the contest’s “On the Track” category, Brown will receive a $50,000 Champion racing sponsorship. Fetter, winner of the “Off the Track” category, will receive a $5,000 prize. Federal-Mogul Motorparts awarded a total of $137,500 in sponsorships to this year’s grand-prize winners, runners-up and finalists.
The annual Search for a Champion contest, established in 2012, encourages grassroots racers and consumers to demonstrate their commitment to superior vehicle and engine performance through the use of high-quality components. This year’s contest attracted 1,110 participants, representing a nearly 400-percent increase over 2016.
“This is unbelievable – I couldn’t be more proud,” said Brown, a high school junior who garnered eight wins and 12 top-three finishes in 17 starts at Richmond (Ky.) Raceway in 2016. “I hope to use the prize money to travel to more tracks outside our region and become a better driver while promoting the Champion brand.”
In addition to Brown’s $50,000 grand prize, Federal-Mogul Motorparts will award $5,000 to each of 10 runners-up and $1,000 to each of 25 finalists in the “On the Track” category.
Fetter, a technician at F & S Collision and Customs, a family-owned business in Troy, entered the “Off the Track” category based on his interest in vehicle maintenance and performance upgrades.
“I’ve known about Champion all my life, and my grandfather even had a Champion sign in his garage when I was growing up,” he said. “I am looking forward to representing the brand and using even more of its maintenance products in our shop and on my own vehicles.”
Joining Fetter as prize winners in the “Off the Track” category are 10 runners-up who will receive $500 each and 25 finalists who were awarded $100 each.
“Search for a Champion has been a success from day one, but its record growth over the past year mirrors the broader success we have had in connecting with multiple generations of racers and consumers who are passionate about the products they choose for their passenger vehicles, four-wheelers, boats, tractors and other engine-driven equipment,” said Mike Proud, vice president, marketing, Americas, Federal-Mogul Motorparts. “Champion above all is a brand they know and trust.”
The Champion brand offers a growing range of products, including easy-to-install bridge-style, beam, hybrid, winter and rear wiper blades; oil, air and cabin air filters; batteries for automotive, commercial, marine, golf cart and lawn-and-garden uses; replacement premium capsules, HID and sealed beam headlights and LED and incandescent light bulbs; and world-class replacement spark plugs for automotive, motorsports, small-engine and other applications.