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Rat Rod Kart Build-Off

Northern Tool + Equipment Announces First-Of-Its-Kind Rat Rod Kart Build-off with Release of New Engine. Two Minnesota high schools will spend a year building rat rod go-karts with the new NorthStar engine under the watchful eye of celebrity mentors Richard Petty and Billy Lane.

Northern Tool + Equipment will celebrate the upcoming release of its all new NorthStar line of engines by announcing an exciting build-off in front of thousands of people at the Minnesota Street Rod Association Back to the 50’s event on June 23rd. Two Minnesota high schools will spend the next year constructing rat rod go-karts using 740cc NorthStar EFI engines under the watchful eye of mentors Richard Petty, a NASCAR legend, and celebrity motorcycle builder Billy Lane. The build-off is part of Northern Tool + Equipment’s Tools for the Trades™ program. 

“Tools for the Trades™ is a great program, and it’s important for kids to know they have career options. This country will always need tradespeople to make and manufacture things,” said Petty. “The team at Petty’s Garage and I are excited to meet the students and help them with this build-off.”

Donations Include

The schools will each receive a new, cutting-edge NorthStar EFI engine. Later this year, multiple sizes of the engine, from 180cc to 825cc, including two new engines at 300cc and 420cc, will be used in NorthStar products and available for purchase at Northern Tool. Each school’s career and technical education program will also receive a donation of professional-grade tools and equipment, including air compressors and air-powered tools donated by Ingersoll Rand.

“Ingersoll Rand is excited to support these students with the opportunity to learn valuable skills by providing access to the same quality equipment used by professionals across the skilled trades,” added Kate Hartman, marketing leader at Ingersoll Rand.

Northern Tool created Tools for the Trades™

Northern Tool created Tools for the Trades™ to help address the skilled trades labor gap by providing schools, students and instructors with the proper equipment to grow trades learning options and the experiences to fuel interest in the trades for the next generation. The schools selected for this build-off, Minneapolis North and Lakeville North, will be able to provide students with invaluable hands-on experience through the project. The finished carts will also be custom pinstriped by renowned pinstriper Cliff Anderson, Jr, and the eight-month process will be featured on social media with progress narration by celebrity YouTuber Dylan McCool.

“We’re passionate about supporting and fueling the curiosity of the next generation of tradespeople,” said Northern Tool + Equipment Co-owner Wade Kotula. “This is an exciting project because it will teach real-world skills while also exposing students to the wealth of knowledge our mentors possess, and they get to start and end it all at an amazing event in MSRA’s Back to the 50’s Weekend.”

Finished carts will be unveiled at the 50th Anniversary of Back to the 50’s in 2024. They will be raced at Lane’s Sons of Speed® classic motorcycle racing series.

“It’s a thrill and an honor to be involved in teaching students these skills,” said Lane. “There are a lot of good ways to make a living, and this effort by Northern Tool + Equipment to expose students to the trades at a young age is critical.”

About Northern Tool + Equipment:

Northern Tool + Equipment is a family-owned company serving both DIYers and trades professionals tackling the tough projects. A leading supplier of more than 100,000 high-quality tools and equipment for over 40 years, the company’s highly-trained team has an immense breadth of knowledge to help customers in-person at more than 130 retail stores, online and over the phone through their fully-staffed contact center. From helping customers get the right tool for the job to assisting with parts and repairs that keep tools running at peak performance, customer service is at the foundation of Northern Tool’s mission.

With a passion for serving their communities and helping to fill the trades labor shortage, the company’s Tools for the Trades™ program donates high-quality tools directly into school classrooms, helping teachers show students the value of working in the trades. Learn more about Northern Tool + Equipment at and stay connected through social media: Facebook (@northerntool), Instagram (@northern_tool), Twitter (@northerntool), YouTube and Pinterest.

Source: Rat Rod Kart Build-off

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