Newly Minted 18-Year-Old Fabricator with J. Auston Fabrications Celebrates Adulthood with a Brand New Custom Camaro Courtesy of GEARWRENCH at SEMA 2018


LAS VEGAS – When John “Jack” Auston, III, became an official adult on Oct. 3, 2018, little did he know that less than 30-days later he’d be the winner of the GEARWRENCH Win A Camaro Challenge at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. He did, in fact, receive the birthday gift of a lifetime – a brand new, custom Chevy Camaro.
Auston, 18, lives in Highlands Ranch, Col., just outside of Denver, and was participating in the 2018 SEMA Show, an annual gathering of 160,000 auto industry professionals and technicians. He works as a fabricator for his father, John Auston, Jr. at J. Auston Fabrications and is a senior at Highlands Ranch High School.
The GEARWRENCH Challenge is designed off the side profile of the No. 1 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race car, driven by Jamie McMurray. It includes four timed activity stations using GEARWRENCH tools. GEARWRENCH is a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group
Auston first tested his auto technician skills in the Camaro Challenge on Wednesday, Oct. 31 and barely missed qualifying with a time of 13.5 seconds. He came back Thursday morning and posted a time of 11.16 seconds, earning him a spot in the championship round and a shot at winning a brand new custom, 2018 Camaro, competing against two other finalists.
In the finals, the first contestant clocked-in at 10.6 seconds, but dropped a tool in the process, immediately disqualifying him. The next contestant got hung up at the second Challenge station and posted a time of 14.6.
“As I watched the other contestants, my nerves got the best of me,” said Auston. “But my dad texted me to take three deep breaths.”
With that exhale, Auston took the stage and won himself a Camaro, posting a best time of 10.2 seconds.
“The goal of this competition was to give everyday tool users a taste of the excitement involved in working on a NASCAR crew, and it was incredible to see that in the hundreds of people who did the Challenge during SEMA,” said GEARWRENCH Senior Marketing Manager Rena Fiorello. “And without a doubt, the biggest thrill was the one that young Jack Auston experienced as he won this amazing car.”
The 2018 Custom GEARWRENCH Camaro is a significant upgrade from Auston’s current whip, a 2011 Jeep Wrangler. When asked by GEARWRENCH Senior Director of Brand Management, Curt Weber, if he was going to drive the Camaro home, Auston hesitated.
“Probably not,” he remarked. “It’s probably snowing at home.”

GEARWRENCH is a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group. Since the launch of the original five-degree ratcheting wrench, the GEARWRENCH brand has led the industry with breakthroughs in pass-thru ratchets, sockets, screw/nut drivers, pliers, and specialty tools. For more information, visit

About Apex Tool Group
Apex Tool Group, LLC is one of the largest worldwide producers of industrial hand and power tools, tool storage, drill chucks, chain, and electronic soldering products. Apex serves a multitude of global markets, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, energy, hardware, industrial, and consumer retail. For more information, visit