Dallas-based tech Steven Brain wins Rush’s annual Tech Skills Rodeo

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Updated Dec 14, 2018
Steven Brain, middle, awarded the Rush Skills Tech Rode’s top prize by Rusty Rush and NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer.Steven Brain, middle, awarded the Rush Skills Tech Rode’s top prize by Rusty Rush and NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer.

Steven Brain, a medium-duty technician at Rush Truck Center’s Dallas facility, was awarded the top prize at the 13th annual Rush Enterprises Tech Skills Rodeo on Tuesday.

Brain grew up working on cars with his father, who was an automotive enthusiast and electrical engineer. He says it was those experiences that led him into a career working as a commercial truck technician and, Tuesday, probably helped push him all the way to winning his first overall Rush Enterprises’ Tech Skills Rodeo grand championship.

Brain earned first prize winner in the company’s Hino Medium Duty Division and was named the 2018 Rodeo Medium Duty Champion before being honored with the overall title.

“I’ve been very fortunate in what I do for a living comes very natural to me,” Brain said after his huge win. “I think it’s a God-given gift and I’ve done well because of that.”

Now in his tenth year with Rush Enterprises (and 14th year as a tech), Brain says this was the seventh time he has competed at the Rodeo. Previous experiences in the Hino division, which he called his “bread and butter,” had netted category wins but no overall honors.

After solving the final bug “in the last 30 seconds” of the hands-on competition Brain said he felt good entering Tuesday’s final round but acknowledged “I didn’t realize I had done this well.”

In winning the Rush Truck Center top honor Tuesday, Brain earned $18,470 in cash and prizes. Overall, nearly four dozen Rush technicians, parts professionals, aftermarket parts sales and new truck sales representatives took home more than $285,000 in cash and prizes at the 2018 Tech Skills Rodeo, an all-time event record.

Though Brain was Tuesday’s top winner, he wasn’t the only technician to leave San Antonio on a positive note. Previous overall grand champion Jason Swann, also of Dallas, earned the top Heavy Duty Technician honor at Tuesday’s event (netting $14,470), while Quintin Likely of the Rush Truck Center – Columbus, Ga., store was named the company’s top parts man Michael Box from the Lubbock, Texas, store earned the top aftermarket sales rep honor.

Reserve champions were Gary Gates (Rush Truck Centers – Houston) in Aftermarket, Eric Hauser (Rush Truck Centers – Fontana, Calif.) in Parts, Johnny Mendez (Rush Truck Centers – San Antonio) in Medium Duty and Nicholas Misch (Rush Truck Centers – San Antonio) in Heavy Duty.