An all-star panel of top race engine builders will share the stage for a special roundtable forum and Q&A on how to operate a successful race engine business at this year’s Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This exciting event, which takes place from 8 to 9 a.m. on Friday, December 13, 2013, at the Indiana Convention Center, provides rare access to four leading engine builders from across the country covering a range of motorsports disciplines, including asphalt, dirt, off-road and drag racing. In this “Ask The Experts” forum, panelists will share experiences and answer questions submitted by Trade Show attendees, as well as from PRI readers and social media followers.
Scheduled to appear on this year’s panel are Keith Dorton of Automotive Specialists, Vic Hill from Vic Hill Race Engines LLC, Jon Kaase with Jon Kaase Racing Engines, and Ron Shaver of Shaver Racing Engines.
“PRI is bringing together four of the racing industry’s truly elite engine builders for their unique perspectives on running a successful race engine business,” said Dan Schechner, editor at PRI and scheduled moderator of the event. “We’re inviting fellow engine builders, race teams, crew members and more to hear firsthand keys to success and advice straight from the experts. Whether you’re into stock car, sprint car, midget, modified, dirt late model or drag racing, these four industry superstars will no doubt leave a lasting impression on your approach to both business and racing.”
With theater-style seating for 200, PRI’s engine builders forum will be held in the Convention Center’s Meeting Rooms 231-232, just prior to the show floor opening for day two of the three-day PRI Trade Show.
There is no charge for registered Trade Show attendees, and seating will be arranged on a first-come, first served basis.
An iconic figure among American race engine builders, Keith Dorton began his professional apprenticeship in the early 1960s, working in the engine shop of the legendary Holman-Moody Racing. Soon after he opened Automotive Specialists in Concord, North Carolina, where his very first customer was Ralph Earnhardt, patriarch of the famous Earnhardt racing family. Over the next five decades, Dorton would go on to develop and prepare winning engines in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series, the USAR Pro Cup Series, the ASA and many more.
In addition, Automotive Specialists through the years has partnered with manufacturers such as Holley, Edelbrock and Fel-Pro Gaskets, as well as the US Department of Energy, on various development programs.
More recently Dorton has entered the world of land speed racing, particularly at the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats, where Automotive Specialists-powered cars have broken numerous SCTA records.
In 2012, Dorton was inducted into SEMA’s prestigious Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Hall of Fame.
At the age of 18, Vic Hill boldly walked into the shop of Richard Childress Racing in North Carolina and asked for a job. He hasn’t looked back since.
The man nicknamed “The Thrill” spent a decade in the Winston Cup Series, working with NASCAR legends Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty, among others, before returning to Tennessee in the early 1990s. Soon after he became a regular late model winner at area tracks including Volunteer Speedway, dubbed “The World’s Fastest Dirt Track,” and would go on to win five Track Championships there (in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005 and 2009).
Founded in 2000, Vic Hill Race Engines in Mosheim, Tennessee, handles its own cylinder head development and manifold design in-house. In the dirt late model market, the company is perhaps best known for having developed the first 4.500 wide bore spacing engines back in 2006, along with car owner Bob Miller and driver Scott Bloomquist. In 2013 alone, Hill’s engines have recorded dozens of wins at short tracks throughout the region.
After earning a degree in mechanical engineering, Jon Kaase created race engines that won a dozen Pro Stock championships, succeeded in winning the Engine Masters Challenge four times, and has presided over the company that bears his name for almost 34 years.
In 1977 he began working for Dyno Don Nicholson in Atlanta, Georgia, and by year’s end Kaase had claimed the NHRA Pro Stock title. Two years later he formed his own company, Jon Kaase Racing Engines, which subsequently relocated to Winder, Georgia, where remains to this day.
In recent years the firm has expanded into the hot rod market, introducing the Kaase Boss Nine—a high performance engine series developed from Ford’s big-block 385-series and equipped with hemi heads—in 2007, followed a few years later by the P-38, a new high performance small-block series based on the Ford Windsor engine. Both engine series remain strong sellers in the US and Australasian markets.
Over the past 40 years, Ron Shaver has been the leading power plant builder for many of the championship winning teams in the World Of Outlaws, Allstars, NARC, CRA, SCRA, NCRA, USAC, NHRA, and SCORE series.
Shaver began engine development for his first sprint car engine built for Tom Hunt of Hunt Magnetos in 1976, and later Dean Thompson and Bruce Bromme. R&D efforts were enhanced with the addition of a Heenan-Froude dynamometer and through a collection of some of the industry's most accomplished technical staff.
Shaver Racing Engines compiled over 30 open wheel championships through the 1980s and ’90s, and in the 21st century it has grown into one of the premier race engine builders, with some of the industry’s most advanced equipment and testing facilities. Prestigious race victories include the Knoxville Nationals, King's Royal, The World 100, The Gold Cup, and The DIRT Cup, among many others.
This year, more than 40,000 motorsports professionals from across the US and 70-plus countries will join over 1100 exhibiting companies for the 26th Annual PRI Show, which returns to the Racing Capital of the World, Indianapolis.
For additional information or to register for this trade-only event, visit www.pri2013.com.