Compression Lesson

An engine’s compression ratio has a direct effect on it’s on-track performance, according to Dick Boyer of PMB Performance Products.  “If  you pay attention, you’ll see it nose over at the end of the straightaway,” says Boyer. “The engine won’t accelerate any faster—it’s a classic symptom of insufficient compression.” Selecting the compression ratio for a race engine is often influenced by the cylinder-head material: cast iron or aluminum. Aluminum heads dissipate heat faster than their cast-iron counterparts, thus on a specific fuel they permit higher compression ratios without detonation.  Read the entire story in the August 2013 issue of Speedway Illustrated by clicking the image...

The Snake & Mongoose movie premiere dates

By Ben Mozart Before The Snake & Mongoose movie is made available for general viewing in theatres across the country in September, it will be premiered at a series of venues between August 9 and 29. Some of these showings are invitation-only; their principal purpose is to raise money for charity, chiefly the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Such an event takes place at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California at 2pm on Monday, August 26. Originally opened in 1922 and serving as the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere (Douglas Fairbanks starring as Robin Hood), Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre is one of the world’s most famous movie theatres. Following refurbishment costing almost $13 million the Egyptian was re-opened at the end of 1998. Public viewings The two viewings most likely to attract public interest are those that coincide with the Hot August Nights festival in Reno, Nevada, and the Woodward Dream Cruise in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. On Friday, August 9, a red-carpet Hollywood-style Premiere covered by media at Cinemark Theater Reno takes place around 5:00pm. Tickets are available to the public through the theater or Fandango. Invited guests include former racers Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen, actors Jesse Williams, Richard Blake, Noah Wyle, Fred Dryer, Ian Ziering, Ashley Hinshaw, and musician Billy Gibbons. Then on Wednesday, August 14, during the Woodward Dream Cruise a further screening will be held at the Palladium 12 in Birmingham, Michigan around 5:00pm.  ...

Inspecting a Multi-disc Clutch

by Jim Mozart Photos by Moore Good Ink Commonly, multi-disc racing clutches vary from 4.25-inch to 7.25-inch. Racers often favor the smallest diameter clutches available because they believe an advantage can be found in its lighter rotating mass. Yet experience demonstrates that smallness rarely makes an appreciable difference—except in diminishing the clutch’s durability. Some clutch makers fervently believe that the slightly larger diameter clutch with thicker friction materials can withstand much more abuse than its smaller counterpart. Constant racing starts, for example, on a small unit can result in severe wear. Such doctrine is firmly held by Ram, the Columbia, S.C., long-time racing clutch maker. Monitoring the condition of the multi-plate racing clutch is an essential yet simple operation. When replacing the friction discs during servicing, renew the full pack and ensure the pads are in vertical alignment to apply the clamp load evenly down through the pack. Also, oils and grease cause slippage and damage to clutch components. Always check the oil pan and main seals.  Here is how Ram checks their 6.25-inch Assault Weapon. Read the entire story as it appeared in Late Model Racer magazine here → For further information contact: RAM Automotive Company 201 Business Park Blvd. Columbia, SC 29203 Telephone (803) 788-6034...
Drag racing slicks: the man that brought Goodyear to prominence

Drag racing slicks: the man that brought Goodyear to prominence

By Ben Mozart Photography courtesy of Jim White Bob Shaffer assumed control of Goodyear’s drag racing division in 1975 and brought the Akron, Ohio tire giant to winning form in just eighteen months. Until 1975 the Watertown, Massachusetts firm M&H had dominated the drag racing tire scene, a time when Goodyear was not performing well. Shaffer, now 69, had started with the firm in 1967 and aided by the ingenuity of Tom McEwen and other racers, pioneered many innovations in drag racing tire development until he switched to the sports car racing division in 1982. “Heading the drag racing tire division was an easy transition for me,” says Shaffer, “because I knew the sport, I knew many of its participants, and I enjoyed the process of developing a race-winning tire. My drag racing years at Goodyear were the best of my career.” Goodyear’s aim: Prevail in Top Fuel and Funny Car categories Harry Schmidt had introduced the Blue Max in 1975 with Raymond Beadle as driver and with them Goodyear embarked on a massive drag racing development program. Their aim was to succeed in the Funny Car and Top Fuel divisions. “At the time, Prudhomme was the dominant Funny Car racer,” recalled Shaffer, “and could hardly be beaten. But in 1976 the Utica Flash, driven by Tom Prock, who later became Tom McEwen’s crew chief and subsequently Venolia Pistons’ General Manager, almost succeeded in defeating him in Canada. But weakness in his rear drive [ring and pinion] triggered failure and Prudhomme took the win. Still, we knew our tire development program was beginning to demonstrate an advantage.” But first...

Mont-Tremblant Historic races

By Bertie Scott Brown Photographs by Moore Good Ink By its nature the cut and thrust of professional sports, like big business, attracts its fair share of self-absorbed personalities—after all, they are at war; there can only be one winner! But in the historic racing arena things are very different. Here we have gentlemen who adore historically interesting racing cars. Often unique, exquisite machines, they bring them out perhaps half a dozen times a year to compete at some of our most celebrated circuits. Contrary to what you might think, these cars have been on mighty short commons during our recession, and only within the past few months can enthusiasts appreciate their flourishing numbers. Most race car preparation shops serving the Historic racing scene have been on their beam ends during the past few years. Lee Chapman of Lee Chapman Racing says, “Before the recession began we employed eight full-time mechanics, welders and machinists, but by last year we were down to one and a half! Happily the situation turned around earlier this year and confidence is rapidly returning. Proof of Chapman’s comments was unmistakable at the July 12-14 Mont-Tremblant Historic car races. An hour and a half north of Montreal lies the village of Mont-Tremblant which, except for the month of November, is remarkably active all year round: skiing in winter, racing in summer. As you entered the paddock at the circuit’s north end, the first sign of the feast to come was the irresistible appeal of Peter Gidding’s 250F Maserati. Giddings, born in Sussex, England, immigrated to the US about 30 years ago. He recently completed the...