How to develop the elusive knack for attracting sponsorship

My Martha Maglone, July 3, 2014 John Force tells of devoting most of his racing career to “chasing the money.” And in most successful racing endeavors this endless pursuit of attracting money to race resides at the sport’s heart. But it is not always a concept that sits easy with the racer. The majority of good racers are much better racers than money raisers. But what if a successful technique could be developed that sidesteps the exhausting agonies of finding sponsorship? Here is one of the concepts exploited by Tom “Mongoose” McEwen that sustained him at the peak of his sport for decades. Bringing major sponsors to the sport Almost half a century ago Coors, the beer company, didn’t have a sports marketing department when drag racer McEwen first approached them. Interestingly, he didn’t address Coors directly. Instead he approached a Coors distributor he knew in San Bernardino, California and requested decals which he displayed on his racing Corvette. “Then I won a couple of races and requested the distributor send the pictures to Coors, which he did.” Look what we can do in the drag racing market was the message. Eventually “Mongoose” was rewarded with an appointment at Coors and duly presented himself at their Colorado headquarters for a meeting. They liked him and his ideas—a man rarely bereft of ideas—and hired a person to manage the initiative that brought the promise of new markets. Within a year Coors had established a marketing department for racing, assigned a budget to fund it and staffed it with about six people. Moreover, they examined the prospects offered in the NASCAR...
The rewards of a competent valve spring removal tool

The rewards of a competent valve spring removal tool

By Archie Bosman, July 1, 2014, Photography by manufacturer It’s unrealistic to assume race engines will operate reliably without regular inspections. In fact high-powered high-revving drag racing engines require valve spring pressure checks after each run. At the other end of the spectrum mild-powered race engines often tolerate at least one season of racing and sometimes two or three before a rebuild is necessary. Despite their admirable longevity, however, you can’t just weld the hood shut and forget them. Valve springs are probably the most highly stressed components in the race engine and most serious racers own a valve spring tester and a spring removal tool. They soon learn that adopting a few simple periodic inspections—often between races—greatly improve the engine’s prospects for survival, reducing the likelihood of premature failure. Never an arduous job, valve spring pressures can be checked quickly and if replacements are necessary a full set of intake and exhaust valves can be renewed in around 45 minutes. When a spring is broken or its pressure low, replacement is necessary. “Once valve springs lose about 10 percent of their tension,” says Saturday-night drag racer Mike Knowles, “they need to be changed.” Conveniently, they are replaced with the engine assembled. By applying air pressure to the cylinder via the spark plug hole, the valves are prevented from falling inside. Then the spring removal tool is engaged, the valve locks popped off, the spring changed, the air pressure released and . . . onto the next cylinder. In addition to replacing broken or worn springs, the valve removal tool is convenient when mating flat tappets to a camshaft....

Deer leaps directly onto path of three 100-mph racing cars

A Chump Car named Bizarre During the first two-hour stint of a 10-hour Chump Car endurance race at Summit Point, West Virginia, on June 21st a miracle occurred when a young deer leapt out of the woods in front of three speeding cars traveling along the back straight three-wide at full speed. Its life should have ended right there as it collided with the BMW on the left. Miraculously it missed it. Then the red BMW, number 186, should have hit it head-on, but inexplicably it missed it, too, as the deer traveled between the BMW on the right and the Mazda RX7 camera car in the middle. Though the cars may look slow they’re not—the track is exceedingly...

AMP a top 10 track: Magazine places AMP at top of list for fun

Written by Kimberly Boim, June 18, 2014, Courtesy of Dawson News & Advertiser A well-known magazine has ranked Dawsonville’s Atlanta Motorsports Park as one of the top 10 most-fun tracks in the country. Grassroots Motorsports invited some of the big players on the racing scene to share their experiences about their favorite U.S. track, big or small. Randy Pobst, the four-time Pirelli World Challenge Champion, two-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and Mazda factory driver with 70-plus professional wins under his wheels, rated AMP highly. “When I first heard rumors of the construction of a new track in the Atlanta area, it was exciting ­– more is always better,” Pobst told Grassroots Motorsports. “My first visit to AMP, I went up on a motorcycle and I got a ride in a highly modified Volvo S60, of all things, owned by Zeke Massie. He’s one of the first guys to get a garage at the track … “ All drivers interviewed were asked about making a pass, the track’s magic moment, a newcomer tip, and what they would do if they were in charge of the track.   On the magic moment at AMP, Pobst said, “It’s not an easy track to figure out.  It’s very hilly with a lot of elevation changes. Many of the corners are blind, which I really like. The track disappears over the crest of a corner five times at least, maybe six. It’s a roller coaster. I’m in road racing because I like the corners, and AMP has a lot . . . I think most people would call it a technical...