The 4-link system – credit where due please!

The 4-link system – credit where due please!

In response to our Don Garlits article of 12 Nov 2013 on the pioneering of the rear-engine dragster, one of our readers, Mr D. Smith, made this noteworthy comment concerning the invention of drag racing’s ubiquitous four-link system: Connie Swingle, who was instrumental in many of Garlits’ successes, was sharp, but Jerry Dawson of St Louis was clearly one of the first to build a rear-engine dragster. I have a faint recollection that Dawson and Connie knew each other. Sadly, intelligent inventors don’t always receive the credit they deserve. I conceived and produced the first billet 4-link system. It was adjustable in 1/8in increments. Although pictures were featured in an issue of an 1998 National Dragster after we debuted the design at the US Nationals on Labor Day weekend, it took NHRA a few issues before publishing it. Then miraculously, 3-plus years later, Don Ness is credited with inventing and patenting the first 4-link system with infinite adjustment. Actually, those were my exact words to National Dragster’s writer who wrote that exact phrase in the N/D issue, which featured a full-page article on the race car. Don’s patent used my exact verbiage to describe what everyone with an NHRA Dragster subscription saw years earlier. God bless Don, for Lord knows we all copied many of his innovative ideas. But he certainly copied mine, has sold millions of dollar’s worth of my intellectual property, and will continue to receive the credit because he patented it. Stealing intellectual properties is not just restricted to the dubious acts of foreign countries, it happens here everyday....
41st Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Hagerty:

41st Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Hagerty:

An annual festival celebrating historic and vintage racing. By Vic Moore:   It was Lord Melbourne’s unfaithful wife who said of Byron—he’s mad, bad, and dangerous to know. This was how I felt about Road Atlanta nearly two decades ago when I first took to the track in a 1-liter Suzuki GSXR-powered Radical D-sport. Reaching a 1m: 33s lap time took forever to accomplish and later persuading it into the twenties, with 1,300lbs and few of today’s aero efficiencies, was faster than I wanted to travel. At the track’s fastest point, on the back straight after it veers gently left and then plunges down into the second-gear left/right kink, Turn 10, the Radical reached 127mph. Then pointing northward, it was swiftly up the hill and under the bridge overlooking the track’s administrative building. At ever increasing speed, the car swept down the other side to conclude another lap, motoring through Turn 12 with its defiant bump awkwardly positioned on the racing line as well as a required gear change. But it was on the other side of the track, when rushing down through Turns 3 and 4 and the Esses in the wet that still reverberates in the memory. In those conditions, if the car touched a curb on the way down the mountainside it was instantly out of control and onto the grass and then… who knows. To those of us with mediocre talent but determined to press on anyway, it was intimidating but that’s precisely why the challenges of those Road Atlanta races, particularly those held in inclement conditions, remain burned into the consciousness. Like the adventures...
TorqStorm’s new facility, its grounding, and its foray into Drifting

TorqStorm’s new facility, its grounding, and its foray into Drifting

By Alfie Bilk: TorqStorm Superchargers has announced it is selling its existing 10,000sq ft premises in Wyoming, Michigan and purchasing a new building of 25,000sq ft located about two miles away at 2909 Buchanan Avenue. They hope to take possession by August 2018. The company was founded and developed by two car enthusiasts, Chris Brooker and Scott Oshinski, with life-long affection for power and speed. Together they own Accelerated Tooling LLC, a successful CNC-machine shop housed in the same building as their supercharger enterprise. Pioneering a centrifugal supercharger Both Brooker and Oshinski emerged from the tool and die profession where precision and thoroughness is foremost. Predictably, when they had built the initial prototypes, they tested them for over two years before releasing their new designs for sale in 2009. Adding an independent oiling system to the supercharger was regarded as essential from the earliest design stage, and Brooker was adamant that the product should be covered by a lifetime warranty. But the unit’s central provisions are its sturdy blend of billet aluminum components and its ability to produce about 40 percent power increase over base with 7psi of boost pressure. Also, the supercharger’s rampant power is generated barely off idle. With its turbo-inspired compressor wheel, it commonly builds boost as early as 1,800rpm and continues with gusto to 6,500. Light, robust, energy-dense and most enticingly of all, the TorqStorm at $2,800 is inexpensive. In 2017 the company enjoyed its most productive year to date.   Drifting: The flourish of youth, a TorqStorm supercharged LS-powered Nissan and its eye-catching livery for Formula Drift 2018     In the higher tiers...
Kaase goes off-shore with Miss Geico.

Kaase goes off-shore with Miss Geico.

By Ben Mozart: Have you ever read online discussions on off-shore power boat racing?  For the young and the young at heart, it seems to offer an irresistible future, an intoxicating new world they wish to be part of. For Kaase, the prospects of entering this new world came in 2015 when his engine shop was approached by the West Palm Beach-based Miss Geico power boat racing team. Though the team’s engines were fast they were not always reliable, so their crew chief, Gary Stray, then contesting his fifth season with Miss Geico in the premier class, flew to Kaase’s north Georgia location for discussions. His race boat team urgently needed an injection of top-flight talent. Stray (48), who’s in charge of Miss Geico’s entire engineering operations of which the engine package is a major part, knew his engines’ architecture would be a departure from Kaase’s normal fare. Geico’s power is derived from two 550cid V8 twin-turbocharged engines in each boat configured with double overhead cams, each generating 2,000hp and operating with fly-by-wire throttle control and boost control. So, he predicted a steep learning curve for any race engine shop that didn’t know boats. But Stray also knew of Kaase’s meticulous preparation and race engine history, including the numerous diverse power units that distinguished themselves so well in the national Engine Masters Challenge events. “We gave him all the data from the boat and other info we’d learned,” said Stray, “and he began attending the races with us to see how everything worked. We race Class 1 boats—which is an unlimited class, meaning you can race whatever you desire....
Obituary: Steve McAllister (1956 – 2018)

Obituary: Steve McAllister (1956 – 2018)

By Victor Moore:  The inventor of modern drive plates for boats and dynamometers Steve McAllister died from liver failure at his home in Monroe, Georgia on Saturday, 7 April, 2018. At age 62 he had been in declining health since initially diagnosed with kidney troubles, then more accurately with stage-four prostate cancer in December 2015. Though without pain, his final weeks were disrupted by chemotherapy as the insidious disease invaded his bones. Like many of us, Steve McAllister might have expected his name to sink to oblivion, but as fate would have it he is one of the beloved engineers of our time. An enticing conversationalist and generous friend, it was friendship that structured his life and work, together with an inventiveness and engineering legacy that befits an ingenious career. Born in Glendale, Southern California and growing up in the Sacramento area of Northern California, he returned to Los Angeles after graduating to start his career with Mr. Gasket. Engaged in their Mallory division, his work included productive collaboration with Top Fuel racer Jeb Allen. After marrying in 1979, he joined Cyclone Headers, remaining in California before moving to Speed Distributors Warehouse in Chattanooga, TN in 1981. While there, he represented the firm in outside sales. This period was followed by thirteen-year tenure at Manley Performance as a southeast salesman. It was during this time his passions were stirred by the potential for designing and developing flywheels and drive plates for off-shore powerboats. As a result, he and his wife, Cindy, formed a side business, Innovation Engineering at their Georgia home premises. Says Harold Bettes of Power Technology Consultants:...
We should have done better in promoting it:

We should have done better in promoting it:

Relying on your own initiatives for growth. By Victor Moore:   Writing lives or dies on read times. If you prepare a seven-minute article for your website or general consumption and the average read time reports 2mins 22secs, you lost your reader. You may think you prepared work of value but its value was zero. Time and money wasted–your straight-talk express with no wheels on it. When composing website materials, it’s probably better to omit mission statements and similar content, for few read them. Old-fashioned and usually disingenuous, these types of materials are not just confined to the written word, for videos that contain them are also annoying. One of the most agonizing was produced some years ago by Delta Airlines, whose CEO spoke interminably of his company’s mission and its endless admirable qualities. The captive listener was buckled to a seat with no mute button and no escape. I once observed a woman beating the seat-back monitor with both hands in exasperation. All commercial operations should be aware of the old adage: When a company boasts of its integrity, or a woman of her virtue, avoid the former and cultivate the latter. The better path to creating value is to compose compelling content. Years ago, I asked engine builder Jon Kaase about his topic for the AETC conference at that year’s PRI exhibition. “I’m hoping to tell my audience something they didn’t know before,” he replied. He was right, for in the art of engagement, enlightenment trumps all. And if you can pepper your content with credible testimonials or quotations from noteworthy sources, so much the better. This...