I think it’s inevitable, and we’ve had some experience with this on some of our engines. However, there are still fathers tuning on their son’s cars that grew up racing with carburetors, so they’re comfortable with them. My view is that we’re probably a generation away from seeing EFI becoming of any significance in racing, certainly in a number of circle track classes. And I’m aware there is some cost associated with making the conversion from carburetors to EFI, but when you look at the long-term benefits of EFI, particularly parts durability (cylinder to cylinder), I think there should be fewer concerns about the cost aspect. There’s also the benefit of being able to tune engines more quickly than with carburetors. As the younger people continue to grow into circle track racing, their familiarity with computers should help broaden the application of EFI. Plus, sanctioning bodies who adjust rules to allow EFI will aid as well.
As more is learned about the pros and cons of using E85 in the place of conventional racing gasoline, do you forecast its increased use or not?
In my opinion, I think we need to learn more about using E85. There’s a vast difference in setting up and tuning a race engine using E85, compared to one running race gas. Ultimately, I believe there would be a cost savings but you can easily damage an engine by improper use of this fuel. I recall that Silver Crown racers lost a number of engines from what I think was a lack of experience calibrating engines on E85. There’s obviously less heat content in the fuel, so it requires a greater volume than gasoline. This increase in consumed fuel can affect lubrication efficiency, plus there’s the corrosion issue. So I just believe both engines builders and racers need more time to understand all the ramifications, although some are probably good, when switching from gasoline to E85.
Given the current status of circle track racing and the role your business plays in that community, what are your plans for the next five or more years?
First of all, you have to have a passion for doing what we do. And because we have that passion, we’re continually working to improve everything in which we’re involved. We have a hard-working staff that enjoys being together. We help each other do what we do. As a result, in our ongoing efforts to improve, we’ve ended up with development programs that not only support growth but are reflected in the quality of the engines and parts we produce. You see it throughout the company, and it’s for these reasons that I see us continuing to grow as impacted, of course, by the health of our overall economy.