"We started ASCS in 1992 on the simple concept of affordable Sprint Car racing," says Emmett Hahn, founder of the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based sanction ASCS (American Sprint Car Series). "When I saw what Keith and GM were doing with the Ecotec I thought it's the same concept; plain and simple, affordable Midget racing. And I liked it."
Hahn says because the Chevy motor will make even horsepower from car to car he'll be able to produce better races with closer competition. Plus, his racers will be able to race for a year or two before ever having to touch the engine. But what about tech? We mentioned before that this engine is a sealed motor and with the electronics many people think that it would be easy to cheat up, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
"I'm a guy who is old enough that I don't even know how to turn a computer on, but I will sit here and tell you that the Ecotec will be the easiest tech deal that I've ever been involved in," Hahn says confidently. "Because it's electronic all we have to do is plug our computer into the module on the car and we can tell if you're legal or not."
Hahn and his ASCS group have big plans for the Ecotec Midget. He already has 24 races in the works for 2010 throughout the Oklahoma/Texas region where he will bring in the Ecotec Midgets as filler classes for his regular Sprint Car shows. They will race under the new ASCS2 Midget Series banner. In addition, under his ASCS2 600 Mini-Sprint Division, Hahn wants to have the Ecotec Midgets as the headline division at certain tracks.
Eighteen-year-old Dillon Silverman...
Eighteen-year-old Dillon Silverman (98) runs wheel to wheel in his RRE Ecotec against Lonny Alton in his "SuperFocus" Ford. RRE Ecotecs competing in the Capital City Midget Series utilize the lower horespower "Sportsman" calibration in order to level the field with the SuperFocus Fords.
But the event he lights up about when you bring up the Ecotec is the Tulsa Shootout. Taking place two week's before his famed Chili Bowl, the Tulsa Shootout is an annual gathering of hundreds of Karts, Quads, Micros, and now Midgets. His plan is to hold an additional race where Ecotec, SuperFocus, and Focus-powered Midgets will race against each other. Hahn hopes to have 25 to 30 Ecotec-powered cars this year to give people a look at the engine and its on-track performance. What's more is the winner of this new Midget event will get an invite to compete in the Chili Bowl.
"In a few years, my goal is to have the Tulsa Shootout be the Granddaddy race for these cars," says Hahn.
Ultimately, Hahn likes the Ecotec concept because, "it's a good starter class where you can buy a used roller, spend $10,000 on the motor, and go racing for several years." He also says that the Ecotec provides a bridge for 600 Mini-Sprint drivers to move up to Midget racing because the cost is not much more. At the same time, full Midget racers who are getting squeezed out because of budget now have a lower cost division that they can move to.
In addition to ASCS, at least three or four other sanctions are taking a hard look at Revolution's Ecotec. But as the motor's popularity grows it can all be traced back to a small group from California known as the Capital City Midgets, a northern California sanction that will merge with the Bay Cities Racing Assocation or BCRA-the 70-year-old Midget group-in 2010 and run under the ASCS2 banner.
"Keith and I built a little bit of a rapport with what he was doing and what I was doing because our goal was the same . . . create affordable Midget racing in this area," explained Rick Young, President of the Capital City Midgets.
Like Hahn, Young likes the fact that the electronic motors are easy to tech. "The use of the EFI and the ECU made all the sense in the world to me because when I was racing offshore powerboats everything was kept level with EFI/ECU so from an Ecotech perspective it made sense to me."