S.E.A.L. to Help Cut Cost and Police Sealed Engines in Super Late Model World
Several Racing Series Team Up With Sealed Engine Alliance Leaders
How would you like to have a competitive Super Late Model on some of the best tracks in the country with an engine that costs half of what others do? It’s quickly becoming a reality. Several industry leaders announced today the formation of the Sealed Engine Alliance Leaders. S.E.A.L, as it will be known, has been spearheaded by race promoter R.J. Scott and is made up of several entities including the engine producers, McGunegill Engine Performance, Hamner Racing Engines and other racing series. The Sealed Engine Alliance Leaders is an effort to keep Super Late Model racing around with a lower cost alternative to the traditional 9:1 or steel head motors.
“We are trying to keep everyone on the same page with Super Late Model racing, says R.J. Scott, who also is the co-promoter of the CRA Super Series. “Sealed engines are designed to be a cost effective option; they are not meant to replace the 9:1 or steel head engines or supersede them in a competitive nature.”
S.E.A.L. will look to keep they playing field even in Super Late Model racing. (51 Photo)
One of the many supporters will be the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, which hosts the Blizzard Series each year and the prestigious Snowball Derby every December. More than 50 of the best Super Late Model drivers and teams enter that event every year and track Operations Manager Tim Bryant welcomes the S.E.A.L. program.
“It makes more sense. When a guy is in search of a new engine, he can go with a lower cost route and still be competitive,” said Bryant. “We just see it as writing on the wall as a way to get more guys back into Super Late Model racing. We have noticed that it (the sealed engine) has already made it more competitive. It has allowed guys to compete on big tracks where they might not have been able to just a year ago.”
DeWaine McGunegill, whose family-owned McGunegill Engine Performance of Muncie, IN, has been working with sealed engines for several years now, says that racing series and engine builders working together is better for all parties involved.
“I started realizing how many customers there were that could not afford the 9:1 engines,” said McGunegill. “As technology increases, prices escalate. Now, with these new engines, you can change back and forth between your 9:1 and this engine and not have to make any major changes.”
“9:1 engines are still great pieces,” admitted Jeff Hamner, who owns Hamner Racing Engines of Alabama. “We are not trying to obsolete those engines; just give an alternative to the racer who can’t afford the big money motor. There are pluses and minuses to each, but this is part of the wave of the future. We just wanted to have a uniform sealed engine out there rather than many of them because those will just drive prices up in the end.”
The specific sealed engine that both McGunegill and Hamner produce are already eligible in many different racing series, including the ASA Midwest Tour, the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour, the Blizzard Series, the CRA Super Series, the Miller Lite SLM Series at Mobile Int’l Speedway (AL), the PASS South Tour, the SLM series at South Georgia Motorsports Park and the Viper Series at South Alabama Speedway.
“We will have part numbers, specifications and weights for every part in those motors,” said Scott. “We can check every part number, every weight and every single dimension based on how they are approved by the manufacturers and the committee. We will have both engines on a baseline dyno with the same headers and the same carburetor to know exactly what they are supposed to produce.”
Many people were skeptical about the ABC body change for Late Models, which Scott spearheaded several years ago, but that program has unified the body regulations for Super Late Model series around the country.
“At the time, the body situation was a big headache because manufactures were not thinking of their business on a level playing field,” added Scott. “Once they understood that if they didn’t do this (create identical template bodies) they were going to kill the sport, then everyone saw the benefit.”
With a struggling economy and high fuel prices, S.E.A.L. is meant to further ease the wallets of money-minded racers.
“Times are tough now,” added Scott. “I hate to think what things would be like if we all weren’t on the same body program. It would be worse. We need to model this engine program after that, but I can not stress this enough; this is not meant to replace those who build their nine to ones. It’s an effort to keep guys racing who are on a lower budget.”
A special S.E.A.L. Board of Directors has been formed to help police the sealed engine program. The Board of Directors for the S.E.A.L. program is made up of Scott, Bryant, Hamner, McGunegill, Steve Einhaus of the ASA Midwest Tour and 51 Sports, creators of Speed51.com.
There are many more announcements to come regarding this program. However, if you would like more information regarding Sealed Engine Alliance Leaders, please contact R.J. Scott at (303) 748–1811.