$10,000 Engine Option Opens Doors for New Teams in Division
By Mike Mallett
WEEDSPORT, N.Y. – Dec. 29, 2015 – After a full year of testing, the Wegner Motorsports W-16 Engine is approved and ready for implementation in the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series. For less than $10,000, the engine will be legal at all DIRTcar sanctioned facilities as well as in the 358-Modified Series in 2016.
The new combination will allow drivers to enter the division while giving those already in competition an economical option.
“What we wanted was an alternative for the Sportsman guys moving up as well as for drivers who are already in the division and looking for an economical option,” said Mike Perrotte, DIRTcar director, series and sanctioning. “This isn’t for everyone, but it is affordable and will keep more people racing. We’ve seen what the GM Performance option has done to grow the Sportsman ranks and we hope to help some of them move up to the 358-Modified division.”
The engine combination was tested and tuned throughout the 2015 season at Merrittville Speedway with the assistance of Randy Slack Racing, Bobby Slack at Bicknell Racing Products and former Super DIRT Week champion Billy Dunn. The group worked with Perrotte to find the right combination to make the engine competitive against other options available in the division. Their efforts proved successful as Dunn was able to capture three feature victories during the season.
“A lot of tinkering around went into this to get it where it needed to be,” Bobby Slack said of the combination. “It’s a middle-of-the-road priced engine and we wanted it to act like that. After getting some smart people involved we were able to sort things out and make this a viable solution.”
The team made numerous changes to get the engine to a point where it could compete with more expensive engines. Slack said that the engine is not for everyone but offers an alternative for those looking to move up without investing more.
“I don’t want a guy with a built engine to have a disadvantage and the way it is set up right now he doesn’t,” Slack said. “There is still a bit of an advantage with an open engine but this engine isn’t at that much of a disadvantage where you wouldn’t use it.”
Dunn, who drove the car all season, will return in 2016. After putting the engine through its paces to test reliability and improve performance, Dunn said he was impressed with where they ended up.
“We spent half the summer changing intakes, cams, exhaust and getting it competitive, and by the end of the summer we were,” Dunn said.
The goal of the new program is to increase accessibility to the series and grow 358 car counts throughout the Northeast.
“My realistic goal is this year to get five or six guys to move up from all the race tracks from Sportsman cars and other divisions,” Slack said. “Maybe every year we can get a few more and eventually have a full field.”
Bicknell Racing Products will be the official exclusive supplier of the W-16 Engine. Rules will be strictly enforced with the engines which will feature official “DIRTcar” cable seals as well as tape seals that contain a QR Code to track the engine serial numbers through the website. Much like the current rules in the Sportsman division, those caught cheating their engines will face severe penalties.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found online by clicking here.
Those looking for information about the engine can contact Mike Perrotte at (704) 796-4566, or email him firstname.lastname@example.org. Purchasing can be done by calling Bicknell Racing Products at (716) 285-7502 (USA) or (905) 685-7223 (Canada).
The Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners including Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Chevy Performance Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, Pole Position Raceway and Dig Safely New York. Contingency sponsors are ASI, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix, ButlerBuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, FX Caprara, Fox Shox, Impact Race Products, Intercomp, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, Enginesports Safety Systems, MSD Performance, Racing Electronics, Superflow, TNT Rescue and Wrisco Aluminum.