Weedsport, NY — January 22, 2008 – By Dan Kapuscinski, DIRTcar NE PR and Promotions Coordinator
Cayuga County Fair Speedway, Canandaigua Speedway and Rolling Wheels Raceway Park are fully committed to the crate engine program for many years to come, amidst false rumors that the factory sealed 350-horsepower #8602 engines will be eliminated by GM after 2008.
Bill Martens, Special Programs Manager for General Motors, has come forward after weeks of questioning to say that these rumors are absolutely false.
“GM Performance Parts will continue to supply factory-sealed 350 (8602), 355 (8603) and 400 (8604) horsepower circle track engines to the grassroots racing community in 2008 and into the indefinite future,” Martens said. “The program has grown every year for the past five, and with expanded interest in 2008, we fully expect this pattern to continue for many years in the future.”
Martens believes that simple rumors have spiraled out of control in recent weeks.
“We know that many of these rumors have been created by the same folks that have been trying to undermine the program, feeling threatened by the loss of customers who were no longer able to afford their products. What has been innuendo in the past has now moved to outright false statements.”
Developed six years ago, the GM Performance Parts crate engine #8602 program has strived to keep racers in the sport that can no longer afford to, while also assisting new racers into the sport that may not have major sponsorship dollars.
Since 2005, DIRTcar Racing has seen the effect that the crate engine program can have on weekly competition, and as a result several northeast facilities including Cayuga County, Canandaigua and Rolling Wheels have made the affordable application mandatory in their DIRTcar Sportsman divisions for 2008.
“This program offers our current drivers options to stay in the sport for an extended period of time, and offers new racers an affordable means to get started,” said Cayuga County, Canandaigua and Rolling Wheels General Manager Jack Deery.
For the first time, the 2008 Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series will also make the #8602 crate engine mandatory.
“Crate engines have literally lifted our Sportsman program from near ruins to a thriving short track racing series in just the last three years,” said Cory Reed, DIRTcar NE Director of Series and Sanctioning. “I expect the same incremental gains to continue into the future. Cayuga County, Rolling Wheels and Canandaigua are just three examples of the success being felt throughout DIRTcar NE. It is sure refreshing to have DIRTcar sanctioned pit areas full of racecars while non-crate tracks, series and sanctions fight to maintain competitive fields.”