THE SHOP

Performance Business - May '13

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Automotive Specialists came up with a combination of an intake manifold that worked with a restrictor plate for an engine that won the Daytona 500 in 1990. rated engine achieve 900 horsepower. That's nearly three times the power that was possible when he started. Dorton has seen the industry incorporate technological advancements from the aerospace and aircraft industries as well, among others, to gain advances in power as well as engine longevity. "When I started and even way on into our years in business, engine failures were a regular happening on the NASCAR track. That was one of the biggest causes of a car not finishing the race," he says. "Now it's a rarity when you have an engine failure in that type of racing, and that's trickled down all the way to the short tracks." He says it's not as difficult as it once was to keep up with the newest technology. "Over the years, you had to make your own technological advancements versus getting on the Internet and checking on a part," Dorton says. "We had to take what was there, modify it and hope it would work and last." He says technological changes such as the advent of the Internet have worked in the industry's favor, but makes it more difficult to keep unique ideas under wraps. "I guess the only negative part of it is that a lot of us in this business, when we would find a camshaft profile or a cylinder head design for an intake combination that really worked, we went to a lot of effort to keep it to ourselves. But that knowledge leaks out awfully quick now," Dorton says. He recalls coming up with a combination of an intake manifold that worked with a restrictor plate for an engine that won the Daytona 500 in 1990. "I found the combination for this manifold that was worth a lot of power, but me and my son, who was super-young at the time, were the only ones that ever saw how the whole thing went together," he recalls. By creating as much as they could inhouse, ordering a number of parts locally and contracting with a company in San Francisco with no connections to racing to mass-produce parts, Dorton says he was able to keep the design in-house for more than a year. Automotive Specialists (www.automo tiveSpecialists.com) had 20 engines with the intake manifold combination in Daytona that year and ultimately won the big race. Jack of all Engines Dorton says Automotive Specialists' business comes in cycles, and it tends to move with the times, rather than focus on just one type of engine. "When I look back over all the years, there would be times where a big percentage of our business would be for NASCAR. Then all of a sudden, a big part of it is late-model dirt. Then you get into drag racing or whatever," Dorton says. Whether it's from Ford, Chevrolet or Chrysler, or whether it's for NASCAR, a Midget car or a hot rod, Dorton doesn't discriminate when it comes to engines. Automotive Specialists has even built Motorsport. Defined. The standard in motorsport engineering with a storied history of innovation and elite performance spanning over 25 years, STACK represents the pinnacle of function and design. Trusting your passion to anything less is simply not an option. World Class Instrumentation www.stackltd.com PB03 © 2013 Auto Meter Products, Inc. May 2013 PBMAY 2.indd 29 n Performance Business n 29 3/29/13 10:17 AM PB03 Performance Auto & Sound 4.875 x 7.125" 4 CLR

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