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Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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22 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2014 custom-built power steering pump dyno, which allows accu- rate pressure and flow setting, along with a replication of the demands that the driver desires from his steering." Innovation is Always Important As big a universe the term "circle track" encompasses, there are still some general trends the manufacturers believe are worth watching. That includes the health of cer- tain classes. "Late-models tend to be one of the healthiest classes across the board," COMP's Douglas notes. "Even more notable, we are starting to see the FAST EFI technology be slowly integrated into weekly short-track racing. We are working with several sanctioning bodies and engine builders across the country to introduce EFI to the short-track racing level, thus far with great results." Another area to watch, he adds, is the proliferation of turnkey power plants. "Crate engine classes are still very popu- lar, but they have produced very mixed results across the country," he contin- ues. "In some cases they seem to help car counts, but in many other cases it ends up hurting the racing because there are a lot of ways to 'cheat' the sealed bolts, etc. Thankfully, the engine builders, sanc- tioning bodies and parts manufacturers are starting to work together to create alter- native spec engine packages that actually offer better performance, value and dura- bility over the foreign-built crate engines." Jones, too, is watching the crate engine trend closely. "Each year, we see the crate engine market expanding more and more. There are more race tracks allowing this option, more racing series being developed which, in turn, means more drivers opting to go the crate engine route," he says. "Recently, we have teamed up with a new company, CrateInsider.com, whose website is dedi- cated to crate racing in all of its various forms. It features technical and informa- tional articles relating to all things crate and an online forum where questions can be asked and will be answered by industry experts; Jones Racing Products being one of those." Of course, innovation also comes with a higher price tag, notes Rod End's Douglas. "Higher engine costs are one of the major factors (affecting the market)," he says. "Increased shock absorber technol- ogy and higher prices for those shocks is another." PERFORMANCE Circle track racers are pushing products further and further, and will not tolerate parts that 'give up.' (Photo courtesy QA1) (Photo courtesy Rod End Supply) (Photo courtesy Rod End Supply) (Photo courtesy COMP Cams) PHBMAY.indd 22 4/2/14 11:42 AM

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