The 2006 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown preliminary rounds on May 2, 3 and 4 opened with a bang. The Showdown build record was once again broken and a mix of Showdown veterans and rookies advanced to the third round of competition.
The competing engine builders assembled 357 cubic inch Ford engines similar in design to those used by NASCAR’s Ford race teams. The first round of the Showdown, which was held May 2 and 3, served as a qualifying round. The eight fastest times advanced to Round Two beginning the head-to-head competition.
Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Motorsports long time Showdown participants and 2004 and 2005 Showdown Runners-Up, set another new engine build record during the second round of competition. The former record of 18 minutes and 54 seconds set by Maiwald and Parsnow in 2005 was shattered with their new record setting build time of 18 minutes and 45 seconds.
“We feel like we let ourselves and our entire team down in the finals the last two years and we want to redeem ourselves and make a point,” said Mike Maiwald of Hendrick Engines. “Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t won the title yet and now that the trophy bears Randy Dorton’s name, we want to bring it home.”
The first build saw last year’s Showdown Champions Danny Lawrence and Greg Gunnell of Richard Childress Racing build against first-time Showdown participants Chris Moroch and Mark Cuzzen of Penske-Jasper Engines. While Lawrence and Gunnell gave their usual impressive performance, when the smoke cleared, Moroch and Cuzzen advanced to the third round with a time of 21 minutes, 19 seconds.
Next up, Randy Ping and Mike Kasch of Roush-Yates Racing Engines built against Danny Emerick and Jay Wiles with Hendrick Motorsports. As past Showdown participants, Emerick and Wiles fought hard, but Ping and Kasch (one of the first Showdown champions) took the build with a time of 20 minutes, 20 seconds.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow met Jim Snyder and Dan Begle of Roush-Yates Racing Engines in the third build of Round Two. While Snyder and Begle gave a solid performance, they couldn’t hold a candle to veteran participants and new record holders Maiwald and Parsnow. Maiwald and Parsnow advanced to Round Three with their new record Showdown build time of 18 minutes, 45 seconds.
The final build of Round Two saw Showdown Rookies Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series engine shop, Pro Motor Engineering – against Mike Lanci and Jesse Hardee of Chip Ganassi Racing. Lanci and Hardee posted an impressive build time of 21 minutes, 30 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to hold Borem and Hoffman out of the third round with their outstanding time of 18 minutes, 57 seconds.
The winners of Round Two received cash awards of $1,500 and will proceed to Round Three on May 22, 2006. The winners of Round Three will receive $2,000 and proceed to the fourth and final round on May 23, 2006. The final round will be held at NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC, and is open to the public.
The final round’s runner-up will receive a cash award of $5,000. The first-place winner will receive a cash award of $20,000 and the title of 2006 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown Champion. The winning team will also be immortalized alongside past Showdown Champions on the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.
Race fans and engine building enthusiasts will be able to check the results of the various rounds by going to the Clevite Engine Parts website at www.engineparts.com, then clicking on “Motorhead Heaven.” In recent years, Showdown fans have been able to view highlights of the Showdown on the Speed Channel, and this year will bring another nationally televised audience to the most exciting 20 minutes in Motorsports.
Since 1990, Clevite Engine Parts has presented the Clevite Engine Builder Challenge Series in which NASCAR’s top engine builders compete to see who can assemble and run an engine the fastest. In 2000, the series developed into a structured and tiered competition with a total prize package worth more than $50,000 and has become a huge hit with both engine builders and racing fans across the country.
Clevite Engine Parts is a division of Dana Corporation and provides a wide scope of under-the-hood products for the global replacement parts market, including Clevite engine parts, Clevite 77 engine bearings, Victor Reinz gaskets and Perfect Circle piston rings. In addition, Clevite, Clevite 77, Victor Reinz and Perfect Circle are exclusive NASCAR Performance Products. Clevite’s Internet address is www.engineparts.com.