ANN ARBOR, MI — Engine builders for the likes of Kevin Harvick, Jeremy Mayfield and Jeff Gordon took part in a head-to-head competition in the third round of the 2004 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown Series, which took place April 7 at the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI), in Mooresville, N.C.
The competing engine builders raced to see who could assemble and run a 357 cubic inch Ford engine – similar in design to those used by NASCAR’s Ford race teams — in the least amount of time. At the conclusion of round three, the builders who won their competitions advanced to the final round, which will be held May 25 at NTI.
The first build of round three saw 2002 Showdown Champion and current record holder, Danny Lawrence build against Lanny Barnes, both of Richard Childress Racing. Lawrence finished with a build time of 21 minutes, 34 seconds. But Barnes earned his first trip to the final round with a penalty-free build time of 20 minutes, 29 seconds.
Paul Vanderlaan of Evernham Engine Technology and Mike Maiwald of Hendrick Motorsports met for the second build of the third round. Vanderlaan posted a final build time of 23 minutes, 3 seconds. However, Maiwald advanced to the final round with a penalty-free build time of 20 minutes, 50 seconds.
The fact that these two great engine builders are meeting in the final round of the Clevite Engine Builder is no coincidence, said Clevite. Both builders were named the 2003 Clevite Engine Builder of the Year for their respective series — Maiwald for NASCAR’s NEXTEL Cup Series and Barnes for NASCAR’s Busch Series.
Each winner in Round 3 received a $2,000 check and will advance to the final round, slated for May 25 at NTI. The Showdown Champion will receive a cash prize of $20,000 and a trophy, while first-runner up will receive a cash prize of $5,000.
This year’s final round, the second build ever to be opened to the public, will once again be an exciting, fan-friendly event. It will include a silent auction sponsored by WIX Filters, which will feature NASCAR racing team items and souvenirs. The final round will be broadcast on Speed Channel. Highlights of this and future rounds will be available on Clevite’s Web site.
The Clevite Engine Builder Showdown began in 2000, and continues today as a tiered competition for engine builders in the NEXTEL Cup, Busch, Craftsman Truck, Grand National Busch North and Grand National West racing series. The competition has a total prize package worth more than $50,000 and has become one of the premier honors in the world of engine building.
Clevite Engine Parts, part of Dana Corporation’s Automotive Aftermarket Group, provides under-the-hood products for the global replacement parts market, including Clevite 77 engine bearings, Victor Reinz gaskets, Perfect Circle piston rings and Clevite engine parts. Clevite 77, Victor Reinz and Perfect Circle are exclusive NASCAR Performance Products.