Stratasys, a global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, will partner with the Precision Turbo & Engine Pro Mod team. Stratasys Ltd, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., will make its debut in drag racing with the current points-leading team in the NHRA J&A Pro Mod Series at Norwalk, Ohio.
“We’ve been focusing on technology partners for our race team this season; companies that develop parts for Precision Turbo & Engine. Recently we’ve added DMG Mori Ellison Technologies and now Stratasys,” said Harry Hruska, CEO of Precision Turbo & Engine and race team owner. “We take pride in introducing these high-tech companies to the sport of NHRA drag racing.”
Precision Turbo & Engine is taking delivery of a Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D printer, and already has projects assigned to create prototypes planned for manufacturing new aftermarket turbo charger components.
“We have customers that have requested specific components from us, and the Stratasys Fortus 450 gives us the chance to develop and test new ideas before we go to full scale production,” added Hruska.
Stratasys isn’t a new comer to motorsports. The company has been involved with Joe Gibbs Racing and its NASCAR program for several seasons. Eric Bert, Senior Vice President of Sales for Stratasys, has seen the effect of 3D printing technology in NASCAR and is excited to watch the growth into NHRA through the Precision Turbo & Engine team.
Bert noted “Our team at Stratasys along with Computer Aided Technology Inc. (CATI) have been very impressed working with engineers at Precision Turbo & Engine, and we look forward to seeing them develop products using Stratasys 3D printing products and technologies to make the team’s Pro Mod Camaro run quicker and faster on the dragstrip, as well as enhancing their aftermarket turbos for street and performance customers around the world.”
Funny Car veteran Roger Garten passed away June 28 due to injuries sustained in an on-track incident at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield Saturday night, June 27. He was 69.
The Fallbrook, Calif., resident drove a series of popular War Horse entries during two distinct periods of growth in the Funny Car class – the match racing heyday of the 1970s and the more recent Nostalgia Funny Car revolution that hearkens back to the cars of the same era.
Garten began his racing career during the height of the Gasser Wars in Southern California with blown and unblown entries that he fielded with partner Dave Braskett. He then teamed with Mike Tocco and Harry Harper to race a blown, nitro-burning big-block Chevy AA/Fuel Altered until building his first Funny Car, the War Horse Mustang, in 1973. Garten had success on the match race trail and at NHRA events, most notably winning the 1975 Division 7 championship. The partners parked the entry in 1976 to concentrate on their businesses and families.
Having discovered their original AA/Fuel Altered in the 1990s, Garten and Tocco decided to restore it and take it to Cacklefest events. This led to the decision to field another competitive entry, so in 2008, they began building another War Horse Funny Car to compete in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series. Notably, Garten won the 2010 event at Sacramento Raceway in his first season back, 35 years after winning a divisional event at the same facility.
Garten was competitive on the racetrack, reaching the final round at the NAPA Ignitor event at Firebird Raceway this season, and universally well-liked among his peers. His excitement about returning to the sport after a 35-year hiatus, which coincided with his retirement from construction work, was reflected in the endless exuberance he displayed at the track.
Garten is survived by wife Carlene, children Rhonda and Dan, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
NHRA extends its condolences to his family and friends.
The Eric Medlen Memorial Golf Tournament has grown into one of the top charity events in drag racing, attracting the sport's top stars and raising over $250,000 for children.
The seventh annual tournament, which benefits the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent, is slated for Thursday, Sept. 3, this year, just before the U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. Hosted by Morgan Lucas Racing, the tournament returns to Eagle Creek Golf Course in Indianapolis.
Medlen was a very popular NHRA racer before he passed away in an accident during testing in 2007 in Gainesville, Fla. Medlen loved spending time with children, so in his honor Morgan and Katie Lucas founded the tournament in 2009.
"Eric not only was a great racer but a truly great man," Morgan Lucas said. "He loved people and had a passion for helping kids. Katie and I and everyone at Morgan Lucas Racing consider it an honor to hold this tournament and raise money for a truly special place in honor of a truly special man."
An MRI room in the hospital was dedicated in Medlen's honor last year because of the generous sponsors and supporters of the tournament. All of this year's proceeds will go to the St. Vincent House, which supports families whose children are receiving treatment from Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.
The Eric Medlen Memorial Golf Tournament, which benefits the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent, is hosted by Morgan Lucas Racing at Eagle Creek Golf Course in Indianapolis.
Former U.S. Nationals Funny Car winner Gary Burgin died May 24 after a long illness. He was 69.
The driver of the Orange Baron Funny Car, who began his career in the A/Gas Supercharged ranks and famously bragged to have never driven anything on the quarter-mile that didn’t have a supercharger atop the engine, won two NHRA national events and finished in the top 10 five times in his career.
No win was bigger for the Southern California racer than his triumph at the 1976 U.S. Nationals, where he defeated Don Prudhomme in the final round to hand “the Snake” his only national event round-loss that season. Burgin finished a career-high second in the points standings the year before behind Prudhomme.
Burgin continued to race into the early 1980s – finishing fifth in 1981 and seventh in 1982 -- and won again at the 1979 Springnationals, but the rising cost of racing eventually forced him from the cockpit. He went on to serve as a crewmember and/or crew chief for the likes of Jody Smart, Al Segrini, and Tom McEwen during 1984-86 and worked with Swedish Top Fuel racer Pelle Lindelow, which led to a burgeoning business in Europe servicing those racers through his business, Gary Burgin Enterprises, which exported complete engine packages and other related car components to racers around the globe.
Burgin is survived by his wife of 45 years, Gerry, daughters Sara and Reina, and four grandchildren.