EMC Director of Competition, Wes Roberson (left), and PHR's publisher, Ed Zinke, have a br
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I'm not oe to cavalierly hand out compliments, but when the Jegs Engine Masters Challenge concluded October 9, I was extremely grateful to a lot of hard-working folks who put an incredible amount of time and effort into making it a success. Any current or prior competitor can attest to the amount of preparation that takes place, whether that's for rules clarification, venue logistics, sponsor involvement, or manpower. We can come up with wonderful ideas for contests all day long, but without key people to implement them, we'd be dead in the water. To that point, there's one person who I'd like to thank for making the EMC become a reality: our publisher, Ed Zinke. He's not on the editorial staff, but he's just as passionate for the Engine Masters Challenge as any of us. Ed really "gets it," and because of that, you benefit.
Besides Ed, there are some other notable folks, without whom none of this could've happened. My sincerest thanks go out to the wonderful people at the University of Northwestern Ohio, whose venue we use for the event. UNOH has a top-notch facility in Lima, Ohio, with some incredibly hard-working instructors and students. While there's plenty of thanks that need to go around to the UNOH students and faculty, I particularly would like to thank Paul Higgins, Randy Lucius, Andy O'Neil, and Tom Grothous of UNOH for making this event not only successful, but fun, too. If you are a young person considering a career in high performance or motorsports, UNOH is like a dream come true. (How many universities do you know of with a skidpad and a dragstrip launching pad in the parking lot? Can you imagine doing that in your school's parking lot and getting extra credit too?)
Another person who I can't say enough good things about is EMC Director of Competition, Wesley Roberson. As a longtime NHRA tech inspector, many of our competitors have known Wes for years. In the months leading up to the EMC, Wes devotes many hours answering the technical questions of our competitors. During the event, Wes keeps things running smoothly and metes out judgment calmly and equitably. Unfortunately for Wes, when he's doing his job really well, it means you don't hear about it in print or on the message boards. Once again, while the magazine staff makes many of the over-arching decisions about the structure and intent of the competition, it is Wes who largely turns those loose ideas into hard and fast rules that can be enforced. Lastly, it is Wes who orchestrates the teardown and post-event inspection of the competition engines. His NHRA experience has proven invaluable in this regard; his reputation of having a super sharp eye in the NHRA tech area keeps many competitors on the straight and narrow. Without Wes, this thing called Engine Masters doesn't happen.
I'd also be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to the rest of the gang. Big props go out to Steve Dulcich, Robert McGaffin, Jenny Schmitz, Erica Presley, Yasmin Fajatin, Jake Hairston, RJ Sledge, and Michelle Turczyn for all their hard work before and during the Engine Masters Challenge too.
The week of Engine Masters is a whirlwind of activity. Stuff happens so quickly and in different places, I sometimes wonder if I'm capturing everything. It's the ultimate target-rich environment for a gearhead, sort of like being a kid in some insane toy store. The best part about it is that the hard, passionate work of all these people-before, during, and after the competition-means that I have the freedom to move around in it easily, grabbing stories; talking with competitors, sponsors, vendors; and bringing you the best hardcore engine tech in the business. Thanks guys!