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AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge.

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AMSOIL Gains Traction Amongst Premier Engine Builders

Builders compete for supremacy at the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge.

In 2010 AMSOIL seized the opportunity to become the title sponsor of an enginebuilder competition now known as the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge (EMC). Engine builders are among the most influential people in racing, making recommendations that have a direct impact on the performance of the vehicles that rely on them. Oil selection is one of these key recommendations. Through the Engine Masters Challenge, premier engine builders gain the opportunity to see and experience first-hand the capabilities of AMSOIL synthetic motor oils.

The EMC has evolved since Popular Hot Rodding passed the torch to Hot Rod magazine in 2014. One new twist is having different categories of engines compete on each day, a transition that began last year and has continued to evolve. This year’s engine classes included a Small-Block Shootout, Vintage, Big-Block Shootout and, for the first time, a Nitrous class. Ultimately, 25 engines were put through their paces during the week-long event.

The engine builders come from all across North America. They represent all levels of experience, from hobbyists to pros in the upper echelons of racing, from circle track and drag racing to tractor pulls and extreme marine applications. The University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) hosts this competition, which was designed, in part, to create content for hot rod magazines.

Events like the EMC have many benefits for all participants. The media gets something to write about, readers learn new performance tricks and sponsors strengthen ties to the builders. In addition, 40 UNOH students receive the privilege of working alongside many of the top engine builders in the country, gaining rare and invaluable experience. The school itself is a beneficiary of the halo effect generated by hosting the week-long competition. The builders have an opportunity to earn money if they win and gain visibility through the media coverage, which helps generate new business.

A major benefit for AMSOIL is the opportunity to work closely with top builders who all experience the capabilities of our products. According to AMSOIL Technical Product Manager – Powersports Len Groom, “The Engine Masters Challenge has been a great fit for AMSOIL. It allows us to validate our products in some crazy, extreme conditions. It also allows us to show these engine builders the advantages of using a high-quality synthetic. Influencing the engine builder is a key component since they hold all the power when it comes to recommending an oil for your race motor.”

Many builders were familiar with the AMSOIL name, but had not yet tried the products. Jesse Robinson of SKM Effects Engines in Summerstown, Ontario was one such builder. “Before Engine Masters, I was aware it was ‘The First in Synthetics,’ but I had never used it myself,” he said. “I love it; I love the stuff. My garage is stacked with it. And I try to promote it to my customers when they have a special need for quality oil that doesn’t seem to break down and protects really well.”

There were several new factors in this year’s competition. First, the school had new SuperFlow dyno equipment installed since last year. Initially promised to be an advantage, it caused delays the first day as the dynos were dialedin and confidence in the numbers was established. Dynamometers are extremely sophisticated pieces of equipment. Their primary functions include data acquisition and engine-control systems. Everything must be repeatable so that the information generated is reliable.

For the uninitiated, here’s how a dyno works. The equipment holds the engine’s power back and takes measurements while holding power. That is, the dyno operator runs the engine through its usable RPM band and measures the torque generated as it sweeps. Rather than use a transmission, the dynos at UNOH use water to provide resistance. Essentially, they’re pumping water instead of moving a vehicle down the road. The dyno measures the power the engine generates while pumping the water.

It’s definitely very different from race cars moving along a drag strip or around a track, but for the builders and journalists covering the competition, it’s exceedingly thrilling to see the innovations implemented to generate power.

This year AMSOIL sent three employees to the competition. In addition to Groom, who provides technical counsel related to the builders’ special circumstances, Advertising Manager Ed Newman and Photographer/Videographer Wyatt Gruben covered the event for social media and print usage.

One of the big takeaways from this year’s EMC was the striking evidence that our presence is making an impact. “In our seven years of sponsorship I have seen the competitors/engine builders transition from skeptical users to wholehearted supporters and endorsers of AMSOIL products,” said Groom. “It’s been exciting to see these guys gain confidence in our products.”

“The AMSOIL EMC provides benefits for Dealers as well,” said Newman. “Hot Rod magazine is one of the most widely read and influential publications among enthusiasts. Our involvement and the subsequent coverage reinforces our credibility. Their editors and writers have seen first-hand how seriously good our products are.”

Groom adds that furthermore, “Engine Masters has helped AMSOIL secure the approval of some of the premier engine builders in the U.S. This allows our Dealers to approach new accounts with real-life information from an influential third party, which gives potential customers peace of mind in selecting an AMSOIL product.”

 

2016 AMSOIL ENGINE MASTERS CHALLENGE WINNERS

Small-Block:

1st – Scott Main/MPG Heads

2nd – Greg Finnican

Big-Block:

1st – Joe Carroll/PTS Racing Engines

2nd – Bret Bowers/Atlas Performance

Vintage:

1st – Ted Eaton/Eaton Balancing

2nd – Chris Bennett/SAM* *School of Automotive Machinists & Technology

Nitrous:

1st – Zackary Nelson/SAM*

2nd – Bret Bowers/Atlas, Team 2 Horsepower King and Torque Monster awards both went to the School of Automotive Machinists.

ON THE BOX WITH JEREMY MEYER

There is enough glitz and glamour in Las Vegas to circle the globe a million times, but that doesn’t stop the automotive industry from trying to bring a little more each November.

The SEMA show is the epicenter of the automotive world each year and everyone spruces up their best projects to put on display for the world. Inside the AMSOIL booth the past few years, there has been plenty of gawking, and we were able to once again grab some headlines and some hardware.

Our friends at Creative Rod and Kustom (Pennsylvania) pieced together a 1968 Chevy* C-10* that artfully mixed the old (classic instrument gauges) with the new (LS3 Crate Engine). The truck drew a crowd, and was the recipient of the Chevy SEMA Design Award for Truck of the Year.

While Vegas can be overwhelming with its bright lights and glitter, classic cool ruled the day at the AMSOIL SEMA booth.

Check out pictures of the truck at amsoilracing.com/partnerships.

 

Mourning the Loss of AMSOIL founder Al Amatuzio

Mourning the Loss of AMSOIL founder Al Amatuzio

Mourning the Loss of AMSOIL founder Al Amatuzio

As many of you have heard, we lost AMSOIL founder, Al Amatuzio, at nearly 93 years of age. His life was a classic David vs. Goliath illustration of the American Dream. We honor the life of a visionary leader, innovator, and legend that defied convention.

Click here to read about the man that shaped an entire industry, and founded AMSOIL.

 

A Legend Passes

The man who brought synthetic lubricants to the automotive market leaves a legacy of innovation

AMSOIL INC. company founder and Chairman of the Board Al Amatuzio passed away on Friday, March 31, 2017 at nearly 93 years of age. His life was a classic David vs. Goliath illustration of the American Dream. He was raised poor in a rough neighborhood, achieved distinction in military service and toppled giants on his way to forever changing the lubrication industry. Amatuzio touched many lives through his business ventures and charitable endeavors. In fact, whether they know it or not, Amatuzio has affected the lives of nearly every driver in the world, for it was his vision that brought synthetic lubrication to the automotive market.

It was during his time as a fighter pilot and squadron commander that Amatuzio conceived the notion that cars, trucks and other land vehicles could benefit from synthetic lubricants. “They all thought I was at altitude too long without oxygen,” Amatuzio would joke. The naysayers were many, but Amatuzio had developed an unmatched tenacity through years of trials.

As a child in the Great Depression, Amatuzio’s entrepreneurial nature emerged. He peddled newspapers, sold magazines, collected scrap iron and devised any number of ventures to help support the family through difficult times. But his real love was flying. Every day he would wait to watch the white Sikorsky mail plane fly overhead on its way to touch down on the St. Louis Bay just off of Lake Superior. He would wave to the pilot and dream of the day when he, too, could take to the air. His dream was realized when, at age 12, his father bought him a one-dollar ticket for a short ride in a Piper Cub. Amatuzio’s dream became ambition.

After graduating high school in 1942 Al attended Naval Air Corps training. But just as he was making his mark as a trainee pilot the Navy announced it had overestimated its need for pilots and closed the Program. Disappointed and uninterested in another type of Navy career, Amatuzio joined the Merchant Marine. It was aboard the SS Fisk Victory that he survived the great Okinawa storm that sent 42 ships to the ocean floor.

After the war and eager to renew his pilot training, Amatuzio joined the Air Force, now recently separated from the Army and reorganized into its own distinct branch of the armed forces. He was a natural and made a profound impression on his instructors. Amatuzio earned his wings, then fate pulled him in another direction. His mother became ill, and he had to leave the service to run the family-owned Gitchinadji Supper Club.

Still burning with desire to fly, Amatuzio joined the Duluth unit of the Air National Guard. He served 25 years as a fighter pilot and squadron commander and was twice honored as our nation’s top pilot by winning the prestigious William Tell Air-to-Air Shootout Competition and the Earl T. Rick Competitive Shootout.

It was then that Amatuzio became inspired by a new challenge. Armed with the knowledge that every jet engine in the world could survive only with synthetic oil, he reasoned that the same performance benefits could be applied to the vehicles and equipment people depend on every day for work and fun.

At the time, oil quality was poor and engines did not last long. Then-modern oils were susceptible to breakdown in high heat and contributed greatly to hard-starting in cold weather. Amatuzio had a vision to bring a better option to market. The skeptics didn’t just think it was impossible, they thought it was unnecessary. They had a “good enough” attitude, and they considered conventional oil to be good enough.

Amatuzio ignored the skeptics. He wanted to do something for “the little guy.” In 1963 he began an intense period of research and development. By 1966 he had formulated his first synthetic motor oil, and throughout the sixties he continued development and sold synthetic oils under a variety of names. In 1972 AMSOIL synthetic motor oil became the world’s first synthetic motor oil to meet American Petroleum Institute service requirements. Al Amatuzio had single-handedly changed the entire automotive lubricant industry.

The concept was foreign to the lubricant and automotive manufacturers of the time. They did not want synthetic oil and didn’t believe cars needed it. They resisted what they viewed as a disruptive product. Amatuzio was ridiculed for peddling his “fake oil.” After they began to recognize the superiority of the product introduced by the unknown man from northern Minnesota, they went on the attack. Falling back on the instincts he developed growing up in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood and through military training, Amatuzio fought major corporations and Big Oil companies in multi-year lawsuits. Through sheer determination and relentless fight, Amatuzio beat the odds to build a company widely regarded today as a technological leader in the field.

Amatuzio’s affinity for the little guy and his drive to bring consumers a better choice led to the formation of the AMSOIL Dealer network. When he was finally able to get his new synthetic motor oil in stores, it languished on the shelves next to its much cheaper conventional-oil counterparts. Consumers hadn’t heard of synthetic oil and didn’t understand its benefits. That all changed with the founding of the Dealer network in 1973. Amatuzio’s Dealers were able to convey the benefits of synthetic lubricants much better than simple product labels, and the company grew exponentially. They were little guys, just like him, and they helped build AMSOIL.

In 1994, Amatuzio was formally recognized and honored as the pioneer of synthetic lubrication with his induction into the Lubricant’s World Hall of Fame. In 2005 he was again honored with the Nachtman Award from the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association (ILMA). The Nachtman Award is ILMA’s highest honor, recognizing the achievements of those who have made unique and significant contributions to the independent lubricant manufacturing industry.

Today, the company he founded carries on with Amatuzio’s vision – to provide consumers with a better option, to be the best and to support the little guy. What the critics deemed unnecessary and ill-conceived when AMSOIL was founded is now required by many vehicle manufacturers. Because of Amatuzio, consumers have improved choices from Big Oil, their vehicles last longer and advanced automotive technologies that would have destroyed yesterday’s motor oil are possible. Because of Amatuzio, thousands of little guys across North America have the opportunity to make money selling high-end products. Because of Amatuzio, the world is a better place.

We are proud to honor his legacy and continue living his values today.