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SCCA Mazda Engine Builder Trusts Only AMSOIL

Championship Engine Builder Trusts Only AMSOIL

More than 1,080 miles covering six states separate Jesse Prather Motorsports, in Topeka, Kansas, from Virginia International Raceway.

And yet Jesse Prather’s influence at the track in October for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) annual “Runoffs” was unmistakable as an estimated 20 cars had one of his motors under its hood. In 2017, that number was 32. And two of those cars won national championships that year.

Top driver becomes top engine builder

That’s all to say that Jesse Prather is a big name in SCCA road-racing circles, particularly for competitors at the Runoffs, the SCCA’s biggest event. Many of them source their engines from Prather’s shop, where he puts his wealth of racing experience to work.

Although Prather has raced himself, winning three SCCA national championships, and has built race cars, today he mostly builds high-performance engines. He’s developed a niche building Mazda engines, but he also builds Honda, BMW and other foreign-made engines.

No doubt his father’s experience racing British sports cars for parts of three decades played a part in Prather’s career. Prather’s father opened a racing shop in Kansas around 1990, where Jesse worked for 10 years. It was there he started working on Mazdas.

“A customer wanted me to build a rotary engine for his RX-7, and it just kind of snowballed from there,” Prather said. His success behind the wheel laid the foundation for his success as an engine builder.

“[When you win], people want to know where you’re getting your equipment from. I built it all myself, so that’s how I started this business.”

AMSOIL Break-In Oil key to success

Today, Prather runs his own business, and AMSOIL products are a huge part. In fact, every engine that leaves Jesse Prather Motorsports is shipped with AMSOIL Break-In Oil inside the crate. It was this product that drew Prather to AMSOIL several years ago.

“I was looking for an oil that would seat rings properly, but that I could also run hard on the dyno,” said Prather. “With a lot of the break-in oils out there at that time, you couldn’t run the engine hard on the dyno because it couldn’t take the heat that we put them through on initial break-in.”

Break-In Oil (SAE 30)

Engine break-in is vital to building a championship racing engine. If the piston rings don’t seat properly against the cylinder wall, engine compression can suffer, reducing horsepower.

In Prather’s case, engine design posed additional challenges.

“We used forged pistons with thin rings to reduce drag in the bottom end of the engine,” he said. “I used to always have a lot of trouble getting these rings to break-in to the cylinder wall.”

Prather tried several techniques to solve the problem, but AMSOIL Break-In Oil proved most successful. “Now the rings seat in the first 10-15 minutes versus having to run an engine 2-3 hours before the rings seat – and sometimes they’d never seat,” he said.

“Every single engine I ship has AMSOIL Break-In Oil shipped in the crate with the engine. It’s a required step to using a Jesse Prather Motorsports racing engine.”

Jesse Prather

Racing oil just as important

Prather’s use of AMSOIL products doesn’t end after break-in.

He recommends AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Synthetic Racing Oil in his engines due to its excellent wear protection and heat resistance.

(Should you use racing oil in your daily driver? Find out here.)

“Even after running fairly high oil temperatures during a race, the oil does a good job absorbing the contaminants we put it through,” said Prather.

Most customers have their engines rebuilt after two years or 20 hours. It’s then that he sees DOMINATOR’s excellent performance first-hand.

“When I get these motors back, I see that the bearings have been protected. We don’t have bearing scuffing. We don’t have bearing deterioration. I don’t see extensive wear in some of the chain-driven camshafts. I don’t see excessive wear on the bore or on the pistons.”

“It’s amazing; it just works. And we abuse it. This oil gets abused day in and day out.”

Jesse Prather

DOMINATOR® 10W-30 Racing Oil

Prather’s use of AMSOIL extends beyond the motor.

He uses Synthetic Manual Transmission and Transaxle Gear Lube in all synchronizer-equipped transmissions. He also uses SEVERE GEAR® Synthetic Gear Lube in the differentials and some transmissions not equipped with synchros.

As Prather says, wear protection is the key to a good differential fluid, particularly in high-demand racing applications that undergo tremendous pressure. And SEVERE GEAR meets his demands.

“Even up to 300°F (149°C), SEVERE GEAR doesn’t break down; it continues to protect. It can take the heat and it still protects those gears.”

Jesse Prather

New Easy Pack for simple differential oil servicing.

AMSOIL isn’t just for racing

Prather makes sure his customers know just how well AMSOIL performs.

“I tell them it does the best job protecting their engine, period. I’ve been around racing for 40 years, and I tell them it works the best for what we’re doing with these cars.”

“I’ve seen the least amount of wear in the engines and the best protection of any other oil I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a lot over the years.”

Jesse Prather

While Prather has notched plenty of wins on the track, he derives more satisfaction from seeing his customers win.

“I’ve had a customer win a national championship every year for the last multiple years,” he said. “And that really is what drives me to keep pushing.”

As with many AMSOIL users, Prather’s initial positive experience with one AMSOIL product convinced him to try others. He now uses AMSOIL products in everything he owns with an engine.

“I’ve expanded into using AMSOIL in all my engines, from my lawnmowers, to my RV, to my skidsteer, to all my family’s vehicles. I use it exclusively. I don’t have any other oils in my shop,” he said.

And the reason he uses it, as his customers have found out, is that it simply works.

“That’s all that matters to an engine builder. It’s not about being loyal to a certain company – it’s about what works. I trust AMSOIL exclusively with all my racing engines,” said Prather.

AMSOIL-Sponsored Chase Sexton Takes Supercross Crown

AMSOIL-Sponsored Chase Sexton Takes Supercross Crown

As I plopped down on the sofa with my second cup of coffee Sunday morning, I tuned the DVR to watch the Supercross finals from Vegas (#centraltimezoneprobs). I knew two things from watching heats and LCQs the night before:

1. Those whoops were pretty gnarly.

2. With temperatures steadily approaching triple digits during the day, the track was drying pretty fast, making it super slick.

But, I also knew that GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda’s Chase Sexton just had to finish in sixth place or better to secure his first 250 Supercross championship.

Championship within reach

Even if Justin Cooper (who sat 10 points behind Sexton) were to win the East/West Shootout, Sexton would secure his first championship by finishing at least sixth in the main event. Mimicking the patient, controlled riding style he’d displayed all season, the GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda rider sailed through in the top five, ultimately crossing the finish line in fourth place and securing a 250SX East Championship.

Initially slated to run in the East Coast series, Sexton switched to the West a week before the start of the season after an injury to Christian Craig. After breaking his collarbone while riding his mountain bike, the 2018 Rookie of the Year switched again back to the East. Cameron McAdoo stepped in, filling his vacant spot on the West.

Patience pays off

Consistently riding in control throughout the season, Sexton landed his first career win in East Rutherford, N.J. After an injury took front-runner Austin Forkner out of the title running in that same round, Sexton moved into first place with just the finale left to go.

Shop AMSOIL Dirt Bike Products

Qualifying second Sexton headed to the final in Vegas knowing what he had to do. In addition to Sexton’s championship, GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda riders RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo capped the team’s night with second- and third-place finishes, respectively.

“It feels super good; it hasn’t really sunk in yet, being 19 years old and winning my first championship is unbelievable.”

Chase Sexton

“It was the longest 15 minutes plus one [lap] I’ve ever done; track was gnarly. Yeah, it was a super-sketchy track, and the whoops were gnarly. [I] had some moments with my teammate, and there were some hay bales knocked out on the track. It was really hard to decide if it was a good move or bad move, but it couldn’t have worked out better.”

Riding high from the championship fumes, the attention now turns to the outdoors with the opening round of Pro Motocross from Hangtown in Sacramento, Calif., just more than a week away.

As always, be sure to tune into our FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see how #TeamAMSOIL is doing and where we are off to next.

We’ll see you at the races!

Take a Ride Around the Milestone MX Track

Take a Ride Around the Milestone MX Track

Hunter and Jett Lawrence have had quite the journey to American motocross.

After following the path of other successful Aussie riders like Chad Reed and Andrew McFarlane, they traveled to Europe to transition their careers to a larger scale, eventually landing on the AMSOIL/Honda and GEICO/Honda teams for the 2019 season. With his Supercross season delayed by a broken collarbone, Hunter Lawrence decided to get some laps in at the AMSOIL West Coast Open Swap Moto Race Series. With little brother Jett tagging along, the two went bar-to-bar this past Sunday on the main track. Meanwhile, over on the amateur track, the Pee Wees were ripping it up, with an all-out battle to the finish line.

Swap Moto Race Series

AMSOIL is the presenting sponsor of the Swap Moto Race Series. Formerly knowns as Transworld Motocross Race Series, the Swap Moto Race Series runs a unique two-track format, which shortens the race day for riders in its 60-plus classes. The series also boasts free transponders and low entry fees. Consisting of three separate “mini series” (West Coast Open, Terra Firma, Fall Classic), the entire series runs from January through December. Racers travel to some of the most notable tracks in Southern California. Check out a series schedule here.

Check out last weekend’s track setup at Milestone MX Park below.

This past weekend we took a trip out to California to check out the third round of the AMSOIL West Coast Open at Milestone MX. We caught up with the Lawrence brothers, checked out some racing on both tracks and learned a little more about what the series has to offer. Head on over to our Instagram to check out our highlights from our visit.

Shop AMSOIL Dirt Bike products

As a part of our sponsorship with the series, AMSOIL will be offering contingency at the end of each of the three mini series. Gift certificates will be awarded for eligible classes for first through fifth place in the following amounts:

1st $200.00 and a Preferred Racer Membership
2nd $150.00 and a Preferred Racer Membership
3rd $75.00 and a Preferred Racer Membership
4th $50.00 and a Preferred Racer Membership
5th $50.00 and a Preferred Racer Membership

At the end of the day after about 40 classes had finished their motos, the Lawrence brothers went one/two (Hunter, Jett) in the 250F class. The brothers had some competition in the Pro Open (125-450) class, with Hunter finishing in second and Jett in third.

Be sure to tune into our FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see where we’re off to next.

We’ll see you at the races!

Why Steve Scheuring Chooses AMSOIL

This Man is Living His Dream: Why Steve Scheuring Chooses AMSOIL

We all have dreams. Maybe it’s a trip across America on a Harley. Or the backcountry sledding trip of a lifetime. Maybe it’s climbing boulders and crossing ravines in a 1943 Willys Jeep. For Steve Scheuring, it was building a championship-winning Snocross team.

One day, 21 years ago, Scheuring decided to go for it. And he’s never looked back.

Today, Scheuring is a man living his dream.

It’s about racing and the community

Even though starting the team and giving up a nice paycheck was a gamble, Scheuring’s drive and determination ultimately paid off. His professional snocross and side-by-side riders regularly climb the podium at events around the country.

Scheuring believes in his people. His goal is not just to be the fastest (although that certainly helps), but to build a team in which his community can take pride. Every autumn, racers flock to his 23-acre industrial park in Aurora, Minn., where Scheuring maintains a practice track complete with multiple snow-making machines.

When he’s not racing, Scheuring chases wildfires for the U.S. Forest Service. It’s fair to say Scheuring runs on adrenaline.

AMSOIL and Scheuring: more than just logos

Scheuring’s relationship with AMSOIL goes beyond the AMSOIL logos on his semi or race vehicles.

AMSOIL has sponsored Scheuring Speed Sports since day one. Scheuring credits AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Synthetic 2-Stroke Racing Oil for saving his snowmobile following a coolant failure during a Snocross race.

In 2017, Lincoln Lemieux was 14 laps into the 20-lap race and going strong. Then he started slowing down and losing power. He pulled off the track and drove back to the trailer. The heat from Lemieux’s Ski-Doo RS600 engine was overwhelming. “There were parts of the engine that melted,” said Scheuring. “You could smell that antifreeze had gotten hot. Everything was just hot. That’s the best way I can describe it. Just hot.”

It turned out a $1 clamp had broken, separating the coolant lines and causing the engine coolant to pump from the system. The rubber O-rings that separate the cylinder from the head also melted, which caused the engine to lose compression and power. “There were a few other gaskets that actually melted inside the motor,” said Scheuring.

AMSOIL DOMINATOR Protects Scheuring’s Ski-Doo

In stock condition, Lemieux’s engine produces about 130 hp, but the team relies on piping, clutch, carburetion and other modifications to increase power by 20 percent. The modifications and lack of coolant exposed the engine to intense heat far beyond standard operating temperature.

“I believe 100 percent the reason that motor lived was because of the AMSOIL products.”“We go above and beyond the capabilities of these motors. If they fail they cost us money, they cost us time and they cost us races, and we can’t afford to lose any of those,” said Scheuring.

As Scheuring puts it, DOMINATOR Synthetic 2-Stroke Racing Oil saved his engine. “We’ve worked with AMSOIL the last 20 years developing two-stroke oils for our race sleds,” said Scheuring. “In my opinion, I believe 100 percent the reason that motor lived was because of the AMSOIL products.”

So, whether you’re riding the trails this weekend, or revving up the horsepower of your hobby car, we at AMSOIL love enabling you to pursue your passion.

Amsoil Products Help Team To Podium Finish In 24-Hour Motocross Race

AMSOIL PRODUCTS HELP TEAM TO PODIUM FINISH IN 24-HOUR MOTOCROSS RACE

Each fall, the world-famous Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif. holds one of the most grueling races in motocross – the 24 Hours of Glen Helen. Last October, Justin Dyar, of Chandler, Ariz., and four of his friends mastered the narrow canyons and tamed the wild trails to finish second in their class. And they credit AMSOIL products with helping them reach the podium.

 

A tough race for tough riders

Motocross is challenging enough in broad daylight. Imagine riding in the middle of the night.

That’s what awaits competitors in the 24 Hours of Glen Helen. Last year’s race, which took place Oct. 14-15, 2017, featured a nine-mile course that required competitors to ride every kind of terrain imaginable at the Glen Helen Raceway complex, including single-track, rock washes, ridges, an off-road truck racing track, narrow canyons – even the parking lot. “It gets pretty gnarly out there,” said Dyar. “There are parts where you’re going through canyons just barely wider than your handlebars.”

Riders began the course at 10 a.m. Saturday and rode continuously until 10 a.m. Sunday. “Going through those canyons at night is pretty sketchy because you might be turning right, but then you have a left turn ahead of you, so you go into a lot of the stuff blind,” said Dyar. Injuries are common, especially at night. This year, Dyar came up on a rider in the middle of the night who had fallen and broken his ankle in the canyons. “It’s a race, but it’s also survival,” Dyar said. “Everyone just wants to get to the finish line.”

Teaming up

Dyar, who started riding BMX as a kid before graduating to motocross, first competed in the 24 Hours of Glen Helen in 2015. The team didn’t finish due to rider injuries, but the experience whetted his appetite for more. So he approached four of his friends with whom he’d grown up riding dirt bikes and suggested they form a team. AMSOIL Dealer and lifelong family friend Paul Gullo, owner of Gullo’s Garage in Queen Creek, Ariz., was one of the team’s sponsors.

One dirt bike, 24 hours

The team used a lone 2005 Honda* CRF450R for the race, although rules permitted the class in which the team competed to use up to six bikes.

Dyar and his four teammates (Anthony Samora, Garrett Maxwell, Chase Thomas and Zach Burgett) structured the race so each rider completed two laps, then stopped to refuel and switch riders. That gave them just under an hour on the bike at a time. “You’re tired, but you’re not fatigued to where you’re falling down when you get into the pits,” said Dyar. During the night, each rider would take a short nap after his laps. “Somebody would wake you up when the guy before you went out so you could start getting dressed just so if he had an issue after a lap, you could hop on the bike,” said Dyar.

Although the bike had low hours, Dave Maxwell of Mesa, Ariz.-based X2 Motorsports, one of the team’s sponsors, rebuilt the motor prior to the race for peace of mind. The bike was essentially stock, with no performance upgrades.

When Dyar installed AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil (DB40) in the engine and transmission, Maxwell asked if he was 100 percent confident in the oil. Dyar said he wouldn’t run AMSOIL in his bike if he didn’t truly believe in it. Having failed to finish the 24 Hours of Glen Helen in the past, Dyar wasn’t about to jeopardize his latest attempt with a questionable oil.

Maxwell also suggested stopping to change oil midway through the race. The bike essentially runs non-stop for 24 hours, generating tremendous heat and placing elevated stress on the engine and transmission. Maxwell was also concerned about the clutch standing up. But the team elected to forgo a mid-race oil change based largely on Dyar’s confidence in AMSOIL products.

“I know it’s a torturous race, but I’ve never had an issue with AMSOIL my entire life,” said Dyar. “I had confidence that the oil wasn’t going to leave me stranded in the desert.”

Flawless performance

Other than adding a little oil to the engine an hour or so into the race, the Honda didn’t use any oil throughout the 24 hours. Plus, the transmission required no top-offs and the bike continued to start on the first kick all race long.


“I had confidence that the oil wasn’t going to leave me stranded in the desert.”


Dyar and his teammates rode through the night, methodically moving their way up the leaderboard. On the final lap Sunday morning, after nearly 24 straight hours of grueling riding, they passed the team ahead of them with just a few minutes to spare to move from third to second place in their class, finishing the race on the second step of the podium. “If I didn’t have the confidence in AMSOIL that I do, I would have probably wanted to have done an oil change at some point in the race, which would have taken about five minutes,” said Dyar. Instead, they pulled into second place with only two or three minutes left in the race.

“Without a doubt, if we would have had to change the oil, there’s no way we would have gotten second,” he said. “We want to thank everyone who sponsored our team because we literally couldn’t have done it without them,” said Dyar.

Throughout it all, AMSOIL Synthetic Dirt Bike Oil performed just as well as the riders. Despite Maxwell’s initial concerns about the clutch holding up, the oil delivered confident clutch feel and performance all race long, with no fading. “He [Maxwell] was thoroughly impressed by the end of the race.” said Dyar. “That clutch was solid the whole time,” he said. Other teams weren’t so fortunate, including one team that had to replace a clutch in the middle of the night.

Dyar’s confidence in AMSOIL products started when Gullo used AMSOIL products during an oil change on Dyar’s 2013 Ford* F-150. “I put 15,000-20,000 miles on an oil change and the stuff comes out just fine,” said Dyar. He was so impressed with the results, he started using it in his dirt bike, too. He just upgraded to a 2017 Ford Raptor*, which will soon be converted to AMSOIL products.

“It’s not let me down; it’s a strong oil,” said Dyar. “It’s nice running with the confidence that you’re not going to have an issue out at the track from the oil going bad,” he said.

Although rules for their class allowed up to six bikes, the team used a lone 2005 Honda* CRF450R for the entire 24-hour race.