The final round of the 2006 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown held on Tuesday, May 23, at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC will go down as one of the most exciting and closest competitions in showdown history.
In front of more than 1,500 fans, Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Motorsports made their third straight final round appearance and built against first-time Showdown participants Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman of Pro Motor Engineering.
Both teams stayed neck and neck throughout the entire build, working in perfect sync. Borem and Hoffman fired their engine two seconds ahead of Maiwald and Parsnow, but it cut out after running just a few seconds. Borem and Hoffman fired their engine again… but it was too late. When the noise stopped, Maiwald and Parsnow finally captured the prize that had eluded them the past two years the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.
Maiwald and Parsnow posted a phenomenal build time of 16 minutes, 54 seconds (a new engine build record), with Borem and Hoffman of Pro Motor Engineering posting an equally impressive time of 16 minutes, 59 seconds. The competing engine builders assembled 357 cubic inch Ford engines similar in design to those used by NASCAR’s Ford race teams.
“The energy and excitement at every stage of this year’s competition was the highest we’ve ever seen,” said Ted Hughes, light vehicle brand manger for Clevite Engine Parts. “The Showdown engine build record was broken in each of the last three rounds and two teams that never competed in the Showdown made it to the semi-finals; and one of them Pro Motor Engineering advanced to the final round.”
When asked where he and Parsnow picked up time in the final round, Maiwald said, “Honestly, I can’t tell you where we gained ground. We had experience on our side and have dealt with that pressure before. We knew that the team from Pro Motor Engineering was going to be fast and they forced us to step up our game. I guess you really don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re pushed, but it was an honor for us to build against a team like Pro Motor Engineering who gave everything they had to the competition.”
Maiwald added that his team’s sole motivation was to take home the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. “This was for all of the guys in our engine shop,” said Maiwald. “We felt like we let our team down the past two years, so this is really special for all of us.”
Borem said it was an honor to be invited to participate in this year’s Showdown. “When we first got the call, our goal was to just go out and do the best we could. We never thought we’d be standing here at the finals, building against one of the greatest NEXTEL Cup teams, but we had a great run and feel like we’ve really reenergized this event going into next year. Mike and Shane worked very hard and it’s nice to see the trophy finally go to Hendrick Motorsports.”
For their valiant effort, Borem and Hoffman received a cash award of $5,000 along with runner-up trophies. Maiwald and Parsnow received a cash award of $20,000 and the title of 2006 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown Champion. Maiwald and Parsnow will also take their rightful place alongside past Showdown Champions on the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.
Race fans and engine building enthusiasts can check the results of each round of competition by visiting to the Clevite Engine Parts web site at www.engineparts.com