GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine Has Successful Results

Discussion in 'Crate Late Model Series' started by jdearing, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. jdearing

    jdearing Administrator Staff Member

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    By Roby Helm
    CARTERSVILLE, GA – The GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine has had a great deal of success in 2010 super dirt late model competition by several drivers racing against engines that cost four times more. National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN and David Webb of Nicholasville, KY have totaled 15 victories with the economical engine.

    Johnson has posted seven victories against some of the toughest competition there is in super dirt late model competition in both sanctioned and non-sanctioned races. The “Chattanooga Flash” posted a convincing win on October 3 at the Alabama State Championship Race at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, AL with the all-aluminum engine based off the Corvette street engine.

    In Southern All-Star Series competition, Johnson has three wins with the first coming on March 19 at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, GA followed by victories at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL in the Mike Head Jr. Memorial Race on July 31, and at Lavonia Speedway in Lavonia, GA on September 18.

    Other wins came at North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth, GA on July 3 at the Midseason Championship Race, and on August 28. Johnson also posted a win on August 7 at River Valley Speedway in Arkadelphia, AL. In all, Johnson has seven wins, five second-place finishes, two fourths, one fifth, and one seventh in 16 starts.

    “I’ve had good success this season with the GM Performance CT 525 Engine,” Johnson said. “With the money we’ve won with the CT 525, it has paid for itself twice over. It’s a good piece and the least expensive way to go super late model racing. I’ve had a lot of calls from all over the country about the CT 525, and I tell them this engine is for real.”

    The GM Performance CT 525 is available at NeSmith Chevrolet in Claxton, GA for $7,195 and race-ready with everything except carburetor for $9.750 with free next-day delivery anywhere in the Southeast. For more information, or to place an order, call Tim Bland at NeSmith Chevrolet at 1-877-497-3624, or visit them online at www.nesmithnow.com.

    Johnson not only likes to tell people about the low price, but also about the durability of the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine.

    “The CT 525 engine has been trouble-free, and all we have to do is the required maintenance,” Johnson said. “My CT 525 has over 600 laps on it, and it’s just as strong as it was the day we put it in the race car at the beginning of the season.”

    Webb turned in eight victories in 34 races with 20 top five finishes with his GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine. He finished second in the NASRA point standings and had two wins with that series. Webb competed at 20 different tracks from ¼-mile to half-mile in length during the 2010 season.


    “I love this GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine,” Webb said. “I’ve got a high-dollar open motor, but I have run the CT 525 engine 95 percent of the time this season. For what we’ve got in the engine cost-wise, it has paid for itself several times over.”

    Like Johnson, Webb also is quick not only to boast about the performance of the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine, but also raves about the durability of the economical racing engine.

    “We ran this engine in 34 races this season, have never touched it other than changing the oil, and it seems to get stronger the longer we run it,” Webb said. “If we ever wear it out, we’ll call NeSmith Chevrolet and get a new one and get it the next day for the same cost it would take to refreashen a high-dollar all-aluminum open motor and wait three to four months to get it done.”

    Several other drivers competed in 2010 super late model competition with the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine with good results. Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, GA, Eric Cooley of Fulton, MS, Larry Boutwell of Baker, FL, and Ross Martin of Talladega, AL all posted top ten finishes in super late model main events.

    Turner, one of the top stars in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series for dirt late models powered by the GM Performance 604 and 602 Crate Engines, used a CT 525 to make his debut in super late model racing at Columbus Speedway in Columbus, MS on January 23 with impressive results.

    After missing the set up in the preliminary events, Turner made the main event of the Winter Classic through the B-Main race and started 19th. By lap 21, Turner had used the torque of the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine to propel him to the lead of the race. A late-race caution sealed over the tires on Turner’s race car, he lost two spots on the restart and ended up finishing third.

    That performance by Turner rose more than a few eyebrows in that a driver making his first ever super late model start could run up front with the new economical engine.

    GM Performance and NeSmith Racing continue to work towards making dirt late model racing affordable with the CT 525 Spec Engine. The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series that uses the economical GM Performance 604 and 602 Crate Engines have kept dirt late model racing affordable for weekly tracks and racers.

    NeSmith Chevrolet in Claxton, GA is offering special rebates on GM Performance 604 and 602 Crate Engines through December 31, 2010, or while supplies last. These engines are sealed at the factory to prevent any expensive modifications and are used as the powerplants in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series and Weekly Racing Series.

    The NeSmith Chevrolet everyday low price for the aluminum-head 400 horsepower GM Performance 604 Crate Engine is $5,295, but with NeSmith Chevrolet’s special instant rebate of $300 the price is $4,995.

    The NeSmith Chevrolet everyday low price for the steel-head 350 horsepower GM Performance 602 Crate Engine is $3,295, but with NeSmith Chevrolet’s special instant rebate of $200 the price is $3,095.

    Race cars powered by the GM Performance 602 Crate Engine receive a 150 pound weight break for NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS competition. The GM Performance 602 Crate Engine is also used in Street Stock and Hobby Stock Divisions at most NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series sanctioned tracks. See your local track’s rulebook for details.

    These are instant rebates off the purchase price with no forms to mail off and no waiting. The instant rebates are just a part of “No Hassle” buying at NeSmith Chevrolet in Claxton, GA, the number one GM Powertrain Dealer four years running, and the title sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, the nation’s leader in affordable dirt late model racing.

    Now the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine has given racers an economical way to be competitive and have a chance to win in super late model racing as proven by Ronnie Johnson and David Webb. This engine has come a long way in a short period of time through the efforts of General Motors engineers and racing personnel.

    The success of the economical GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine, and the GM Performance 604 and 602 Crate Engines is a tribute to the late Bob Cross, the General Motors Project Engineer that developed the engines to give circle track racers an economical way to go late model racing. Tragically, Cross lost his life in a highway accident earlier this year.

    Cross had worked closely with the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series over the past five years with the 604 and 602 engines to develop a technical process through sealing bolts that prevent any expensive modifications to the engines in an effort to keep a level playing field. The CT 525, the 604 and the 602 are built and sealed at the GM factory.

    The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series developed a network of over 50 Certified GM Performance Crate Engine Rebuilders that can repair and freshen the engine, and then reseal them to insure the engines remain within the factory specs and tolerances. Cross developed a sealing bolt with a special encryption device that curtailed any duplication of the bolts.

    GM also issued “remand” sealing bolts for rebuilt engines, but as the popularity of the engines grew, the factory could no longer handle to large demand for them. NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series officials went to work to develop their own seals for rebuilt engines that could be accounted for by serial numbers. Series officials had already developed a computer database for rebuilt crate engines.

    By the end of the 2008 season, NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Founder and Director Mike Vaughn decided to revisit an old idea for dirt late model racing. The CT 525 was the engine Vaughn originally wanted to use as the platform for the NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS when he founded the series in 2005.

    “The CT 525 engine has been around for a while, as it basically a stock Corvette production engine,” Vaughn said. “In 2005 I was looking to start a more affordable dirt late model series with an economical engine, and the CT 525 engine was the engine I wanted to use. I talked to GM Performance, and they said they would give us support if we used the 604 and 602 crate engines, as they had yet to develop the CT 525 for racing application.”

    Vaughn began the NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS in 2005 using the GM Performance 604 and 602 Crate engines. In five seasons, the series has grown with both a National Tour and a Weekly Racing Series. Economically, there was still a big price and horsepower gap between the 400 horsepower $5,000 604 engine, and the 700 horsepower $30,000 open engine.

    Cross, GM Performance, Vaughn and his Technical Director Tim Sims had not forgotten about the CT 525 engine, and they began to develop the engine for racing application by late 2008. The gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in super late model racing is now being narrowed.

    National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame car builder C.J. Rayburn joined the Research and Development team in 2009, and they all sent to work on taking the CT 525 and putting it on the race track in super dirt late model competition.

    “We’ve did a lot of development work with CT 525 Spec Engine during the 2009 season, and with the weight break and the bigger spoiler, we proved it can compete with an open motor for one-third of the cost,” Vaughn said. “This engine can be bought, race-ready with everything except the carburetor from NeSmith Chevrolet in Claxton, GA for under $10,000.”

    Vaughn enlisted input from several drivers, including some of the top super late model drivers in the country, in the development of the GM Performance CT525 Engine.

    “Mike Marlar and Aaron Ridley won super late model races with the CT 525 during the R&D process, and drivers like Ronnie Johnson, Skip Arp, Rodney Wing, Larry Boutwell, and Jake Knowles were all impressed with the performance of this economical engine,” Vaughn said. “NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series driver Matthew Turner has found that this engine has made it possible for him to move up to super late model racing economically, and be competitive right out of the box.”

    A pair of veteran super dirt late model drivers, National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee Billy Moyer and Johnny Stokes continue to test the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine with plans to compete with the engine in 2011.

    “I raced super dirt late models for years, but the cost of the open engines made me go crate late model racing for a couple of years,” Stokes said. “The GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine has made it possible for me to get back into super dirt late model racing at an affordable price. I can spend $7,000 on an engine and compete with $30,000 to $40,000 open engines.

    Stokes, who in addition to being a competitor is also a track promoter at two Columbus, MS dirt tracks, said he has had a lot of interest in the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine from competitors, weekly track operators and sanctioning bodies. He said the biggest point of interest is the price.

    The low price of the engine gets their attention, and went they come over and look at the engine, it just makes them more interested,” Stokes said. “This engine can bring super dirt late model racing back to the weekly level. I’ve had sanctioning bodies from outside the Southeast call me asking me about the engine.”

    Cross and Sims worked together on developing a new more secure sealing system for the GM Performance CT 525 Engine that would enable to detect any unauthorized tampering of the seals in the field with a hypo-glyph system. A computer database identifies each seal in each engine, matching up the serial numbers of the seal and the engine along with the location of seal on the engine.

    “The legacy of Bob Cross lives on through the GM Performance 604 and 602 Crate Engines, and the CT 525 Spec Engine,” Vaughn said. “Not only do these engines lend themselves to great competition on the race track, but one important thing Bob Cross designed into these engines is durability. We have teams that just completed their third season with GM Performance Crate Engines with the original factory sealing bolts in them, and the CT 525s in active competition have been trouble-free.”

    In just two years, the GM Performance CT 525 Spec Engine has come from an R&D Program to a winner on the race track in super dirt late model competition at a very affordable price for competitors that range from rookies to Hall of Famers.

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