Meet Gressman Powersports, 2016 Engine Pro SOD Engine Builder of the Year


Each year, Engine Pro recognizes the Sprints On Dirt Engine Builder of the Year.  Gressman Powersports is the 2016 recipient of the award for its high level of craftsmanship and dedication to the Sprints On Dirt racing community. Scott Gressman was presented with the award at the 2016 Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP Awards Banquet by Engine Pro representative Dain Naida.
Gressman Powersports, located in Fremont, Ohio, provided Brian Smith with the power and durability to win the 2016 Sprints On Dirt championship.

Gressman Powersports is a full service engine shop specializing in cutting edge engine technology.  It has the necessary resources to make your engine program competitive, and your racing season successful.  Gressman Powersports builds a variety of engines in a wide range of cubic inches.  Each engine is designed around the customer’s specific needs, whether it’s a strictly regulated class specific competition engine, or a warmed over street engine.  SOD’s new, unlimited format opens up new possibilities and an expanded market for Gressman Powersports.

sprint-engineGressman Powersports sprint car engine

From its modest beginnings in 1998, founder and owner Scott Gressman has seen his business grow from a one man shop, to a high tech engine development facility with a full staff of very talented and dedicated employees.  Each employee has their own area of expertise, and everyone works as a team to ensure that each engine meets the customer’s expectations, as well as their project deadline.

Gressman Powersports understands the investment racers make, not only in your engine, but in their racing program as a whole. They design your engine to be the best value for your intended budget.  As  a Gressman Powersports customer, you will get the service you expect, and the quality you demand.  Gressman Powersports takes great pride in every project that passes through its doors, and will settle for nothing less than optimum performance.

For more information about Gressman Powersports, go to the Gressman Powersports Facebook page and its website at http://www.gressmanpowersports.com/.  For more information about Sprints on Dirt, go to the Sprints On Dirt Facebook page and www.sprintsondirt.com.


2016 Engine Pro SOD by ARP Banquet Honors Champion Brian Smith


The Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP 2016 Awards Banquet took place at the Battle Creek (MI) Holiday Inn on Saturday, November 5.  A night packed with light-hearted fun and heavy-weight awards capped off a great 2016 season with the crowning of Brian Smith as champion.

sod-big-trophyMerritt Speedway 2016 SOD Championship Trophy

The drivers honored at the banquet will forever be remembered as those who made the new, unlimited Sprints On Dirt one of the most memorable changes in sprint car racing history.

SOD president John Naida served as event host and emcee and opened the festivities by recognizing SOD promoter partners Butler Speedway, Crystal Motor Speedway, Hartford Speedway, I-96 Speedway, Merritt Speedway, Thunderbird Raceway, and Winston Speedway.  Lexi Adgate, a competitor in a handful of 2016 SOD events herself, then began the presentation of trophies and awards.

Special Awards

Award Recipient Category
Appreciation Dan McCarron Sprints On Dirt marketing services
Appreciation Motor City Racing Promotions Professional event officials and management services
Appreciation Steve Smith Enhanced payout contributions
Appreciation Robert Flannigan Enhanced payout contributions
XYZ Machining Sportsman of the Year Mark Aldrich Excellence in performance
RockAuto.com Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Justin Ward Excellence in performance
RockAuto.com SOD Series Rookie of the Year Brian Smith Excellence in performance
XYZ Machining Crew Chief of the Year Nathan Whitney Excellence in performance
Dedication to SOD Roger & Pat Holzinger 12 years as SOD officials
Appreciation Engine Pro Long-time professional partnership & support
Appreciation Hoosier Racing Tire Long-time professional partnership & support

Each year, Engine Pro recognizes the Engine Builder of the Year award for its high level of craftsmanship and dedication to the Sprints On Dirt racing community.  The 2016 recipient is Gressman Powersports from Fremont, Ohio.  Gressman is the engine builder for SOD Champion Brian Smith.

2016-engine-builder-scott-gressman-engine-pro-rep-dain-naida-in-front-of-bannerEngine Pro’s Dain Naida presents SOD Engine Builder of the Year Scott Gressman with his award

Rod End Supply and Keizer Aluminum Wheels recognized Brian Smith, Steve Irwin, Mark Aldrich, John Gall, Justin Ward, and Eric Smith for participation in every 2016 SOD event.

The Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge, formerly the MAHLE/Clevite Short Track Challenge, had a very different look for 2016.

The five-race 2016 MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge mini-series gave SOD competitors an opportunity to compete for a separate point fund within the full SOD season series.  The final standings for the BLC Championship are:

Car # Driver Total Amount
1 2+ Brian Smith 677  $  1,000.00
2 0 Steve Irwin 663  $      600.00
3 1A Mark Aldrich 601  $      400.00
4 81 John Gall 539  $      300.00
5 10S Jay Steinebach 509  $      200.00
6 1 Eric Smith 496  $      150.00
7 8 Justin Ward 494  $      100.00

The top twelve SOD competitor members in points were introduced and presented with trophies and awards by Lexi Adgate.

Trophy Presentations

Car # Driver Trophy sponsor
1 2+ Brian Smith Merritt Speedway
2 0 Steve Irwin Pat & Roger Holzinger
3 1A Mark Aldrich Rock-N Promotions
4 81 John Gall Crystal Motor Speedway
5 8 Justin Ward Noizee 1 Motorsports
6 1 Eric Smith Strpko Engineering
7 19 Brett Mann Butler Speedway
8 4T Josh Turner Lane Automotive
9 10S Jay Steinebach Hartford Speedway
10 46 Don Wisniewski for Robert Huisken Sprints On Dirt
11 71H/27 Robert Flannigan for Brad Lamberson Jim Coffey & Son Plumbing & Heating
12 6 Tyler Bearden John & Kathie Naida

Contingency Awards

Recipient Sponsor
Brian Smith MAHLE/Clevite
Hoosier Racing Tire
J&J Auto Racing
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Rod End Supply
Steve Irwin MAHLE/Clevite
Hepner Racing Products
XYZ Machining
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Rod End Supply
Allstar Performance/SOD
Mark Aldrich MAHLE/Clevite
XYZ Machining
Schoenfeld Headers
Maxim Racing
Hoosier Racing Tire
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Rod End Supply
John Gall MAHLE/Clevite
XYZ Machining
Simpson Racing Products
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Rod End Supply
Allstar Performance/SOD
Justin Ward MAHLE/Clevite
Hoosier Racing Tire
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Rod End Supply
Allstar Performance/SOD
Eric Smith MAHLE/Clevite
Simpson Racing Products
Maxim Racing
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Rod End Supply
Allstar Performance/SOD
Brett Mann Maxim Racing
Racing Optics
Kistler Racing Products
Allstar Performance/SOD
Josh Turner Racing Optics
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Rod End Supply
Allstar Performance/SOD
Jay Steinebach MAHLE/Clevite
Racing Optics
Allstar Performance/SOD
Robert Huisken Maxim Racing
Rod End Supply
Allstar Performance/SOD
Tyler Bearden Maxim Racing
Keizer Aluminum Wheels
Allstar Performance/SOD

Hoosier Racing Tire awarded jackets to Champion Brian Smith, RockAuto.com Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Justin Ward, XYZ Machining Sportsman of the Year Mark Aldrich, and XYZ Machining Crew Chief of the Year Nathan Whitney.

Maxim Racing provided Mark Aldrich, Brett Mann, Eric Smith, Robert Huisken, and Tyler Bearden with contingency awards.  In addition, birthday boy Josh Turner was presented with a birthday cake during his introduction.

SOD recognized RacingAwareness.com for its efforts RacingAwareness.com and Racing Awareness Inc. are two separate entities that were created with the sole intent of providing children and their families from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, of West Michigan, who are experiencing or have experienced an illness or injury of a child, a diversion from the healthcare process utilizing the sport of auto racing.  Banquet trophies and awards presenter Lexi Adgate was one of the original kids that Racing Awareness “adopted.”

Attendees were presented with a few facts about the 2016 season.  There were five rain outs and threatening weather on five other dates, but the first season under the new unlimited format was still a great success.  Car counts were equal to 2015 in spite of several no-shows due to weather. The on-track product was exceptional with only one spin out for every 986 laps run.  Seven drivers, Brian Smith (3), Ryan Ruhl (2), Chad Blonde, Stuart Brubaker, Steve Irwin, Max Stambaugh, and Doug Zimmerman, won features.

In spite of only ten events completed, competitors were well rewarded.  Brian Smith was awarded $6,440 in cash and awards.  $1,295 in cash and awards was the least amount awarded to the member drivers present.  Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP awarded competitors $41,110 above and beyond purse payouts in 2016.

Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt presented by ARP would like to thank everyone whose extra effort made the banquet a perfect close to the 2016 season. Thank you to Motor City Racing Promotions Scott Menlen and Laura Tucker for set-up and tear-down.  Thank you to Pat Holzinger and Kathie Naida for handling registration.  Thank you to Wendy Rominger and the staff of the Battle Creek Holiday Inn for their superb facilty and services.  Thank you to Thomas Michael for photographing the banquet.  A very special thank you also goes out to Lexi Adgate for her hard work in distributing the cash and contingency awards.

To see two great photo albums of the historic banquet, click here and here.

2016 race event sponsor partners were Engine Pro (Title Sponsor), ARP (Title Sponsor), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official SOD Tire), MAHLE/Clevite (Beyond Limits Challenge Sponsor), Engine Pro (Lucky Dog Sponsor), Lane Automotive (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), Engler Machine & Tool (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), COMP Cams (Primary Heat Race Sponsor), RockAuto.com (SOD Series Rookie of the Year Sponsor & SOD Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Sponsor), XYZ Machining (Sportsman of the Year Sponsor & Crew Chief of the Year Sponsor), KSE Racing Products (Hard Charger Sponsor).  In addition, SOD event contingency sponsors included: Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, BR Motorsports, Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Kistler Racing Products, License 2 Play, Racing Optics, Rod End Supply, Schoenfeld Headers, and Ti22 Performance.

Engine Pro SOD by ARP 2016 Banquet Quick Look

r & Mrs SOD Champ Brian & Kimberly Smith

Check out banquet pics by clicking here.  Check back as new ones are added.

Full story and details to follow.