When they finished as runners-up in 2006 it was a genuine feel good story of exceeded expectations. When they won it all in 2007 it was an amazing display of teamwork.
Now that they’ve repeated as champions, every other NASCAR engine builder in North Carolina should be aware that “No, this is not your year and, you know what? Next year might not look good either.”
“It” is the MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown and “they” are Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman from Pro Motor Engines. For the past two years, they’ve completely humiliated all competition in the tiered, four-round competition that highlights the knowledge, skills and, most of all, speed of professional engine builders who assemble performance engines for NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams.
Since getting into the competition as relative unknowns (to the outside world, anyway) Borem and Hoffman have done nothing but break each successive record build time. In fact, teams from the upper echelon NASCAR Sprint Cup teams as have been humbled by these two quiet competitors.
But though the typical race fan may not recognize them or the logo on their shirts, Pro Motor Engines is well respected in the racing community. Borem and Hoffman (as well as the other employees at Pro Motor Engines) are responsible for building and maintaining a total of 90 prize winning motors in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series, ARCA (including the motors for teen phenom Joey Lagano) and NHRA Pro Stock.
Of course, when you’re as strong a team as Borem and Hoffman, the rumors start to fly: Some say they have a room at their shop in Mooresville, NC, with nothing in it but a 357 c.i.d. Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup on which they practice blindfolded for hours every day. Some are calling for mandatory performance enhancement testing to be implemented because there’s no way anybody could be that good, darn it!
All I know is that I’ve been to every MAHLE Engine Showdown for the past six years and this Pro Motor Engine team has been amazing. They dominate their competition (this year building, starting and running their engine in 15 minutes and 59 seconds, the first time a sub-16 minute build was recorded) with a handshake and a smile on their faces.
They remind me of a lot of Engine Builder readers. Times may be tough, but when you hang in there and do the right things, success will come.