By AJ Carney
The Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC) invites PRI Trade Show engine builders and engineering professionals to the Engine Builder Happy Hour. Sponsored by PAC Racing Springs, the mixer will be held Wednesday, December 6, from 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m., outside the Sagamore room in the Indiana Convention Center. The event will bring together attendees for a special networking event that will recognize the contributions of motorsports engine builders. Light hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be available.
Meet the honorees:
Jeremy Wagler: U 40 Engine Designer Award
Jeremy Wagler has always been into engines, and has a true passion for the world of diesel. After owning an automotive repair shop for 10 years, he pursued his dream of developing an aftermarket cylinder head for a well-known diesel engine.
In 2011, Wagler Competition Products was established with the development of an aftermarket cylinder head for the Duramax engine. Wagler Competition Products continues to research and develop innovative performance parts for various diesel engines.
Wagler stays true to his slogan of “pushing the limit, setting the standard” with the DX500 all-billet diesel engine, which was his response to finding the limit to the Duramax engine.
Jon Kaase: Engine Builder Honor
Jon Kaase started competing in drag racing while still in high school. He moved to Atlanta at the beginning of 1977 to work for Dyno Don Nicholson, and by year end, he celebrated the move by claiming the NHRA Pro Stock title.
In November 1979 in Norcross, Georgia, the degreed engineer formed his own company, Jon Kaase Racing Engines. Later, in 1998, he designed a purpose-built shop and moved his business to Winder, Georgia, where the company operates today.
Around 2007, the firm expanded its operations into the hot-rod market when it introduced the Kaase Boss Nine—a high-performance engine series developed from Ford’s big-block 385 series and equipped with HEMI heads. In 2010, the P-38, a new high-performance small-block series based on the Ford Windsor engine, was introduced. Both engine series continue to enjoy strong sales throughout the United States and Australian markets.
Kaase has created race engines that won a dozen Pro Stock championships, won the Engine Masters Challenge five times and presided over the company that bears his name for almost 36 years.
Paul Hoskins: Engine Builder Honor
Paul Hoskins joined Gray Motorsports at the conclusion of the 2013 season. He grew up in the ’70s in Detroit, where automobile racing and performance products were growing in popularity. Right out of high school, Hoskins began working in a machine shop, and before long, he was doing machine work for the noted M&M Boys Racing team of Richard Maskin and Andy Mannarino. Eventually, Hoskins was working full time for Maskin’s Dart Heads.
The 15 years of experience at Dart working on the NHRA Pro Stock engine programs paved the way for collaboration with engine builder Nick Ferri and Mike Edwards Motorsports, where Hoskins spent six years before joining Gray Motorsports. He has been an integral part of four NHRA Pro Stock world championships: in 1996 and 1997 with Jim Yates, 2000 with Jeg Coughlin and 2009 with Edwards. Hoskins’ time at Gray Motorsports includes 12 national event victories, with six of those in 2017.