Dusty Kull

Dusty Kull

Diado Metal USA

I was exposed to engine building and automotive restoration at a young age at Kull Classic Restoration; a family owned and operated restoration business. Along with the family business, my family also had a personal collection of over 25 cars, few of which were world class show cars that had either shown at or been invited to Concours d’Elegance.

During my studies to earn a BSME, I was the lead engineer and Captain of the Formula SAE team at SIUC from 2010-2012. During this time I specialized in drivetrain and un-sprung weight design.

I started my career in engineering as a manufacturing engineer for a Tier 1 supplier for four years before making a change into Application Engineering with Daido Engine Bearings. I have been with Daido for two years, working exclusively with high performance and racing engine builders to develop and optimize bearing design and materials best suited for each application.

Keith Dorton


Automotive Specialists, Inc.

By 1965 Keith struck out on his own as an engine builder when he opened the doors to Automotive Specialists, Inc.  The goal then, as now, was to build race-winning engines no matter what class the customer was racing.  Interestingly, Keith’s very first customer was Ralph Earnhardt, patriarch of the famous Earnhardt racing family.  That was the beginning of a very successful racing relationship.  Seven-time Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) Series champion Dale Earnhardt was one of the driver’s that raced Keith’s stock cars early in his career.  When Dale Earnhardt was dominating the NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series, Automotive Specialists provided him with many of the engines powering those race cars.  And later, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. formed his own race team, JR Motorsports, he too turned to Keith to help produce race-winning horsepower for his teams.

Automotive Specialists was the dominant engine builder in the Hooters Pro Cup Series with numerous Engine Builder of the Year awards and operates a strong engine lease program for the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Series ARCA as well as CARS Pro Cup Series for a number of years.  Keith and Automotive Specialists have also stepped into the world of land speed racing.  Since 2010, Automotive Specialists’ powered cars have broken over 20 SCTA records at the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats.

In 2012, Keith was inducted into the Motorsports Parts Manufactures Council Hall of Fame.  Keith and Automotive Specialists are celebrating 52years of business in 2017.


Ray Evernham

Ray Evernham
NASCAR Hall of Fame 2018 Inductee

Ray Evernham has more than four decades of experience in the automotive and racing industries. He has worked with the biggest names in motorsport history, including Gordon, Andretti, Foyt and Earnhardt, was a vital force in resurrecting the International Race of Champions (IROC) series, won three NASCAR Sprint Cup championships as a crew chief for Jeff Gordon, and partnered with Dodge to build Evernham Motorsports into one of the most successful teams in NASCAR. Evernham has also held many roles in the television industry, including serving as a NASCAR analyst for ESPN and NBCSN and hosting his own television series, AmeriCarna, on the Velocity channel. In 2017, he was selected to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of their class of 2018.

Currently, Evernham consults for Hendrick Motorsports, is an avid car collector, competes in a variety of vintage racing events across the United States and is very active with his foundation, Evernham Family – Racing for a Reason, which funds a community center in Davidson, NC for young adults with high-functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome called IGNITE.

Alan Reinhart

Alan Reinhart

Former Bracket racer and heavy equipment mechanic who has spent time as a crewman on pro and sportsman teams, and five years working in a Pro Stock engine shop.

He has been an NHRA announcer for the past 26 years, the past three of which he is the “Voice of the NHRA”.

Freddie Turza

BIO: Freddie Turza has served for the last 10 years as Senior Technical Director as part of VP Racing Fuels’ Research & Development staff. His time at VP was preceded by a 12-year stint as a NASCAR engine builder for RCR and Labonte Racing.

Turza attended the Automotive Training Center in Exxton, PA, graduating as an Advanced Engine Builder. After a 6-year tour in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Aviation Specialist, he opened and operated his own engine shop for 10 years, specializing in circle track engines and gaining a reputation as a common sense – meticulous engine specialist.

Turza currently focuses on race fuel development, working side by side with project managers and engine builders at GM, Ford, M-Sport, Pat Musi Racing Engines and many others across the U.S. and abroad.

Damon Kuskie

Unconventional Development: Bringing the Pushrod V-Twin into the Modern Era

Primary Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate the benefits of applying technology and ideas from other genres of motorsports to the one we are participating in.
  • Illustrate the advantages of having individuals with disparate backgrounds working together.
  • Highlight cases where it is necessary to go outside of the industry and invent solutions for problems that have been deemed unsolvable.

BIO: Damon’s passion for drag racing and motorcycles started at a very young age, when he was exposed to both by his father. He also took an interest in computers and electronics as a child. This led Damon to study computer and electrical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, eventually graduating Magna Cum Laude.

After graduation, Damon spent the next ten years designing electronic warfare systems at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. This provided invaluable experience in real-time high speed signal processing. Most recently, Damon saw an opportunity to combine the electronics, drag racing, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles that he loves and teamed up with Gregg Dahl at GMS Racing Engines to design and implement modern EFI and electronic control systems for Harley-Davidson drag bikes.

Russ Hayes

How Good Piston Geometry Impacts Horsepower

Learn about increasing your horsepower by reducing blowby and oil consumption by verification of piston geometry. Breakdown the differences between gasoline engines with their rectangular grooves and diesel engines and their keystone grooves.

BIO: Russ Hayes has 30+ years of Piston Design includes manufacture, tooling, cost analysis, R&D, patents, complete dyno testing (50-100-300 hour durabilities, hot scuffs, accelerated wear, piston & head gasket) to in-field testing. This 30+ years has contributed 500+ Piston Applications from redesigns to clean-sheet developments using cast and forged. These include automotive replacement, strip/street performance, oval track, marine, OEM crate performance engines, 2-stroke, motorcycle, OEM automotive, small engine and light/medium duty diesel.

Russ is currently the Product Design Engineering Group Leader at Jasper Engines & Transmissions.

Billy Godbold

Dynamic Valve Event Optimization

Due to the very nature of wave tuning, optimizing valve events is always a dynamic function, even at the most rudimentary level.  However, once we add in the stiffness characteristics of each component and start diving into the varying loads applied to each component over 720 degrees, achieving those opening and closing points becomes significantly more difficult.  Now add in other configuration limits (such as mass flow, traction or pumping losses) and the variables can seem to grow out of control.
In this presentation each of the four valve events will be explained along with an overview of how an engine should respond as each is moved independently of the other three, then several current examples will be given showing how the technique of moving a single event can help improve performance more rapidly than conventional camshaft changes of duration or lobe separation.  Then we will examine how valve train system stiffness, valve spring surge, and pressure across the valve can all move the actual events as RPM increases, hopefully demonstrating why valve train systems continue to evolve towards a maximum stiffness to mass ratio.

BIO: Growing up on a small farm in rural north Mississippi, Billy Godbold had two real passions: science and making cars go fast. So it’s only natural to assume that he would end up building a career in a science-related field while settling into a role as an automotive hobbyist on the side. But that’s not exactly how it all worked out.

Today, Billy oversees a team of 20 talented engineers. In addition to serving as an extremely valuable member of the COMP Cams staff, his many years of experience and natural talent for understanding complex valve train scenarios have made him a trusted source of information for race teams, manufacturers and engine builders alike.

Dave Fussner

Race Winning Piston Technology

Pistons are the heart of every engine. The racing and high performance industry is rapidly evolving, there has been a significant increase in horsepower in recent years. This can only be achieved by increasing combustion pressure, increasing RPM or to a lesser extent by reducing parasitic loss. The piston must endure the pressure and RPM increases, but can also help reduce the parasitic loss.  These are three important attributes of a well-designed racing / high performance piston. This presentation will be interesting to anyone that would like to know the in-depth story of what it takes to make a race winning piston.

BIO: Dave has been at Wiseco since November of 1987, and always in R&D. At the time, Wiseco was just starting a Superbike race team. He lead the development of Wiseco’s first variable shape and ovality profiles for forged 2 stroke and four stroke piston, and authored a piston shape and ovality development manual shortly thereafter.

Dave developed the first modern slipper skirt pistons for Harley-Davidsons. Used successfully in winning 11 AMA Grand National Championships. He also developed the patented method of fitting pistons that allows forged pistons to be installed at the same or less clearance that a cast piston, stabilizing piston secondary motion and improving ring seal.

Gregg Dahl

Unconventional Development: Bringing the Pushrod V-Twin into the Modern Era

Primary Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate the benefits of applying technology and ideas from other genres of motorsports to the one we are participating in.
  • Illustrate the advantages of having individuals with disparate backgrounds working together.
  • Highlight cases where it is necessary to go outside of the industry and invent solutions for problems that have been deemed unsolvable.

BIO: Gregg grew up in Uniontown Pennsylvania, the son of an antique auto enthusiast. Learning at a young age the inner workings of the early Ford engines, Gregg also spent time with a neighbor whose brother and himself built engines and drag raced. This led Gregg to get his first job at a local auto parts store in the machine shop. Later working for NHRA Super Stock standout Harry Sheehan, Gregg began to accelerate his understanding of competition engines.

Gregg has four Outlaw Street National Championships, 30 national records, and several other marks held by customers and team mates including Stacey Bortz who pilots the worlds quickest Harley Street Bike (as of this writing). GMS Racing Engines is now recognized as leader in 45 degree engine and fuel system development. In addition to assisting some of the major manufactures in the V-Twin industry, Gregg has also worked as a contributor for Iron Works, Thunder Roads and Engine Builder Magazines.