Keith Dorton

Keith Dorton

Automotive Specialists


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.