On occasion, Kahn Media’s car PR has an effect on the lives and hobbies of auto enthusiasts. When we heard Pro Mod drag racer John Scialpi had been disqualified from competition at Auto Club Dragway due to excessive noise above the new 85db sound limit but had found a solution with Flowmaster prototype mufflers that would get him back into competition, we called Louis Brewster at the San Bernardino Sun.
Brewster had previously written a number of stories for The Sun about local noise complaints stemming from the noise created at Auto Club Dragway, as well as the lawsuit and construction of a 1,800 foot long sound wall to shield local residents from thundering burnouts and excessive engine noise. Kahn Media felt it was important not only to give Flowmaster good automotive PR, but for other racers facing similar issues to know about this exhaust solution.
The Sun ran this story Saturday March 29th and it can be viewed here:
By Louis Brewster, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 03/29/14
FONTANA >> John Scialpi is a drag racer. He’s not in the class of those going down the straight line for a living — the most famous of which is 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force — but he enjoys the roar of the engines, the smell of burning rubber and the adrenaline.
So he was not happy the day he was disqualified from an event at the Auto Club Dragway, located on the grounds of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. His supercharged 1957 Chevrolet Pro Mod racer car exceeded the decibel requirement at the track, a key factor in the court ruling that shut down the track for almost two years.
“I consider it to be my home track,” said Scialpi, a resident of Phelan. “We get the strip back and I find out I can’t race.”
So Scialpi set out to correct the situation and help out the track at the same time. If successful, ACD could possibly expand its schedule to not only include Pro Mod cars such as his, but also the high-powered NHRA Lucas Series alcohol cars.
“We’re taking baby steps,” said Tracy Fischle, the drag strip’s manager. “We have to make sure we can operate with our limits. If we do that, then we’ll think about the future. This weekend will the first major test of the 85 decibel limit. The National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) is hosting a two-day meet at the quarter-mile strip, with 11 classes competing. On Friday, with sound monitors in place around the venue, Scialpi was able to pass the sound test, with major help from Flowmaster.
Scialpi is using a prototype baffled muffler from the Santa Rosa-based company that reduced his sound level from 95 to the passable 85.
“It gets more quiet as it goes down the track,” said the 57-year-old Scialpi, who has been drag racing since high school. “We knew we were on the right path when we were able to get under the limit in our initial testing in Fontana.”
Flowmaster is working with various track across the country who are also battling noise issues.
“We’re thrilled that we could help John get his car back into competition,” said Nate Shelton, CMO of the company. “The races wouldn’t be the same without it.”
Racing specialist Nick Tauber, who worked on the project with product specialist Ronnie Olson, revived and updated an old Flowmaster muffler to help Scialpi.
“We were tinkering around and we finally figured it out. We’re always trying to improve our designs.” said Tauber. “The most noise is generated by the motor and drive train at the launch.
“I think we have saved a few race track across the country,” Tauber said about his company’s success rate. “There are tracks all over the country that have the same issues like Fontana, including Watsonville and Roseville.”
Said Shelton: “Flowmaster is committed to helping keep the sport of auto racing alive.”
Thus far, only street legal drag racing has been featured at the strip located on the northen edge of the Auto Club Speedway property. To settle a lawsuit, ACS built a 24-foot wall, 1,800 feet in length to reduce the decibel levels.
Ironically, last weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club reached 110 decibels, but that was within the initial San Bernardino County requirement.
“We’re trying hard to have happy neighbors and happy racers,” said Fischle, a long-time sportsman racer. “Gillian (Zucker, track president) and Ray (Wilkings, ACS operation manager) have worked very hard to make this work.
“The wall is doing its job. We’re excited about this weekend.”