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South Point Racing To Run PME Engines In Season's First Two Events

South Point Racing and Kroyer Racing Engines announced today that the No. 77 South Point Chevrolet driven by Brendan Gaughan will be powered by PME engines built by Mark Smith for the first two races of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.

“I’ve been with South Point Racing since its inception, and it ripped my heart out to make this decision,” said Kevin Kroyer, owner of Kroyer Racing Engines and longtime engine builder for the South Point Racing team. “But with the late season change to Chevrolet, we’re simply running out of days on the calendar to perfect our engine program.

“We’ve worked so hard. We went with Mark because we know that he’s worked hard on the Chevrolet engines for years. We’ve won races and Mark has won races and championships (2002, 2003). It was a natural fit for us.”

Smith’s engines will be under the hood of the No. 77 at Daytona International Speedway and California Speedway.

“This in no way is us saying that we don’t support Kevin Kroyer or Kroyer Racing Engines,” said Tom Buzze, General Manager of South Point Racing. “This has been a tough decision on everyone because Brendan has always run Kevin’s engines in his off-road buggys and in the trucks.

“Kevin’s engines have won nine races in the trucks, and he was engine builder of the year in the series in 2003. We have all the faith in the world in Kevin and support him 100 percent, but time has been working against us this year.

“Both the team and the engine shop were behind when we decided to change to Chevrolets, but it’s easier to build trucks than to develop engines. So, Mark Smith is doing us a favor to get us through the month of February.

“Kevin will be at the races tuning the engines for us, and his Kroyer Racing Engines will be back under the hood at Atlanta.”

Although the move to Chevrolet has paid dividends with engineering support and in the team’s performance on the race track in testing, the switch has not been easy for the engine shop. Kroyer has spent many days and nights running research and development on their Chevrolet engines, but time has been ticking away.

In addition to building a new Chevrolet engine program, Kroyer has also been busy with his off-road racing engine program. In November, a team carrying his engine claimed the SCORE Trophy Truck championship for the second consecutive season. He has also competed in and won the overall title in his first off-road race of the 2007 season with 11 vehicles running Kroyer Racing Engines.

With all the additional work and the strain on time, Kroyer decided to lease engines from Mark Smith and PME and use the extra time to develop his engine program.

“I’ve been with this team from the beginning, and this is one of the best teams that has ever been here,” Kroyer said. “I’ve seen the trucks that are coming out of this shop. I’ve watched the over the wall guys practice pit stops. I saw how good we were in testing at Homestead and at Lakeland.

“I believe that this team will do well in Daytona, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win at California. I don’t want for Kroyer Racing Engines to be the hold up on keeping these guys from winning.”

Smith hopes that his engines will lend the horsepower to help the South Point Racing team get off to a strong start in their new Chevrolet Silverados.

“It’s a pleasure working with Kevin and the whole South Point team through their transition to Chevrolet,” Smith said. “With South Point's background and professionalism and the driving talent of Brendan Gaughan along with our background hopefully we can put forth a winning effort in the first two races of the 2007 season. We know that Kevin and his engine group are fully capable of handling things after California, but we also know that sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the days before Daytona to physically be prepared. We thank them for the opportunity to help them out.”

© 2006 Cyber Speed Design