Ryan Partin, the Orlando, Florida sprint car racer has been rolling hot all season, running up front in every race so far. Being up front so often appears to have reassured him of one thing - he's a winner. Last weekend at North Florida Raceway Partin ran away with the Top Gun Sprint Series Feature. He also had a heat win, giving him a clean sweep for the evening.
Ryan Partin takes over the points lead at the same spot he took it last year on his way to the championship.
Although Partin has a full race schedule planned for this year his primary focus is on repeating as Top Gun Sprint Series Champion.
"We have had a strong car all year, but with the equipment changes we made in the off season, it has taken some time getting everything to gel just right," remarked Partin.
"Our engine program has been one of the weakest links for the team, forcing us to rely heavily on our chassis program to keep us up front. The team has been working so hard this year to squeeze out every last bit of horsepower, knowing that's what it's going to take to capture another championship this season. Going into this last race we knew that we would have a couple more ponies, but the guys found a whole stampede for me. This made the car such a hotrod to drive and I practically just cruise it to the win."
After once again running fast during practice, and then winning the heat race over the points leader, Partin and his team were only hoping that officials wouldn't call the race on account of rain.
"I was hoping that they wouldn't call the race, knowing that we had one heck of a car and this could be the night that we would take the points lead. The whole pit area was standing in turn two, staring at the track wondering what it was going happen, when they made the announcement to resume racing. When my dad came back with a chunk of the track's clay, smiling, we knew that we had the setup for this one. Then I was informed that I had the pole, and I got that feeling that this was my night - just don't screw it up."
This is Partin's first season with K&N and the experience has been nothing but positive. He says his dad though has been using K&N oil filters on his sprint cars for quite some time now.
"Failure is not an option for us," says Partin. "We run for championships on a tight budget, so we ask a lot out of the products we use. With dirt sprint car racing, the environment isn't ideal. Rocks, dirt, high rpm's, and some nights anything else you can think of is on the track. Here in Florida our dirt tracks contain a lot of sand in the clay, which has always been a big issue with air filtration. We have tried a couple different types of air cleaners and air boxes, but kept having the same problems - more filtration, less flow, which killed our horsepower. More flow, less filtration lead to having grit and sand in the injection stacks, which meant more rebuilds."
"At the end of last year, I went to the PRI show in Orlando and met Bob Harris. I spoke with him about the issues we were having and he turned us on to the Carbon Fiber Injection Stack Air Box. This was something we should have done a long time ago. The air box was lighter, less maintenance, and it provides all the air the engine can eat.
Partin will also be running with some other sprint car series in and around his region. And, there's also a trip planned to race for the first time in Australia during the winter. But his biggest goal is to win the Top Gun Sprint Series Championship again this year.
"With this win we took the points lead, which is the same way we took it last year, and we never lost it. We have been in the top five all season, so this really proves that if we keep digging, we can find the speed we need to win."
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