Ivan Stewart's Protruck Series to Race at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

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The second oldest, consecutively run auto race in the United States will be contested for the 84th time on July 1, 2006. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs is considered to be one of the world’s classic races, second only to the Indy 500.

Ivan Ironman Stewart
Ivan  Ironman Stewart
“The Race to the Clouds,” is known world-wide. Its 12.4 mile course begins at 9,200 feet and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. An annual event since 1916, there are 156 hair-raising turns, 2000 foot drops and no guardrails, yes no guardrails. It is a challenge for the best of the best.

“I’m a little nervous, it’s a very treacherous race,” said off-road racing legend Ivan Stewart. “I’m also very excited.” For the first time, the president of Ivan Stewart Enterprises will be running 20 Protrucks in the race of legends.

Stewart aka “Ironman” has a 28-year racing career resume. Some highlights include 84 career victories, 10 career driver’s championships, 17 Baja 500 wins, 3 Baja 1000 wins and 8 Mint 400 wins. Stewart also holds the record for all-time Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group (MTEG) wins, accumulating 17 victories.

“I love doing my own sanctioning,” he said. Stewart started his own Protruck series years ago, and is currently building vehicle number 47. “The Protruck Series is one of the biggest classes in the history of the Pike’s Peak race. It’s in a class by itself,” he said. “We pick and choose the best races we can find, we also choose the best air filter, and that’s K&N, the world’s best air filter.”

For many years, Ironman raced in the Barstow, California heat on Independence Day in a 250 mile off-road desert race. “This year it was time for a change,” he said. “It was time to race Pike’s Peak.”
Ivan Stewart's Protruck
Ivan Stewart with one of his Protruck's
Rising abruptly from the Colorado plains Pike’s Peak is visible for hundreds of miles. The famous road is part pavement and part dirt. “The oxygen is thin up there,” Stewart said. “K&N filters keep the dirt out and the horsepower in; our reputation depends on it.”

Stewart’s Protrucks are designed to handle the toughest off-road racing conditions. The maximum engine size allowed in this small block V-8 class is 360 CI, with a maximum compression ratio of 9.5:1. There is a choice of Ford, Dodge, Chevy, GMC and Toyota.

“When you are after a win, you want to keep your engine in the best possible shape,” said Stewart. “We run in every form of contamination you can imagine and Protruck uses K&N filters to keep the dirt out of our engines. Protruck engines cost $15,000 to $20,000.”

The Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb is contested by 4 races of cars, 5 classes of motorcycle, ATV quads and modified trucks. The oldest current class is the Open-Wheeled car division which has been run every year since the race began 90 years ago. Famous racers Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser and Robby Unser have all participated over the years and won.

Each Protruck will race the twisting dangerous course that leads into thin air one at a time. The best time wins the race of legends.

Follow Ivan Stewart's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site.  Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your area.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world''s leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit