Tuesday, October 01st, 2019
When it comes to sealing the engine in a fire-breathing, ground-pounding 900-horsepower dirt late model racing for a king’s ransom, nothing can be left to chance.
And, when you earn your living competing at the highest level against the best dirt racers in the country, engine failures simply aren’t an option.
In 2007 Shane McDowell, one of the most respected crew chiefs and team owners in the industry, was introduced to Cometic Gasket and since then, McDowell’s famed No. 17M driven by brother Dale McDowell, has been sealed by Cometic.
“The bottom line is we’ve had zero failures with any Cometic products. Zero,” explained McDowell. “We’ve been using Cometic gaskets exclusively since 2007 because the quality of the part is genuinely second to none. Racing is our livelihood. It’s how we make our living so engine failures can really put us in a bad spot. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about gasket issues.”
When it comes to the powerplant, McDowell turns to the legendary engine builders at Clements Racing Engines. As long-time Cometic customers, the team at Clements utilizes a three-layer MLS (multi-layer steel) header gasket that features elevated temperature and corrosion resistance so it can withstand the abuses that come with being a race engine.
Cometic exhaust manifold gaskets are durable in the most extreme environments and don’t require extra sealants, which also makes a life for McDowell a little less complex at the race track.
“The Cometic exhaust gaskets are huge time savers,” continued McDowell. “It’s just a more user-friendly part. A lot can happen when you have to scrape a bunch of old silicone off of a cylinder head. You can cut a spark plug wire, some of the old silicone can fall down in the exhaust ports or you can gouge the cylinder head casting. The Cometic gasket takes all that out of the equation. At the same, the gaskets last about twice as long. Those are must-have parts for us.”
At the same time, the 17M is outfitted with Cometic’s three-layer MLS head gaskets, featuring a 300 series hard stainless steel complemented with a high temperature blended polymer to keep the cylinder heads properly sealed to the block.
“Our partnership with Cometic has been a cornerstone of our program,” said McDowell. “When you have partners like Cometic who continue to up their game as we keep trying to up ours, that makes for a pretty special relationship. It doesn’t matter if we’re changing a part at the track or we need something custom on the fly, we can depend on Cometic. That’s the bottom line.”