By Bruce Walls - Special to Motorsport.com GEORGETOWN, DE - Rick Huffman has been racing karts on the dirt tracks around the Delmarva Peninsula since 1986. The Bridgeville, DE based racer took to the sport right away and began winning races ...
By Bruce Walls - Special to Motorsport.com
GEORGETOWN, DE - Rick Huffman has been racing karts on the dirt tracks around the Delmarva Peninsula since 1986. The Bridgeville, DE based racer took to the sport right away and began winning races and eventually championships at legendary Delaware and Maryland tracks such as Piney Neck Speedy that was in Dagsboro, DE and Seaford Speedway in Middleford, DE along with Mardella Speedway in Mardella, MD and several Virginia tracks.
As his reputation as a driver grew so did his talent and reputation for 4-cycle engine building. So many fellow competitors from around the Peninsula wanted him to build their motors that in 1991 he opened Huffy Power Racing Engines in Bridgeville, DE.
According to Huffman the biggest secret to building a 4-cycle race engine is time and care. ÒIt takes a lot of time and being particular,O Huffman said. ÒA lot of guys put new parts in there motors, but they donÕt blue print them.O
Despite his local success Huffman packed up his shop and moved to Sealy, TX to be near his father in 1997. As quickly as Huffman had earned reputations as a racer and as an engine builder in Delmarva, Texas racers soon learned that a new talent was nearby and Huffman was in business building motors for kart racers in that region. While in Texas he earned championships in the WKA/Texas-Louisiana Divisional Series in Stock Heavy and Super Heavy along with earning a championship in at the IKF Holiday Classic in Stock Heavy and won titles at the National Indoor Karting Championships at Thunderdome Kart Raceway in Memphis, TN in those two classes as well.
During his time in Texas Huffman built kart motors for Kevin Swindell, son of legendary World of Out Laws racer Sammy Swindell and for Anthony Foyt grandson of Indy car driver A.J. Foyt. ÒBetween 1997 and 2000 Anthony Foyt won a Karting Triad championship with my motor and the next year he earned three DuffyÕs in one weekend at the IKF Grand national with my motors,O Huffman recalled.
After being in Texas a few years Huffman decided it was time to return to the east coast. ÒThereÕs a lot of racing here on the east coast and IÕd rather be here,O Huffman explained. ÒI opened up a shop as soon as I got here in March of 2000. We just took what we had in Texas and moved it here.O
HuffmanÕs new location is in Georgetown, DE where heÕs building motors for champions in the Delaware and Virginia WKA Dirt Divisionals like Jordan and Joseph Watson and national competitor Cameron Mattox.
According to Huffman when he gets a customerÕs motor he begins by taking it apart and inspecting it to see what the motor needs. ÒI look at things like the ports to see if they need to be reworked, I check the valve guides and look to see if the cylinder bore needs aligning. We put in the new style Raptor Pistons, polish the crank and clean everything and put it back together.O
Once a motor has been rebuilt and the carburetor is tested on a flow bench then it and the motor go to the Dyno for a final check. ÒGetting the carb right is one of the most important parts of a performance engine rebuild,O Huffman points out. Ò90% of engine rebuilding is just taking the time to get everything prepared properly.
Anybody can bolt a motor together, but it takes more than that, you have to be careful of tolerances and clearances and be patient and take your time to make sure that everything is right and WKA or IKF legal.O ÒThe biggest thing here is that itÕs my reputation that goes into the motors I build,O Huffman points out.
At the last WKA Delaware Dirt Divisional (September 15, 2001) Huffy Power put five racers on their respected poles with Milford, DE junior driver Jordan Watson earning two top starting positions. Two of those racers earned wins. ÒThe Huffy Power motor was great it was flying,O said Briggs Restricted Junior winner Brittany Abbott. ÒThe Huffy Power motor was unbelievably strong,O said Allen Ford after winning Briggs Stock Extra Heavy.
Huffman says that it costs $350 to $450 to refresh a used motor and a brand new rebuilt motor can cost up to $1,200. To see how Huffy Power can put more punch in your engine call 302-854-9515 or visit the shop on Route 9 in Georgetown. Huffy Power builds engines for racers around the county and motors are shipped out daily.