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Gaydosh To Return To NHRA Pro Stock In Gainesville

John Gaydosh Jr is returning to Pro Stock with Beaver Motorsports at the 2020 NHRA AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15, in Gainesville, Florida.

Gaydosh recently sold his racing operation and has been out of the driver’s seat for nearly a year.

Beaver Motorsports is making their Pro Stock team debut with the support of Strutmasters.com, Beaver Bonding, T Parke Services, MB Auto, Gaydosh Performance, RacerDirect.com, Norwood Towing, and a technical alliance of Kenny Delco Racing and Engines from Frank Inconio Racing Engines.

Strutmasters.com is a primary partner of the Beaver Motorsports Pro Stock Chevrolet Camaro.

“I have always wanted to run Pro Stock,” said Beaver Motorsports owner, Mark Beaver. “I have run Stock and Super Stock for years with both NHRA and IHRA. We have 200 plus NASCAR Truck and Xfinity Starts, but drag racing is our home. We have been trying to put a Pro Stock program together for a couple of years. It all just fell in to place this season.”

“I didn’t want to leave the sport in 2018, and I had hoped I would be back,” explained Gaydosh. “Mark (Beaver) had helped as he could on my team before, and so we just came together put the necessary people and pieces in place once he took a step back from the NASCAR world.”

The Beaver Motorsports team plans to run select races in 2020 to prepare for a full-season run in 2021. The current 2020 schedule consists of 10 races, primarily at east coast events.

“I can’t wait to get back in the car and let out the clutch,” Gaydosh said. “I’ve missed it quite a bit. Anyone would! We have a good car and good power. Our alliance with Kenny Delco and the Iaconio power is great for a new one-car team. Strutmasters.com and the rest of our partners have made this comeback possible.”

Gaydosh and the Beaver Motorsports Pro Stock team will hit the track for two qualifying sessions on Friday, Mar. 13 and two qualifying sessions on Saturday. Eliminations will begin at 11 AM ET.

Ashley Struggles In Pomona Qualifying But Comes Alive In Eliminations

Written By: Bobby Bennett – Competitionplus.com

NHRA Top Fuel rookie Justin Ashley didn’t need any inspiration to put forth his best effort at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Ca. All the Auto Club Road to the Future candidate needed was for his Strutmasters.com dragster to stay healthy, and he’d do the rest.

Ashley, who made his NHRA Top Fuel debut last season and competed in three races, caught the nitro community off-guard when in his first race, he reached the semi-finals losing a race he may have won if not for a mechanical issue. He also raced his way to a quarter-final finish at the NHRA Finals last season.

The common denominator in every race Ashley has participated in, including last weekend’s event in Pomona, the team has struggled throughout qualifying, but when everything was on the line made a run representative of what the team is capable of to get in the field. Then on race day, The team has come alive.

“I guess it’s proof of how it doesn’t matter how you start but how you finish, which means the most,” Ashley explained. “We’ve faced adversity, but we’ve also come together with Aaron Brooks, Jason Bunker, and the whole team at Dustin Davis Motorsports to overcome the challenges. For us, last weekend, we spent much of it chasing an issue with shredding blower belts.”

Justin Ashley Stages His Strutmasters Top Fuel Car in Pomona During Qualifying

“We got in the field with the 3.967, and that was basically an eighth-mile run because the belt came off early.”

Ashley opened Sunday’s final eliminations by taking out a much quicker qualifier in Shawn Langdon and did so with the first run the dragster had made to the finish line under power – a 3.726, 323.58.

“When you can face adversity as we did and come out on race day with the quickest and fastest pass for our team, that just shows our team has heart” Ashley said.

Not that Ashley needed much inspiration, he was already inspired before he arrived at the track on Wednesday to participate in the NHRA Media Day. Three years earlier on the Pomona weekend, Ashley lost one of his biggest fans and personal mentors – his grandfather Kenneth Ashley.

“Losing my grandfather suddenly was tough,”, Ashley said. “He was my biggest fan and I was his. He was somebody that I looked up to. The most important thing I learned from him was to always move forward no matter what. He had an unbreakable heart.”

Ashley, in the meantime, returns to his day-job, fixing and flipping distressed properties on New York’s Long Island, prominently featured in the online reality series, #FixFlipFuel.

“We will be back in Phoenix,” Ashley added. “I’m hoping for a much smoother weekend, but it is what it is. Whatever comes our way, I know the Dustin Davis Motorsports team can handle it.”

Strutmasters ups support for Justin Ashley, becomes primary sponsor

Apparently, Chip Lofton isn’t done yet, and Justin Ashley is just getting started. The founder and owner of Strutmasters, the industry-leading strut and suspension provider, has made another big move this off-season, becoming Justin Ashley’s primary sponsor.

The added support means Ashley will compete in a minimum of 12 races during the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. It also means that the Top Fuel driver could make a serious run at the Countdown to the Championship.

 

Big support means big goals

 

The 25-year-old Ashley, who is also a successful real estate developer, expressed his excitement over the move.
“There aren’t enough words to describe just how great of a person Chip Lofton is,” said Ashley. “Chip is a champion for the underdog.”

Confidence seems to come naturally to the driver, who also stars in the television series Fix Flip Fuel. However, the additional support has Ashley and his team feeling even more optimistic about the upcoming season.

“I really feel we are a team capable of winning and have gotten to this point because of Chip’s early support of our team,” Ashley said. “Add in our fantastic line-up of associate marketing partners, and 2020 is looking brighter by the day”.

 

Future looking bright for Ashley

 

Ashley isn’t the only feeling positive about his future. The Long Island, NY native is also a candidate for the 2020 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.

However, Lofton might have recognized Ashley’s potential before anyone else. The “champion of the little guy” signed on as a major associate sponsor weeks before Ashley and the Dustin Davis Motorsports team ever competed.

“I see a star in the making,” said Lofton. “Justin’s got it all the way around. First of all, if you just look at him as a racer. He’s got to be in the top echelon of somebody that can come off of the line quickly and take it to the other end.”

Lofton recounted some of the flashes of potential Ashley showed in his 2019 run.

“I mean, what he did at Charlotte was just amazing,” said Lofton. “And because of his close relationship with his dad through the years and working with his dad, I see not only a racer, but a fellow that’s going to be a really good businessman and entrepreneur, as a young person.”

“You don’t see that in many young people. And he loves people. Sometimes in racing, guys will just get stuck on being a racer. But he’s still a fan, and I like that about him. He’s never stopped being a fan.”

Ashley will begin his 2020 season January 30th at the PRO test session in Las Vegas. After that, the driver heads to Pomona, California February 6th for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals.

Give your Kawasaki Vulcan the ultimate touring upgrade in 2020

Your Kawasaki Vulcan is a true friend of the road. With plenty of power and a comfortable stance, Kawasaki’s V-Twin cruiser is a great bike for people who just love to get out and ride.

However, did you know that your Vulcan can get more comfortable and more rider-friendly? And did you know that you can do that with just one modification?

There are many reasons to add an air suspension kit to your Kawasaki Vulcan. Doing so can make it the ultimate touring bike.

Let’s take a look at the ways an air suspension can dramatically improve your Kawasaki Vulcan.

 

Make your Kawasaki Vulcan more comfortable

 

You may have experience with air suspensions in cars. Air suspensions are active suspensions that respond immediately to changes in the road.

What you get is a smooth, easy ride that’s more comfortable for the driver.

Air suspensions in motorcycles do the same thing. Rather than metal springs, an air suspension uses compressed air to achieve a precise pressure for dampening.

The EZ Rider motorcycle air suspension is an active suspension system that will make your Vulcan feel dream-like and keep you on the road for longer stretches.

 

Get better performance for your Vulcan

 

If you’re the type of rider that loves to put a lot of miles on your Vulcan, you know how much road conditions can vary. How useful would it be to be able to adjust your motorcycle to those changes?

Adding an EZ Rider motorcycle air suspension to your Vulcan allows you to do just that.

With this air suspension, you have full control over the stiffness of your air springs. That means you can adjust it to your personal preference or for different driving situations.

For example, if you’re hitting some twisty mountain roads, you can stiffen up the suspension to allow for sportier handling. If you’ve got a long stretch of straight highway in front of you, you can soften it up for better cruising.

Being able to adjust the stiffness of your suspension doesn’t just make your Vulcan more comfortable. By adapting to the road, you can save other components some wear and tear.

 

Get that lowrider look the EZ way

 

Even if you don’t need the extra functionality of an air suspension, it’s still the best way to drop your Vulcan down and achieve that lowrider look.

In the past, riders have been forced to make difficult and permanent modifications to their Vulcan in order to drop it down. This usually resulted in a bike that was less functional than before.

A quality air suspension such as this EZ Rider kit lets you drop your bike down on command. The Ultimate version of this kit lets you do that with just the touch of a button.

Rather than being tied to one height, the EZ Rider motorcycle air suspension allows you to adjust your bike to a specific height. Just how much you want to lower it is up to you.

In addition, you’ll have a choice when and where you want to lower it. When it’s the right time to slide by sitting low, you can do that in seconds. When it’s time to get back to serious riding, you can lift it back up quickly and easily.

 

EZ Rider motorcycle air suspension: the ultimate upgrade

 

While the Kawasaki Vulcan is already a great (some might say underrated) cruising bike, adding an air suspension will make it even better.

Increased comfort, better performance and adjustable lowering are just a few of the reasons to convert your Kawasaki Vulcan over to an air suspension.

You might think that adding all this functionality to your bike would be very expensive. However, Strutmasters is offering these high-quality air suspension kits for as little as $199 for the basic package and $599 for the ultimate package.

That’s small money for a big upgrade.

Order online now or call one of our Suspension Experts at (866) 715-6013 to make sure you get the best possible upgrade for your Kawasaki Vulcan!

Racing legend Rickie Smith signs sponsorship deal with Strutmasters

Rickie Smith knew it was time for a change. The 11-time series champion felt it after the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, NC. Then, at the PRI show in December, he announced a big change.

Smith announced that Strutmasters.com would become his new major sponsor heading into the 2020 season. Along with the announcement, he showed off his brand new Camaro, built by Jerry Bickel.

 

The story of Rickie Smith and Strutmasters

 

Until this point, Strutmasters founder and owner Chip Lofton has been known as “the champion of drag racing’s little guy”. However, he landed a racing legend in Smith.

Lofton is completely aware of the magnitude of this signing. In an interview with CompetitionPlus, he explained that his status as a lifetime racing fan was a big motivator.

“Growing up in the Carolinas and being a Pro Stock fan and a Pro Mod fan, I never thought I could reach this place where I could sponsor him,” said Lofton. “He lives to race and races to live. He’s been one of those guys that have figured out a way to do it.”

Not one to miss an opportunity, Lofton called his fellow Tar Heel and made a plan for him to visit his strut-building facility in Roxboro, about two hours away.

In addition to being the location of Strutmasters’ headquarters, Roxboro is a town with a serious racing history. It’s the place where “Trickie Rickie” cut his teeth as a Modified racer and later became a legend in the Mountain Motor class.

 

Two racing fans working together

 

But it was Lofton’s love of racing and cars that convinced Smith to get on board.

“He’s just a down to earth person,” said Smith of Lofton. “I had no idea what I was getting into as far as knowing what he’d done and what he loved when I first met. It wasn’t hard to see his love for the sport. It was like hitting three home runs in one game to find a sponsor who loves racing as I do.”

Following a visit to the Strutmasters Museum, where Lofton keeps his personal collection of classic automobiles, Smith and Lofton reached an agreement.

“You always want to be involved with somebody who really likes racing, and I didn’t have to talk him into loving racing,” Smith said. “That’s a 200% start right off the bat when the people that you are dealing with love racing. It just makes everything go a lot smoother.”

After spending a day together, the two were left wondering why they hadn’t done this sooner.

“Rickie came and talked to me,” said Lofton. “I just thought it legitimizes my other teams as well, to have somebody successful like that part of our team. Rickie gets television time because he’s a character.”

 

Strutmasters and Smith a winning combination

 

As his career starts to draw down, Smith is happy with the decision to partner with Strutmasters, and not just because of Lofton’s credentials as a drag racing die-hard.

“I’ve had some really good sponsors, but I feel excited about this deal with Chip,” said Smtih. “He owns the company and doesn’t have to call anybody or go get a board meeting or whatever to say, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do this.”

“He’s got the power to make the moves,” said Smith of Lofton. “And that’s the way he likes to deal with things. In automobile racing, you’ve got to make that move at that time. If you wait too long, people pass you up. Chip can make the moves when he wants to make them.”

Smith’s long-held reputation as a bona-fide winner was also a major part of the equation, admitted Lofton.

“It doesn’t hurt that on any given Sunday; he can bring the Wally home.”

Dan Fletcher signs with Strutmasters, brings his 20+ year career to NC

After 20-plus years of racing, Dan Fletcher is as happy as ever to still be doing what he loves for a living.

While most of his peers have since retired or stopped racing, Fletcher is gearing up for another season behind the wheel. Fletcher credits Chip Lofton, owner of suspension manufacturer Strutmasters and “the champion of drag racing’s little guy,” with bringing him back for the 2020 season.

“Chip Lofton at Strutmasters has been kind enough to step up and back my Super Stock program, as the major sponsor,” Fletcher said. “And an associate on all the other cars.”

 

Dan Fletcher on the search for sponsorship

 

In an interview with CompetitionPlus, Fletcher highlighted how tiring the grind of looking for sponsors can be.

“I’ve been very, very blessed in my whole career since 1997. I’ve had actual real corporate sponsors, from Valvoline to Summit to K&N to Peak, and now Strutmasters,” Fletcher said. “I’m getting older, and I’m a little bit tired, and sometimes it’s hard to press on.”

With his Super Stocker now backed by Strutmasters.com, Fletcher has plans to compete in 16 national events. His Chevelle with race in big money bracket races. Fletcher is also open to sponsorships for his Nova and ‘69 Camaro Stocker.

 

The move to drag racing country

 

In addition to his new sponsorship, Fletcher also moved his home and base of his operations to the drag racing hotbed of North Carolina. The move brings him closer to his main sponsor and to the racing community in general.

With the Super Stocker sponsored by Strutmasters.com, Fletcher confirmed he’s got irons in the fire for his dragster to race 16 national events, and the Chevelle to race the big money bracket races. His Nova and ’69 Camaro Stocker are open for sponsorship as well.

 

The changing landscape of drag racing

 

In an interview, Fletcher reflected on how much the world of racing has changed since he began his career in 1997. He feels that drag racing is much more competitive than it has ever been.

“It’s not even close. It’s brutal out there right now,” Fletcher explained. “You look down Drag Race Central and in Stock and Super Stock at how well people drive. There’s no easy mark anywhere.”

“Let’s put it this way,” he continued. “If I was 29 years old or 30 years old and going to quit Xerox to go drag racing at this point 22 years later from when I walked out of Xerox, 0% chance [I’d do it ]. Less than zero. There’s no way you can even feasibly even think about doing that.”

Fletcher explained how much modern technology and the internet has had an effect on his sport.

“Don’t take it the wrong way, but I was decidedly better than most of my competition back then,” he said. “Now I’m not. Everyone’s good. Everyone drives. Websites like Luke’s [Bogacki] website teaches people driving strategies at the finish line. Everyone’s cars are good. No one’s cars are junk. Everyone’s cars repeat. I feel like the only way that I can be better than my opponents is to work harder.”

 

Fletcher looking ahead to the 2020 season

 

Last year was the first time in 25 years that Fletcher didn’t win a national event. With his new backing from Strutmasters and a renewed sense of purpose, he feels that 2020 will be different.t.

“I just put in more time,” said Fletcher. “And I don’t even want to say it a lot because then people started doing that too. But I spent an inordinate amount of time studying the live timing and all my opponent’s numbers and trying to just do all my homework on them. And I just try and do every little bit of extra work a man can do to give himself an edge. And it’s just, it’s tough dude. It’s really, really tough.”

The best fix for GMC Yukon suspension issues (is cheaper than you think)

The GMC Yukon is one of the most popular full-size SUVs of all time. It’s not hard to see why.

The Yukon is perhaps the ultimate American full-size SUV. It balances rugged functionality with just the right amount of luxury.

Part of that luxurious trim is an active load-leveling air suspension.

When the GMC Yukon air suspension works, it provides a smooth, cloud-like ride. However, as that air suspension ages, it starts to wear down.

As it turns out, GMC Yukon suspension issues are a common problem for owners. Even if you haven’t yet had problems with yours, it’s worth looking for the warning signs.

 

How to tell if your GMC Yukon Suspension is worn out

 

The Yukon is outfitted with a suspension warning system. This system displays a suspension warning light when it detects a problem.

However, there are several ways to tell if you are experiencing air suspension issues before the warning light comes on.

One surefire sign of suspension failure is if your Yukon does a “nose dive” when coming to a stop. This is when the front of the car dips down and the rear of the car lifts up.

Another telltale sign of a suspension issue is if your compressor is running loudly. It should be barely audible. Also, if you hear the compressor running for longer than a few seconds, it is likely your Yukon has a suspension problem.

You can also perform the “bounce test” to see if your Yukon has a suspension issue.

Walk around to each corner of the vehicle and push down. If the corner springs back up and settles immediately, that wheel is fine. If it bounces up and down or takes a long time to come back up, you probably have suspension failure at that wheel.

 

GMC Yukon air suspensions: expensive to repair or replace

 

So you’ve identified that your GMC Yukon has suspension issues. What’s next?

If you’ve taken it to the dealership, you already know that replacing or repairing your air suspension is very expensive.

Air suspensions are made up of many moving and electronic parts. These parts are highly specialized and need to be very precise to work. In addition, they all must be working properly for the system to work as a whole.

For example, rear air struts are the most likely to fail in the GMC Yukon. Just one rear air strut costs almost $400. And once one of them fails, the others are right behind it.

Other components, such as the ride height sensors, are also prone to wearing out and needing replacement as well.

Since you’d be replacing your worn out air suspension components with other components that are also guaranteed to wear out at some point, it seems like a lot of money.

But there is another way.

 

Convert your GMC Yukon to non-air suspension to save time and money

 

You don’t have to live with that air suspension headache. Instead, you can ditch that air suspension entirely and convert to sturdy, dependable coilover struts.

Rather than a complex web of interconnected electronic components, this conversion kit from Strutmasters uses good old mechanical resistance to hold your vehicle up. All 5,500 pounds of it.

Made with high-quality cold-wound steel, these new struts are specially tuned by our engineers to fit your GMC Yukon perfectly. Thanks to Strutmasters’ Glide-Ride Technology, your new ride will feel comparable to your old air suspension.

These GMC Yukon air to non-air conversion kits are designed to save you money. You can convert your entire vehicle for just $549.

They are also remarkably simple to install. That means fewer expensive labor hours at the shop.

A handy DIYer might even want to install the new suspension at home. The job can be completed with just a few common tools, a sturdy jack and about one hour per wheel.

Best of all, Strutmasters is so confident in the quality of this Made-in-the-USA suspension replacement kit, each kit comes with a Limited Lifetime Guarantee. That means that in most circumstances, as long as you’re still driving your GMC Yukon, your struts are guaranteed to work or we’ll replace them.

 

Why wait?

 

This GMC Yukon air to non-air suspension conversion kit is one of our most popular items. Join the many who have already made the switch!

Order online or better yet, call one of our Suspension Experts at (866) 669-9456. They’ll help you make sure you get exactly what you need for your GMC Yukon.

Bo Butner signs 2020 sponsorship deal with Strutmasters

NHRA Pro Stock driver Bo Butner has signed a sponsorship deal with Strutmasters for the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Butner, the 2017 NHRA Pro Stock champion, led the Pro Stock division in points throughout the 2019 regular season. The Indiana native has been busy in the offseason securing support for his 2020 bid.

 

Strutmasters and Bo Butner have big goals for 2020

 

Strutmasters has agreed to support Butner for the entire 18-race Pro Stock slate next season. The deal with Butner is the second major signing for Strutmasters and owner Chip Lofton in less than a week. On December 10th, Foley Lewis Racing announced a a major associate sponsor deal with “The Suspension Experts.”

In an interview, Butner expressed his enthusiasm for the support of Strutmasters.

“We have such a great team, and one that I’m very proud of,” said Butner. “We know we have a lot to offer. To be recognized by a great group of people like [Strutmasters owner] Chip Lofton and the folks at Strutmasters just means the world to us.”

An 11-time Pro Stock winner, Butner has plenty to look forward to after coming close to another championship last season.

 

A new look and a big boost for Bo Butner

 

Butner’s Strutmasters/JBA Chevrolet Camaro will get a new look heading into 2020. The car will feature his growing number of backers, including Summit Racing, Nitro Fish and Speed Dawg in addition to the Strutmasters.com and Jim Butner Auto Group logos.

The driver said that the support of Strutmasters and others has given him and his team a boost during the off season.

“It’s definitely a confidence builder to have such awesome partners, both old and new,” Butner said. “We’re looking forward to putting the Strutmasters/JBA Camaro in the winner’s circle more than once next year.”

Strutmasters inks sponsorship deal with Foley Lewis Racing

Former IHRA Pro Rookie of the Year (2004) Doug Foley is making his return to NHRA Top Fuel Racing in 2020. Joining him will be Chip Lofton and Strutmasters, as the company has signed on to sponsor Foley Lewis Racing for the upcoming year.

Foley announced in October that he was renewing his NHRA Top Fuel license. After finalizing the racing team’s schedule of eight races in 2020, Strutmasters was the first major sponsor to jump on board.

“It feels good to have companies like Strutmasters.com support a team that literally hasn’t competed yet,” said Foley.

 

Foley getting back to racing form

 

The Mooresville, NC-based driver last raced in NHRA Top Fuel in 2011. Foley and partner Tim Lewis returned to the NHRA in 2019. The team earned two No. 1 qualifying awards and a runner-up finish competing in the Top Alcohol division.

As a tandem, Foley and Lewis had a successful run in the IHRA in the mid-to-late 2000’s. During that time they won several national events. Foley also competed part-time in the NHRA over this stretch, making the semifinal rounds on several occasions.

 

Strutmasters a natural fit for Foley Lewis Racing

 

Foley expressed his excitement of working with Lofton, who founded Strutmasters in 1999. Lofton has become a regular figure in the pits over the last few seasons. He and his company sponsor several drivers in various classes.

“There’s a lot of teams they could go to,” said Foley. “For Chip to have the confidence in us, it means a lot. I think a lot of it had to do with our past competition. I think he felt confident that in a little bit of time we will be competitive.”

According to Foley, the partnership is a natural fit.

“I’ve gotten the opportunity on two occasions to spend some time with Chip,” said Foley “You really couldn’t find a more down-to-earth guy. Especially for someone who’s so successful. I think those are qualities that we have also, which excites me about growing the relationship in the future.”

 

The future of Foley Lewis Racing

 

Foley Lewis Racing is far from done. They are currently working on locking down more sponsorship heading into next season. However, the team hasn’t lost sight of the big boost from the Suspension Experts, who have helped jump start their 2020 bid.

“The hope is that this is the beginning of several announcements over the winter,” said Foley. “But we’re excited that somebody had the faith in us to get the ball rolling. We’ll do everything we can to represent Chip and Strutmasters.com well.”