Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 - Page 101

Smith , who is also the primary dyno operator and EFI tuner , while fellow builder Steve Johns is the master machinist . “ Not only is it enjoyable for us , it expands R & D capabilities .”
The braintrust behind TRE is extraordinary . Partners Latino and Jim Whiteley , two names well-known in the racing industry as both successful drivers and established businessmen , knew exactly what they had acquired when they invested in the monstrous , well-equipped facility in Denver , North Carolina , and having the business expertise of partner Chris Clark brought decades of industry experience to the table highlighted by passion and a depth of knowledge .
The TRE building , along with all of the machinery to build top-notch , high performance race engines suitable for various platforms , formerly belonged to another successful businessman and racer , Johnny Gray and Gray Motorsports . The very machinery used to hone the blocks and dyno the engines today is the same that was used for Gray ’ s grandson , Tanner Gray , who was Rookie of the Year and the 2018 Pro Stock world champion .
The dedication of the TRE partners allows the group to capitalize on further development and to continue the tremendous R & D investment initiated by Gray . They could not , however , do it without the right people in place behind the scenes .
Along with the building and the machinery that they acquired came
another incredibly beneficial asset : their championship engine builders .
Smith worked with multi-time Pro Stock winner Mark Pawuk and then alongside six-time NHRA champion and two-time IHRA Pro Stock champ Warren Johnson . Johns was tutored by Pro Stock legend Bill “ Grumpy ” Jenkins straight out of high school and for more than two decades . The two first brought their skills together in 2013 , when Gray Motorsports – where Smith was then employed – merged with Cagnazzi Racing , where Johns called home .
Although they ’ re keeping their Pro Stock efforts devoted to Caruso ’ s program at this time , the engine masters at TRE are eager to build , service , or refresh nearly any high-performance engine a customer would desire .
Titan Racing Engines will open their doors to the public for an open house on Wednesday , September 21 , 2022 , ahead of the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte . From 4:00 to 7:00 p . m ., racers and fans , members of the media , sponsors and dealers will be invited to tour the expansive facility . Attendees can expect giveaways , autograph signings , and a look right into the heart of high performance .
“ We ’ re constantly learning and on the cutting edge of engine technology , and we ’ ve got all the right people in all the right places ,” says Latino . “ We know we have something really special here , and we ’ re excited to offer our proven , high performance engine services to the public .” DI
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