The race-engineered vehicles of Scott Douglas, Erik Buell and Steve Scheuring help Amsoil test and validate its synthetic lubricants – the same synthetic lubricants available to all motorists. The three recently visited Amsoil corporate headquarters for a lengthy discussion on the many ways Amsoil and its pioneering technology help provide dominance on the track. In the second of a two-part series, Amsoil Magazine provides excerpts of the discussion. For part one, see the January edition of Amsoil Magazine.
This discussion is continued from Part 1.
How Amsoil synthetic lubricants helped save Scott Douglas’ truck during one particularly challenging race weekend:
Douglas: One of the situations we had with Amsoil quite a few years back had to do with one of the big Cup races. We had built a new chassis and tried to make it as light as we could. You’re always fiddling with your cooling packages. The bottom line is we made some calculated mistakes on that. We got to the bigger track, Crandon [International Raceway], where we’re running the thing, just twisting the motor at 8,000-8,400 [rpm] in between shifts. And those long pulls, those big, long straight-a-ways, you get up to about 100 mph. And all of a sudden the gauges are just pegging from qualifying on. We’re trying to duct air in and do everything we can. We finally realized we didn’t have a choice and we were just going to have to run the race. We had the confidence in Amsoil that it was going to pull through. That was the most successful weekend I’ve ever had in my racing career. We won every race that weekend – both Pro 4x4 races and the Cup race. All three runs, including qualifying, we were over 300º-320º on the oil temp. We took apart the motor afterwards figuring the whole thing was going to be pretty tore up, but we were really happy with the results.
How Amsoil DOMINATOR® Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil (TDR) prevented Steve Scheuring’s Ski-Doo® Rotax® engines from failure:
Scheuring: At the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., we raced at an elevation of about 9,000 feet. All the dynamics of the engine changed. You experience lack of oxygen and reduced horsepower, so you have to adjust for that. You have to increase compression; you have to increase timing. There were six factory-based Ski-Doos running in the Pro Open class. Out of those six, we had the only ones that didn’t blow up. Our engines ran flawlessly all weekend. All our guys ended up in the finals, and Robbie [Malinoski] ended up on the podium, which represented the only Ski- Doo-based team in the top 10. Amsoil helped us get through that edge where everyone else kind of fell off.
On competitors in the AMA Pro SuperBike series taking notice of the durability Amsoil synthetic lubricants provide Erik Buell’s racing bike:
Buell: Our engine is the talk of the pits. Two-cylinder engines pushed to that horsepower level are more fragile. We never touch our engines all race weekend. The other guys are swapping engines Saturday night for a new engine for the race on Sunday. We are just running the same stuff, and everybody is really impressed by it. They ask us about it and we say it’s a good engine, but without a doubt some of the things Amsoil has been able to give us have helped the engine. Maybe we would have redesigned it mechanically for a lesser-quality oil, but why do that?
On some of the benefits Amsoil expertise provides race teams:
Douglas: Everyone was running 20W-50 [motor oil], but the engineers at Amsoil said we should go to a 15W-50 to gain a little horsepower. I’m an old-school kind of guy, so I had to be sold on the idea. Amsoil sold me and the testing we did was phenomenal. We tore down the motors and the bearings looked perfect. I was caught up in the mindset of everyone else that the viscosity is what makes the oil good. No, it’s not; it’s the quality of what you put in the oil, and Amsoil puts in nothing but the best.
Buell: It’s a whole level of technology I’ve never been exposed to before. It’s not just about performance, it’s about understanding the whole picture. And that’s the world of what Amsoil gives to the everyday owner. Racing is not just about peak performance, it’s about durability.
On Scott Douglas’ 900-hp race truck providing critical data in the development of Severe Gear® Synthetic EP Gear Lube:
Douglas: The off-road community is so difficult on differential gears, whether it’s short-course or desert racing. We’re landing with all that power, and that little film of oil is all you have between that ring and pinion. If you think about that surface area, it’s crazy to think you’re putting 900 horsepower through.
It might be the best motor oil there is, but if Amsoil finds out they can make it better, they make it better. - Scott Douglas
We used to run this stuff that was like molasses; it literally was like honey. We’d have to jack the truck up on stands – and this wasn’t on cold days, this was on a day that might be 60º – and we’d have to warm it up for about 20 minutes and get all the oil moving. Hopefully it would get out the axle tubes and get to the bearings. This was the only stuff that would live in the off-road industry until I hooked up with Amsoil and realized how well Severe Gear worked. We started running Severe Gear, and made some formula changes to make it even better. The rings and pinions were better than I’ve ever seen them. And I’ve got a lot of experience in this industry. We run a ring and pinion all year long on this truck.
On Steve Scheuring’s involvement with Amsoil product testing and validation:
Scheuring: We spent all last year working hand-in-hand up at our race shop dyno testing oil on Ski-Doo Rotax engines. We saw minimal wear and we saw everything exceed expectations and set the bar for what a lubricant should do. Today we’re working on future oils and we’re conducting testing with each of our drivers using a special blend of oil. As we accumulate 200 hours or 1,000 miles on a vehicle, we’ll break that vehicle down. The Amsoil technical staff will measure wear, scuffing and clearances to gather information showing which of the newer formulations will take the product even further.
On the high performance standards demanded of Amsoil synthetic lubricants:
Douglas: The thing I love about Amsoil is it doesn’t take a failure to change the product; Amsoil changes its lubricants just to make them better. It might be the best motor oil there is, but if Amsoil finds out they can make it better, they make it better. It’s like racing. You might be winning every weekend, but if you’re not trying to better yourself all the time, you’re going to fall right off the map. That’s not what I do with my career and that’s not what Amsoil does with its products.
Scheuring: This year we’re setting the bar on performance. We’ve really opened eyes to the whole synthetic market in our form of racing, two-stroke engines, and have shown that it is a superior product. People have really risen to that and realized this is the best product. There’s no proof like racing. What we do in one weekend takes the consumer or a test team two years to do. We have such a condensed test period and the products work great.
Buell: As soon as I came and visited and started talking with the research people, I realized I was in my kind of territory. Amsoil is interested in solutions; passionate about what they wanted to do and passionate about making the best lubricants. Amsoil is open to learn, listen and think – no canned solutions. Everything is about ‘what is going on? We want to understand it, we want to look at it, we want to see it, we want to think about it.’ Amsoil became completely engaged with us as a development partner.
There’s another piece of this that’s cool: My industry, the motorcycle sport racing industry, is mostly import. It’s not only imported vehicles, but imported ideas. They now see an American-made motorcycle and American-made lubricants, and they know we’re reliable. They know we’re not tearing engines down. They’re sitting there going, ‘Whoa, this is really cool that American technology is absolutely at the top of the world.’
Follow Scott Douglas, Team Amsoil/ Scheuring Speed Sports, Erik Buell Racing and other Team Amsoil racers all year long on Amsoilracing.com.