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Nov 17, 2001

New Shock Warmers Invented For Racebikes Being Used By NASCAR Teams At Atlanta Motor Speedway

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Traxxion Dynamics' Max McAllister released the first versions of a new product called "Traxxion Generators" at the Formula USA National road race at Pocono in August 2001. The patent-pending Traxxion Generators are essentially shock warmers that operate in the same manner as tire warmers, to bring the shock up to operating temperature before going on track, allowing the rider to make the most of his or her track time during practice. Now NASCAR's Winston Cup teams have taken an interest in Traxxion Dynamics' newest product.<BR><BR>"They were originally tested on Jeff Gordon's car at Talladega super speedway two weeks ago," McAllister told Roadracing World. "Then Penske Racing Shocks asked us for a model-specific shape, one to fit a non-coil-over damper. Winston Cup shocks are just exposed damping units. We made one that fit snuggly to the body of a NASCAR shock, then we sent a finished set to the Homestead track and they tested them with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. last week. <BR><BR>"When I told Penske about the idea (for shock warmers), they were pretty anxious to test it. Due to their experience with shock dynos, they were aware how much a shock changed from ambient to operating temperature. It doesn't have anything to do with cold weather. It's a bigger deal when it's cold. But with a shock absorber, it doesn't matter if it's 100 degrees out. A shock's operating temperature is so much higher than that, that the change it goes through from ambient to operating temperature is huge.<BR><BR>McAllister's company completed a special production run of the NASCAR Traxxion Generators, and the Traxxion Dynamics founder is currently circulating the pits at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend talking to the teams about his latest invention prior to the Winston Cup NAPA 500.<BR><BR>"They're all real worried about Loudoun next week, in particular," said McAllister via cell phone from the AMS pits on Friday, November 16, referring to the NASCAR race at New Hampshire International Speedway that was re-scheduled from the weekend after September 11 to the Thanksgiving weekend. "I have probably talked to a dozen shock techs already this weekend. We spent an hour with Tony Stewart's shock tech this morning. He was so ready for it (the Traxxion Generators). He already had a plan to invent some crude thing himself to pre-heat a shock. Those guys have 140 shocks here at the track! Just Tony Stewart's car! And that's just what they brought to the track not counting stuff they left at their shop for shorter and longer tracks.<BR><BR>"When they go out in practice, they'll change 10 shocks in just a few minutes. So basically what they've been stuck with is what a sprint racer is used to. Like if they change one corner (of the car), they have to run three laps to evaluate how the car's working. With having the shock pre-heated, they will be able to go out and go full speed right away. What makes it more important is that NASCAR keeps cutting their time down. It's gone from an hour and a half to an hour to 45 minutes of practice. And just like us (motorcycle racers), if somebody goes out, pops a motor and oils the track down – that's just it. They might only get a couple of laps of open practice.<BR><BR>"The trick is NASCAR is gonna make this not legal to use on pit road. So what the guys are gonna do is pre-heat their shocks in the trailers and just stick ‘em on the car. It only takes ten seconds to put a shock on a car. NASCAR is concerned because when they used to try to pre-warm rear ends they would have cords dangling off the cars and what not.<BR><BR>"He (Stewart's shock tech) said the other place that it will help him is pre-heating shocks to test on the dyno. Because ordinarily they put a shock on the dyno, they have to heat the shock up on the dyno by running it, by moving it, and it takes a lot of time to dyno their shocks. This way he will be able to just chunk them on and they'll be pretty much ready to go. <BR><BR>McAllister said that #20 Tony Stewart, #28 Ricky Rudd, #88 Dale Jarrett and #2 Rusty Wallace now have sets of his Traxxion Generators this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.<BR><BR>"These are the people that have them," pointed out McAllister. "These are the people that have expressed interest and we have given them to, but we can't say whether they are gonna use them or not."<BR><BR>In related news, Traxxion Dynamics Inc. recently, moved into a new, 4500-square-foot facility at 261 Rope Mill Parkway, in<BR>Woodstock, Georgia 30188. This relocation coincides with the launch of a comprehensive Products section at www.traxxion.com, phone (770)592-3823, FAX (770)517-9332.