It was a banner weekend for Aeromotive, Inc. and Waterman at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, as Aeromotive and Waterman customers recorded an incredible nine wins across a variety of classes. The impressive winner’s list includes standouts Rickie Smith in Pro Mod (Waterman 200078, Ultra Lite 700 Sprint Fuel Pump), Megan Meyer in Top Alcohol Dragster (Waterman 321313, Big Bertha with single inlet), Ray Drew in Top Alcohol Funny Car (Waterman, Lil Bertha 320850), Tanner Gray in Pro Stock (11180, Eliminator Brushless pump), and Dan Fletcher in Super Comp, David Rampy in Comp, Dusty Meyer in Top Sportsman, Todd Hoven in Stock and John DiBartolomeo in Super Stock, who each use the A2000 pump (11202).
“We don’t stop to smell the roses that often because we’re so entrenched with product development, learning something new and solving problems, but when you do take a step back and look at a weekend like that, it is very pleasing,” Aeromotive President Steve Matusek said.
“Looking at our dominance in NHRA drag racing, it is very exciting to see what we’ve built in these last 24 years to become a powerhouse in this sport.”
Having nine winners in a given weekend at a NHRA national event isn’t uncommon for Aeromotive, but that much success is certainly noteworthy. Spanning a number of different classes, from the sportsman to professional ranks, and featuring both veteran standouts and young up-and-coming stars also indicates the two company’s wide array of products and standing in the sport.
Fletcher won his 104th career event, Rampy now has 97 national-event wins and Pro Mod points leader and three-time world champion Smith has three victories in 2018, and each has shown immense trust and confidence in the Aeromotive/Waterman brand over the years. Meanwhile, rising stars like Pro Stock’s Gray, who was the NHRA’s top rookie last year and already has three wins and the points lead in 2018, as well as TAD standout Megan Meyer already have a strong track record with both Aeromotive and Waterman over the years. It’s something Matusek takes a great deal of pride in as he and his team continue to develop the latest in fuel delivery components.
“It’s very gratifying, and with the level we’re functioning at – it’s expected,” Matusek said. “But that’s what drives us. When our stuff is not an issue, that’s probably when we’re most pleased. A fuel delivery component doesn’t make power, but it can steal power if it’s not used properly. Our products are supposed to work and I’m comfortable with that. I like being at the top of our game.
“Working with the veterans, there’s just so much history there, and I love their innovation and persistence. The newer drivers, it’s the new blood in the sport to keep our sport moving forward, and I love their enthusiasm.”
Without question, Matusek and his team at Aeromotive, which acquired Waterman in 2016, have remained on top thanks to a dedicated passion for problem-solving and innovation. The research and development team identifies an issue and develops a solution, creating one new product after another, none of which have ever been created before. One recent example is a fuel delivery issue discovered on Randy Meyer’s team cars. Engineers at both Waterman and Aeromotive worked in tandem to find solution to a problem and fixed their issue.
But the ongoing development doesn’t stop there. Once a product goes into to production, Matusek and his team are thinking about the solution to the next problem, keeping Aeromotive steps ahead of the competition.
“That’s why we do this. Our team goes out there, figures out what the problem is and develops a solution in the way of a product to fix that problem,” Matusek said. “When I’m out there racing in Pro Mod, I’m racing with a purpose – to develop the next generation of products. It’s in my DNA. That’s what my dad did. I never look at something and ask, ‘Why?’ Instead, I ask, ‘Why Not?’ I’ve always liked to innovate and I love new product development.”
It’s a process that continues on Matusek’s Pro Mod car, going through rigorous testing to find what works. He didn’t join the incredible nine winners in Norwalk, but sweeping changes could have Matusek sharing the winner’s circle with his customers before long, doing so with the latest batch of innovative fuel delivery components.
“We’ve been on top before and we’ve been in the top 10, but this year we’re struggling,” Matusek said. “But our team is going to make some significant changes that’s going to make us better or worse. We’re going in that direction with nothing to lose and I think we’ll be a dangerous team in the second half of the season.”
For more information on Aeromotive, visit www.aeromotiveinc.com.