In an effort to bolster its research and developments efforts, diesel performance operation Wagler Competition Products announced on Monday that it has acquired Southern Indiana’s Lyons Raceway Park, an eighth-mile drag racing facility located in the rural countryside an hour and a half South of Indianapolis. Wagler Motorsports Park, as it has been renamed, will become a mixed-use venue with both public and private activities, while at the same time serving as a home base for Wagler’s new dyno-tuning arm, Critical Calibration Inc.
Jeremy Wagler, owner of Wagler Competition Products, founded the business in 2011 and since that time has delivered a host of innovative ideas to the diesel performance marketplace, and the opportunity to convert the Lyons strip into a private testing facility to prove those very ideas was one he’d been seeking for a number of years.
“We’ve been talking about it for a year, but we weren’t serious until recently,” Wagler says. “Over the holidays, we sat down and talked about it again. We were planning on putting in a pulling track, and Brent [Jones, former track owner] said, ‘why don’t you just buy it?’ I told him I’d love to. So we worked it out and signed the papers on Friday.”
The acquisition of the facility will provide Wagler with an unprecedented level of service for its customers along with its own research and development efforts, as the components made in-house at its Odon, Indiana operation can be privately tuned and dyno- and track-tested just 11 short miles to the North.
“We’ll have a new shop going in, hopefully by this spring or summer, and then we’ll have the chassis dyno and everything set up, because we’re going to start doing all of the custom tuning and everything up there, rather than here at our facility,” says Wagler.
While the facility will be available seven days a week for private drag racing and truck/tractor pulling testing, Wagler affirms that he’s committed to operating the drag strip for public use. The track will maintain the four race dates that were held under Jones’ leadership, including the Team 260 Neglection No Prep in May, the Wagler Diesel Competition and the No Box Nationals in June, and the Southeast Gassers Association meet in July, with plans to add future special events.
“We’ll be adding the pulling track and hopefully we can build the drag racing back up again. I think it’ll bring people in — it seems like a lot of people like the track. We will have it open for more than just this four events; because we’re new to this whole track thing, I don’t want to say we’re going to be open every week, because we don’t want to kill ourselves … we’re trying to run a business, too. But we’re working to get a schedule together. We have our Diesel versus Gas event in June and we’d like to do a fall one, as well, and we’re looking at possibly some no prep, radial, and grudge racing.”
Adding a high degree of validation to their efforts, Wagler has enlisted renowned track prep specialist Kurt Johnson of Total Venue Concepts to oversee the surface for events and testing.
In its statement, Wagler Competition Products noted, “Wagler Motorsports Park is the perfect venue for automotive industry manufacturers to come together and share data to push technology and efficiency forward. Wagler Competition Products works closely with many leading-edge companies like, EZ LYNK, S&S Diesel Motorsport, PSI Superchargers, Callies Performance Products, Comp Cams, RideTech, and many others. This recent addition to Wagler’s research and development capabilities stands to strengthen collaboration efforts for the common goal of better performance within the motorsports industry and better efficiency for the automotive industry.
“Pushing performance automotive technology forward requires skilled people who can implement and embrace the new technology being developed. WMP recognizes the need for fresh talent and is proud to partner with the Vincennes University College of Technology by offering educational opportunities to the next generation of motorsport professionals.”
Wagler adds, “the private testing is going to be a big focus for us, because the pulling truck guys, they don’t have anywhere to go. You can’t rent a place to test them, so they’re going to the actual events and doing testing in competition, which isn’t usually a good outcome.”