Kingsport Times News Monday, August 31, 2015

Local News NASCAR/Racing

Surgoinsville engine builders at top of drag racing universe

October 27th, 2013 9:36 pm by Jeff Bobo

Surgoinsville engine builders at top of drag racing universe

Mike Allen Jr. and Mike Allen Sr., owner-operators of Allen Competition Engines based in Surgoinsville. Photo by Jeff Bobo.

SURGOINSVILLE — It’s been more than four decades since Mike Allen Sr. had a blowout and rolled his souped-up 1967 Chevy Super Sport, landing in his history teacher’s front yard.

At 17 years of age, Mike Sr. was already building his own high-performance motors.

After that wreck, however, Mike Sr.’s father, Herb Allen, gave him an ultimatum.

“He said no more,” Mike Sr. told the Times-News last week. “He said if you’re going to have hot cars you’re going to be on the race track. So I went and bought a ’65 Chevy off a guy here in the valley, salvaged what I could off my wrecked car, and made my first race car.” 

For the past 42 years the Allen family has been drag racing — either driving their own cars, or for most of the past decade, building engines for some of the top local teams, as well as professional “Pro Stock” racers.

Mike Sr. raced with his father, Herb, and brother, H.J. Allen, throughout the 1970s.

In the 1980s, his son Mike Allen Jr. began driving, and father and son continue to operate Allen Competition Engines, located on Main Street across from City Hall in Surgoinsville.

They’ve won a lot of races and earned a reputation for being among the top engine builders in the country. But this past weekend, the Allens achieved a goal that has been 42 years in the making.

With Mike Jr. serving as crew chief, and horsepower supplied by Allen Competition Engines, Jacksonville, N.C., driver Elijah Morton clinched the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) “Extreme Pro Stock” world championship in Baytown, Texas, on the weekend of Oct. 18-19.

Read more in Monday's print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.

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