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8x Lucas Oil Series Engine Builder of the Year!

October 10, 2023 | Cornett Racing Engines lost an irreplaceable employee last night. Greg Steffans has passed away after a four month battle with cancer. Greg had worked for us since 2000 when he moved from Iowa. He has built countless winning engines for all the big names in Dirt Late Model racing. RIP Big G


March 14, 2023 | Brent Vosbergen recently won the 2023 Australian Late Model Championship, which is the biggest race of the year in Australia and allows him to run the #1 for the next 12 months! Team Vosbergen Racing (TVR) is a loyal Cornett Racing Engines client and was running a 9 degree engine in the car, which still runs great obviously!!!


October 31, 2022 | With the Summit USMTS National Championship presented by RacinDirt ending on Saturday, October 29, at the 81 Speedway, Cornett Race Engines has officially earned the Compstar/JE Pistons USMTS Engine Builder of the Year Award for the 2022 season.

This is the second straight USMTS powerplant prize for the company based out of Somerset, Kentucky. After securing the title last year with 15 feature wins, that was nearly topped this year as Cornett Racing Engines captured 14 USMTS main event wins. Most of the points scored for Cornett in the USMTS contest were earned by 2021 USMTS National Champion Dereck Ramirez and Jake O'Neil.


December 9, 2020 | Cornett Racing Engines continued their success with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series in 2020, winning their eighth ARP Engine Builder of the Year award. Cornett will collect $1000 Cash, plus - ARP Product Award, Brodix $200 Product Certificate, CP Carrillo Product Certificate, E3 Spark Plugs Product Certificate, K&N Filters Product Certificate, COOL-IT Thermo-Tec Product Certificate, and Xceldyne $750 Product Certificate!


November 2, 2019 | Ira Jackson Cornett “Red” founded Cornett Machine in 1948. He was just inducted in the Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in August 2019 along with his son, Jack Cornett. Former Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Jack Roush was a close friend and a big fan of the creations of his fellow Kentuckian. Red built the first engine for Jack Roush’s race car. Roush and Red became friends while Roush attended Berea College in Kentucky.

From stock car engines to tractor engines, if it contained cams, pistons and all the other parts to form an engine, Red seemed to be blessed in making the parts sing in unison a little better than anyone else. Sometimes it’s just that God-given talent that excels in a world measured by the tenth’s of seconds. When you wanted that extra winning horsepower, many race teams turned to Red. Today Cornett Machine is managed by his son David and Cornett Racing Engines is managed by son Jack.


March 14, 2019 | Don Lee, a longtime employee of Cornett Racing Engines, died yesterday following a brief battle with liver cancer. He was 59. Lee worked the parts counter, among other duties, during two stretches spanning nearly 15 years for the venerable engine builder. According to Cornett Racing Engines founder Jack Cornett, Lee was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer six weeks ago. He last worked in the engine shop in early February.

"Don basically answered the phone for me," Cornett said. "All of my customers that called the shop all talked to him and all knew him well because Don took a lot of pressure off me. He handled a lot of things that I didn't have to. A lot of people knew him, a lot of racers, all of our vendors, because he ordered all the parts. He truly was one of the hardest working, most dedicated guys at his job that I've ever had work for us. He took serious pride in his job and he went above and beyond a lot of times."

Cornett said Lee's first stint with the company beginning in the '90s or maybe the late '80s lasted nearly a decade.

"He left and then he came back and he's been with us about five years," Cornett added. "He's been a great friend to me and my family during this whole time, even when he wasn't working for us... just one of the super nicest guys you'd ever want to meet... not a mean bone in his body. He was a great racing fan. He loved Dirt Late Model racing. He loved racing and that's really why he liked working for us."

Southern Oaks Funeral Home in Somerset, Kentucky is handling the arrangements. - Story Courtesy of Robert Holman / DirtOnDirt.com


October 20, 2018 | Congratulations to Red and Jack Cornett on their 2019 induction into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame! The Somerset, Kentucky engine builder is one of the most successful in modern-era Dirt Late Model racing, powering cars to victories in the 'World 100' and scores of other major events, as well as nine national titles on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series. Ira Jackson "Red" Cornett founded Cornett Machine Shop in 1948 and was joined in 1976 by son Jack, who guides racing operations today. The elder Cornett continued working until his 2012 death at the age of 95. Successful drivers over the last 35 years include Scott Bloomquist, Josh Richards, Darrell Lanigan, Jimmy Owens, Jack Boggs, Bart Hartman, Rick Eckert, and Jonathan Davenport, amongst many others!


January 27, 2018 | Congratulations Red Waka Motorsport! Cornett Racing Engines is proud to have exclusively partnered up with Wayne Hemi from Red Waka Motorsport in New Zealand for over 15 years in building & maintaining their superstock racing engines. Last weekend they raced in the World 240 Superstock Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand which Jordan Dare finished 2nd with Wayne Hemi right behind him in 3rd. New Zealand superstock racing is full contact and you have to watch it, to believe it, as these men from Down Under are absolutely crazy!


November 9, 2014 | Cornett Racing Engines was named the winner of the 2014 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Engine Builder of the Year award, which was determined through the DIRTcar Horsepower program. Among the Kentucky-based engine builder's successes this season was powering Darrell Lanigan to his seventeen (17) series victories with no engine failures on the season!!!


November 26, 2013 | The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will hold it’s annual Championship Awards Banquet next month, on Thursday, December 12th, at the magnificent Lucas Estate in Carmel, IN. Along with honoring Jimmy Owens as the 2013 National Champion and Billy Moyer Jr. as the JRi Shocks Rookie of the Year – Presented by Dunn-Benson Ford, the series will hand out a copious amount of cash and product awards to the various point category winners of the 2013 season.

In the quest for the COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year Award, Cornett Racing Engines won the prestigious award for the sixth time in a row and recorded 12 feature wins on the series in 2013. Cornett Racing Engines will receive a cash award and several product awards from COMP Cams, Edelbrock, CV Products, Roush Yates Performance Parts, and Dyer’s Top Rods!


November 7, 2012 | Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN captured his second consecutive Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Championship in 2012. Owens, also known as the “Newport Nightmare” capped off another great season on the series by winning the season’s final event, the “Red Buck Dirt Track World Championship” and the $50,000 first place prize money. The Reece Monument Racing Team, owned by Mike Reece, put up some amazing stats during the 2012 LOLMDS season and will take home the $75,000 points check, along with numerous other awards at the series year-end awards banquet on December 6th.

Owens won seven Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events during the 2012 season. His wins came at Batesville Motor Speedway (AR) in May; Lucas Oil Speedway (MO) in May and July; Lawrenceburg Speedway (IN) in August; Brownstown Speedway (IN) in September; Dixie Speedway (GA) in October and Portsmouth Raceway Park (OH) again in October. Owens also recorded eleven (11) runner-up finishes in 2012 and an amazing 37 top ten finishes out of 38 points paying series events in 2012. The lone finish out of the top ten was a 16th place finish at Rome Speedway, only after leading most of the event to suffer a flat tire that set him back in the field out of the top ten. Owens took over the series championship points lead after the March 30th event at Jackson Motor Speedway (MS) and never relinquished the points lead the remainder of the season, beating out Don O’Neal by 470 points!


November 4, 2012 | Darrell Lanigan's dream season on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series officially came to a close on Sunday night. The 42-year-old star from Union, Ky., was crowned the 2012 champion of the renowned national tour – and collected a $100,000 points-fund check – during Sunday's annual WoO LMS 'Night of Champions' Awards Banquet at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Lanigan rewrote the circuit's record book en route to becoming the second two-time WoO LMS titlist since 2004. He established new standards for wins in a single season (15), consecutive victories (six) and alltime triumphs (41), leaving the typically reserved driver even more at a loss for words.

"Wow...what a year!" Lanigan told a filled ballroom when he was called to the stage to accept his championship honors. "Unbelievable, just unbelievable. That's all I can say."

Lanigan seized the points lead with a victory in the 2012 season opener on Feb. 11 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., and never relinquished it, becoming the first driver to remain atop the standings from start-to-finish. His final championship margin of 228 points over 2011 titlist Rick Eckert of York, Pa., was the largest in series history!


July 12, 2012 | A member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and owner of a successful NASCAR racing team expressed sadness upon learning of the death Tuesday of “Red’ Cornett, owner-founder of Cornett Machine Shop and Cornett Racing Engines. Jack Roush, founder, CEO and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, called Cornett “a prince of a fellow.”

“Cornett built the engine for my first serious race car in 1966,” said Roush, who has won 32 championships and more than 400 races in drag racing, sports and stock car racing. Roush Fenway Racing is headquartered in Concord, North Carolina.

Roush, a member of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, got acquainted with Cornett at Berea College and “ ... after college I interviewed for a job with him.” [full story]


July 11, 2012 | Pulaski County, the state, the nation and the world have lost a champion. Ira Jackson Cornett, better known as “Red,” founder of Cornett Machine Shop, died yesterday morning at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. He was 95.

“Red” Cornett was probably the most talented; the most dedicated man to his business and his family; the hardest worker Pulaski County has ever known. Who among us, like “Red,” will report to work every day as we pass our 95th birthday and, even at that age, personally care for a loved one, like Mary Elizabeth, his beloved wife of more than 70 years?

“He was a good man,” said his son, Jack. “He cared about people, especially about people in need. He always wanted to help people in need.” [full story]



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