For more than 30 years, racers from all across the region have trusted Sturdy Engines for reliable custom racing engines. They still do, and a growing group of racers are getting to know Sturdy as a top builder of WISSOTA concept engines.

"We were one of the shops that started the concept engine program with WISSOTA. We recognized the vast majority of racers couldn’t afford what the big budget teams can afford when it comes to custom engines," commented Gary Schuelke, machinist and builder at Sturdy Engines.

"The concept engine program gives every driver a high quality motor that can compete with any of the custom engines out there — even the high dollar ones," Schuelke said.

“What today’s racers often don’t realize is how good they’ve got it in WISSOTA. In the past, rules were wide open and different from track to track. It used to cost a lot to be competitive, and you had to change all kinds of stuff on your car to race at different tracks."

"When tracks joined WISSOTA and took control of the rules together, all of that changed. Now you can race at a ton of different tracks and not have to change a thing. And I’ll tell you what, WISSOTA has about the best rulebook in the country," said Schuelke. “The track operators who make the rules in WISSOTA have done a great job in creating a set of rules that can work for racers of all budgets. The concept engine is the most recent proof of that," he added.

Sturdy Engines has been working with WISSOTA engine combinations for more than 30 years, and has the ways and means to give customers state-of-the-art products and services — one step at a time. Everything they do, with every engine, is done in-house.

"Nearly all of our machining processes are digitized," noted Schuelke. That means when Sturdy is done with it, your piece will be more accurate and straighter than factory specs — bores and decks will be perfect on your engine, according to Schuelke. The experienced staff will then assemble it all into a finished race engine.

"When done, it’s onto the dyno. Then another process in itself begins; meaning horsepower gains and drivability issues are addressed. Dynoing is also mandatory with today’s flat tappets for cam break-in; not doing this guarantees failure," said Schuelke.

"There is a calling today for more affordable engine packages, and there are many ways of accomplishing goals like that," Schuelke stated, “including limiting the RPMs, like the concept engines."

Sturdy Engines has served Midwestern customers for three decades and now is a division of Auto Value parts stores.

World Products, Dart, Callies, Brodix, Edelbrock, Wiseco, Ross, JE, Federal Mogul, Clevite, Crower, Oliver, Eagle, Sealed Power and Scat are just a few of the major brands they carry in stock every day to help construct the most potent Late Model, Modified, Super Stock, Midwest Mod, Street Stock and Mod Four engines.

"The cost of racing is not just what it cost to put a car on the track, but what it costs to keep it there," Schuelke observed. “We do not like repairing things in the middle of the summer, so we have learned in the past 30 years what works and what doesn’t."

"But every customer is different, with different needs, a different budget and different goals. We can help ANY racer get a great engine which fits his or her needs, budget and goals," Schuelke said. “Today, the WISSOTA concept engine is the logical starting point. Every racer out there should look at that as a first option," Schuelke advised.

"We don’t just build motors, we build relationships," Schuelke said. “I sit up until late at night on the computer and see how our friends are doing. Obviously, we can’t be at all tracks but we want to know how all of our customers are doing."

Schuelke emphasized that racers who feel comfortable assembling their own finished engine are also welcome at Sturdy Engines.

Sturdy Engines is located at the junction of Highways 12 and 15 in Milbank, SD. Schuelke can be reached by phone at (605) 432-4585 or (866) 851-6848, and also by emailing him at
Sturdy Engines • PO Box 47 • Milbank, South Dakota 57252 • Phone (605) 432-4584 Fax (605) 432-6167 •