Nacogdoches, TX – Opening the next chapter in a distinguished motorsports career that spans over 30 years, Darin Morgan will join the Mast Motorsports team effective immediately. Best known for his efforts in heading Reher-Morrison’s R&D department, Morgan has built his career around developing advanced cylinder heads and induction systems for engine applications ranging from NHRA and IHRA Pro Stock, to IndyCar, to NASCAR Cup, to powerboats, to land-speed cars to high-end sportsman and bracket racing. In his latest role, Morgan welcomes the opportunity to combine this experience with Mast’s engineering and manufacturing resources to launch the company’s newly formed Race Cylinder Head Services division.
“Working with David Reher and Bruce Allen for 22 years has been a real privilege. My time at Reher-Morrison was an excellent learning experience and I’m grateful for it,” Morgan said. “Developing cylinder heads is the only thing I’ve done since I was a teenager. I look forward to working with Horace Mast, Larry Widmer, and the entire Mast engineering team to accomplish things I could have only dreamed of before. When I first visited Mast Motorsports, I was blown away by how innovative, automated and efficient the entire operation was. Being able to work with a team of engineers and designers to perform CAD work, 3-D printing and make custom tooling all in-house is a dream come true. It allows us to digitize prototype ports and update existing port designs with very little effort. We can get twice as much done in half the time.”
Morgan’s fascination with airflow dynamics and cylinder heads started early. Both his father and step-father built engines for a living, and by 18 years of age Morgan spent countless hours experimenting on the flowbench. He took a job with Bob Glidden Racing before moving on to Larry Morgan racing and eventually landing at Reher-Morrison. Although his background encompasses all aspects of engine building, his true passion is designing cylinder heads. “I’m a challenge junkie,” said Morgan. “Cylinder heads are the most complex and challenging part of racing. That’s what drew me in. Unless there’s a big challenge, I’m not comfortable and working on heads is the most challenging thing professionally that I’ve ever had to do. It takes at least 10 years of working hard at it to become proficient at what you do.”
Nevertheless, Morgan’s extensive background building race motors for a broad range of applications is what enables him to provide maximum value for customers. “Building the best racing engine is making the best set of compromises. You have to look at all the variables as a whole,” Morgan stated. “That’s why I spend so much time on the phone with customers figuring out vehicle weight, gearing and rpm range. After we have all this information, it’s then and only then that we can design a set of heads for a car. The goal is to design super-efficient ports and put them in a casting that the average racer can buy. Most of the horsepower gains these days come from the valvetrain, cylinder heads and proper manifolding. If we can put more efficient ports in a head that optimize both dry and wet flow characteristics, then we can increase power and give customers more bang for the buck.”
Looking forward to the future, Morgan welcomes the challenge of heading Mast’s Race Cylinder Head Services division, which operates out of a sprawling 22,000 square-foot facility in Nacogdoches, TX. Although the Mast brand has always been associated with the GM LS platform, Morgan will tap into his broad base of experience to provide cylinder head solutions for all engine platforms including Chevys, Fords and Mopars as well as imports and exotics. “At Mast, I’ll be able to continue doing what I’ve always done but with far greater resources than ever before,” Morgan stated. “The LS platform is taking off by leaps and bounds, but as a custom shop, we will provide cylinder head services for all types of engines. I enjoy restoring the cylinder heads and intake manifolds for collector cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, horseless carriages and everything in between. It takes a lot of trust to send someone these ancient and super rare engine parts, but they know when they get them back they’ll be perfect.”
In addition to his duties at Mast, Morgan will continue his well-known A.I.S.T seminars, covering topics such as wet-flow dynamics, cylinder head and induction system design, and induction system tuning. “We’re planning on five classes per year and two hand-on classes in the shop,” Morgan stated. “I’ve always enjoyed teaching people because when I was young no one wanted to teach me!”
Mast will soon launch upcoming dates for Darin Morgan’s A.I.S.T. seminars as well as other seminars at its new facility in Nacogdoches, Texas.
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