Street Outlaws Derek Travis Sleeveless & Erson Equipped at PRI 2016

Just a few years ago when “Street Outlaws” burst onto the scene, it was met with mixed reactions from the racing community. Fast forward to 2016 and these new TV stars practically rule the PRI Show. Having one of their cars in your booth practically guarantees to garner lots of attention, so it comes as no surprise that the Erson Cams/PBM booth was a popular spot, which gave floorspace to the infamously sleeveless Derek Travis and his silver 1986 Camaro (aka “Silver Unit”).

If you follow the show, then you know that Derek is famous for taking the sleeves and money of his opponents on the reg to add insult to injured wallets. It’s become his calling card. In a way, you have to respect that. The big man not only has a big personality, but a big engine in the Silver Unit. Winger Racing Engines put together his latest nitrous-injected 704 cubic inch Big-Block Chevy combination with an Erson solid roller camshaft and lifters. As Derek stated, Erson has drawn praise for helping racers go fast. That not only means superior design and testing for maximum performance, but it also means quick turnaround times, too. There’s no such thing as inventory when you are talking about a custom camshaft for a monster drag motor with three stages of nitrous. Thankfully Erson was able to grind a fresh cam for Derek’s new motor and get him back on the … er … street.

When I spoke with Jack McInnis at Erson Cams, he said that they have made a considerable effort to build up their catalogue of shelf cams for popular applications such as the LS, late-model Hemi and Mod Motors. He said Erson uses billet cores. “A big part of what has plagued these applications in the past is that when people regrind stock stuff to get performance out of it, the cores will fracture either when they grind them or when they use them. The billet cores alleviate that plus give a lot more flexibility with what you can do in the design.” The majority of these grinds, he characterized as “hot street” applications. To develop the cams, Erson works with builders to make sure they work in the “real world.” Of course, he said, 25% or more of their business is made up of custom grinds like Derek’s.

Check out Erson Cams online to find out what they have for your application.

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About the author

Scott Parker

Scott dreamed of being in the automotive media in high school, growing up around car shows and just down the street from Atco Raceway. The technology, performance capability, and craftsmanship that goes into builds fuels his passion.
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