In a non-descript building on a short, quiet, dead-end road, just off a two-lane highway running hard beside a pair of railroad tracks that lead a couple of miles away into sleepy Winder, Georgia, you’ll find Jon Kaase Racing Engines, birthplace and home to some of the biggest, baddest and most powerful naturally aspirated motors on the planet. Only a small sign on the door touting Kaase’s prowess as a Popular Hot Rodding Engine Masters Challenge champion gives any hint to the mechanical mastery that occurs within.

Enter through that door and the first thing you see is Kaase’s desk, not too messy and not too neat, front and center in an open floor plan office that he shares with project manager Cliff Moore, who doubles on race weekends as crew chief on Brian Gahm’s ADRL Extreme Pro Stock entry. As often as not, Kaase’s dog, Liberty, will rise to greet you, too.

Photos and mementos of more than three decades in professional drag racing line the office walls, dating back to Kaase’s time as crew chief for the legendary “Dyno Don” Nicholson in the late-1970s. He’s a historic warbird buff, too, as evidenced by numerous airplane models and framed pictures of famous military aircraft, some of which he’s even taken rides in as a member of the Commemorative Air Force, a restoration club based at a nearby airport. A smattering of family photos completes the scene.

» See our InnerVIEW of Jon Kaase also in this issue

A lot is stuffed into a little at JKR. Shot from a storage loft that extends along three walls, this photo depicts engine storage and metal-working machines in the foreground, with the CNC machine at rear center and the all-important dyno room occupying the far corner.
The man himself, Jon Kaase, 57, has a hand in preparing or assembling every single one of the 70 or so brand-new engines of all types that leave his shop in a single year, as well as being responsible for all welding repairs made to tortured track motors.