BILSTEIN NORRA Racer Mark Stahl

Racing history and shop visit.

BILSTEIN racer Mark Stahl is a multi-time Baja 1000 winner, NORRA Mexican 1000 Winner, former NASCAR racer and circle track racer. From his early memories as a high school junior racing stocks cars at Cajon Speedway, through his SCORE, NORRA, NASCAR, and ARCA careers, Stahl has cultivated a portfolio of experience rarely found among current racers.

“This was the start of my career at Cajon Speedway in 1968, I was in 11th grade in high school. My second or third night racing I won the trophy dash and I said, I like this racing…”Stahl reminisced. Stahl was the first to open the door to the circle track market for BILSTEIN shocks.

But a passion for off-road racing put Stahl on the map. Racing alongside other legends like Ivan Stewart, Frank “Scoop” Vessels, and the pioneers of desert racing in Mexico he cut his teeth campaigning a BILSTEIN–equipped, single-seat VW-powered class 1 buggy. Mark Stahl has been the recipient of no-less than five prestigious BILSTEIN Madonna awards.

For the last several years Stahl has competed in the revived NORRA Mexican 100 rally in his restored vintage Ford Ranger. A vehicle with deeper ties to racing royalty.

“When I was back racing my class 1 car in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Ivan Stewart had just started racing this truck. This isn’t the actual race truck, this is the prerunner that was built just like the race truck. Ivan came over many times when I was restoring it and helped us. Nobody knows where the real race truck is… I decided to restore it so it looked just like it did back in the day.”

Enthusiasm for vintage racing and keeping these legends alive, has grown as Mark Stahl illustrated by showing the shrinking margin by which the NORRA Legends Class wins have been achieved.

“Three years ago we won by about 10 hours, two years ago we won by an hour and a half, and this year we won by eight minutes and 44 seconds. There’s some guys getting their stuff together, so we’ve got to keep improving to stay on top. The key to desert racing is knowing how fast to go, and when to do it. There’s no need driving any harder than you need to.”

Mark Stahl preps his truck for next year, making engine adjustments, body repairs and servicing his tried and true BILSTEIN M7100 shocks (3 per corner in the best old-school fashion).