GT1 MustangThe GT1 Mustang of Tim Lyons, crew chief Darryl Hunter


Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking horsepower here.

Whats the first thing people talk about when discussing racecars? How much power the thing has of course. And few things are more misrepresented. Regardless of what it is everybody feels compelled to believe they have the most powerful engine out there. (unless you get beat when the engine was down on power, of course).

But what numbers are we really talking about? There was a time not too long ago, when a really strong 310 CID engine would put out around 700 HP. Some of course did a fair bit more. But these were limited to one or maybe two teams. And while they would sell those engines, they didn’t seem to do as well with the new owners. Some say the heads were changed before the motors were delivered, but I digress.

Then with the introduction of the e Nascar 358 engines, horsepower went up to around 800 +/-. And a whole new world appeared. Transmissionssuddenly became a problem, as did tire management.

A couple of years ago, when the new generation of engines arrived in Nascar the old SB2.2’s, and Ford’s w’Yates heads became obsolete. The teams needed a market so some of them found their way to the road aracing scene. And for prices that were too cheap to pass up. And now the power level was up to 835 approximately.

Last year things progressed even further. People found that even with that power they couldn’t keep up at the power tracks. Why, you ask? Well it seems that there was a generation of cylinder heads produced, by both Ford and GM, that was not approved by Nascar. These heads, or at least some of them have found their way onto the track. And by the way they are completely legal. But one builder told me they were worth 25 horsepower on his engine. His driver said that he can finally run with the top cars after the upgrade. Power? 850 +.

So whats next in the quest for “more power!”