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As you already heard, Chevy had to go to Ford to make their IRL engines competitive. Read about it here:

http://espn.go.com/rpm/irl/2003/0728/1586700.html

Several Key points:
1. It takes a Ford guy to make a Chevy run good.
2. Chevy is up to their NASCAR whining again - everytime Ford blows them in the weeds, they start handicapping the Fords (anyone rememer the mid year Aerocoupes in the 80s because the Fords were too fast?) I'll bet they would not have let Toyota or Honda have the same mid year makeover!!
3. IRL is going to start running road courses, which just about kills off Tony's last promise about his series.

Chevy - Powered by Ford!! :: :: :: :: ::

Dave
 

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I can't get to that site, is it the right one?
 
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Dang, at first I thought this was turning into a Cosworth Vega forum. Whew!! ::
 

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The IRL is a joke and Tony George is a braindead [email protected]%#^. It sure was nice of the IRL to throw the NASCAR yellow out so Sam Hornish didn't have to make his extra fuel stop at the end of the Michigan race. And how about that huge crowd, maybe 30,000.

Sorry for the rant. But they have ruined the Indy 500 and open wheel racing in the US.
 

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That's true, Jess. The Chevy smallblock is the winningest engine in racing history. THere are just so darned many of them on drag strips and dirt tracks, it's easy to understand why.

That having been said, Indy-Car engines bear no resemblance whatsoever to anything you'll ever see on the street. Chevy's last competitive Indy engine, the Ilmor, was also a unique design that was farmed out to a couple of former Cosworth engineers, IIRC. It too, had nothing to do with any production engines made by GM.

It's a shame that Ford does own Cosworth, but really doesn't use their expertise in anything they make for the street. Chevy once had them make a Vega engine for them with a trick twincam head, called the Cosworth Vega. Pretty rare cars these days. Ford also used a Cosworth-modified engine back in the sixties in little Cortinas, and called them Lotus Cortinas. Saw them whip many a V8-powered sedan on road courses back then.

I miss the days when production-based engines were used for the big racing series for IndyCars and NASCAR. For some reason, the sanctioning bodies think it benefits the sport for racers to use engines whose designs borrow nothing from production engines.
 

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I won't dispute the SBC's history of winning, but there are a couple items that have helped. Back in 50s when Chevy came out with SBC, they wisely encouraged (direct assistance??) speed equipment vendors to have products available. They mounted a program to unseat Ford as the "youth market" favorite. At that time Chevy was allowed to compete in sanctioned racing throughout the country "heads up". This killed the flathead's lock on racing as it couldn't match the power of the OHV engine with equal displacement. Now, you can't introduce new technology (like OHCs) at all, or without having some handicap placed on their power, which ensures the status quo. Also back in the 50s, GM launced a "ban" through the AMA (Automobile Manufacturers Association) on car makers participating in racing or building speed parts. Ford, a new member of AMA, followed this edict to the letter. They abandoned further development of their supercharged 312 engines. Unfortunately, GM continued to build performance engines (multiple carbs, fuel injection, 4 spds, etc), and assist race teams covertly. This was a critical time in automotive history and GM gained the reputation of building the highest performance cars and the SBC became the standard hot rod engine. Finally, in 1960, Ford saw what was going on and withdrew from the ban (initially producing their 352 cu in , 360 HP engine). However, it was too late to overcome the GM advantage (in people's minds). When Ford brought out the SBF (221 Cu in) in 1962, they had the makings of a real competitor for the SBC. When the SBF and SBC met on equal grounds (1963 Indy 500), the little Ford blew all the Chevy entries away and finished second. Likewise, the SBC never won Le-mans, but the SBF won several. With the Shelby Cobra and GT 350 Mustangs winning championships, and Ford's "Total Performance" program, Chevy and Chevy racers (the majority of racers were Chevy powered at this time) began to influence sanctioning bodies and rules makers to protect their interests. For example, banning Cleveland heads on Ford engines; and don't get me started on NASCAR. When Bob Glidden was wining NHRA, they began to institute rules aimed at handicapping the little Ford. These rules have been tuned to the GM interests time and again which helps ensure racers continue to use GM products. Unlike the days when the SBC took over, there are rules now that ban new technology under the notion that it keeps costs down. Even in the ASA, rules mandate that all cars, even Fords and Chryslers, MUST run Chevy engines. Sorry, I take the wining ways of the SBC with a grain of salt.
 

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I just love it that when the Chevies in NASCAR aren't winning, they get "allowed" some aerodynamic advantage.
Indy cars, now it's like watching a go-kart race.
 
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