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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you involved with local or regional stock car racing...A group of Virginia and North Carolina track owners met a couple of weeks ago to discuss how to increase car counts in the NASCAR late model stock car class, namely by reducing costs. They see a $3,500-$4,000 crate engine as helping reduce costs and enable more people to participate than the current LMSC engines which run $15,000-$20,000 or more. They all want to use the GM ZZ4 crate engine, an alum. head 350 that makes 355 hp. Aside from the apparent ridiculousness of having your top race class use engines that make just 355 hp, they would require these engines in all cars regardless of bodystyle. So, Ford and Dodges would have Chevy engines. :: Apparently, GM has beefed up the ZZ4 with an "oval-track special" version and marketed it to tracks and teams.

I've posted on a racing board about this issue and the fact that Ford and Mopar make crate engines, too, but get no response. I guess I'm the only one who cares. What do you guys think of requiring GM ZZ4 engines in LMSC regardless of bodystyle, and have you heard of any moves by Ford, Dodge or others to promote their own crate engines to local stock car teams or tracks? Is this move toward crate engines going on at tracks in other parts of the country?

Doug

P.S.: I e-mailed Ford Racing and Performance Parts about this, but the e-mail was returned as and unrecognizable address. I also tried an "Ask Jack" post on the Roush Racing site, but it wouldn't go through either.
 

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Well, first of all the $3,500 figure is complete baloney......Because, NASCAR will get their cut out of it. The same thing happened to ASA a few years ago. They have a LS-1 engine, no matter which body is run on the chassis. The same LS-1 engine thru the dealership network costs less than 8K, I believe. But, you have to buy an engine that a well-known engine building firm changes the oiling system and cam and the price tag jumps to more than 15K. Plus, you are not allowed to break the seal of the engine, or even rebuild them. So, when it wears out, you scrap them, and buy a new one.....That means you just lost your crate motor advantage. Those engines put out about 500HP.

Our engine put out about 650-680 for the 9.5:1 compression rule tracks and our 12:1 engines are in the 750+ range. And yes, they cost about 25K, if you don't have any parts at all. But, a whole bunch less if you are going thru the engine for a rebuild. We are still using one of our basic engines that is more than 10 years old....

I am not convinced that a crate engine is really the way to go. Fans like the HP and the fast cars. If we would go to a 500HP engine, our times would drop about 2 seconds a lap. I know that because most of the tracks around here have a sportsmans class, which is basically our same car, with a limited engine and that is how fast they are going.....
 

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I don't know about stock cars going to crate engines, but I do know that the "spec racer" concept is very popular in both short track and SCCA racing. This takes the time and money of custom fabrication out of the calculation and is usually designed to be a class for folks without lots of $$$ to drop on a custom racecar.

600 Racing makes a whole line of spec racer cars that race in thier own short track series. It sounds like your local track owners are trying to get in on some of that business.
 

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I have no clue to race track rules and what not but I don't like the idea at all. This is from a stand point of not being able to choose what you want. Even if they said it was the ford crate motor. I would be more willing to accept it but would feel it's still wrong.
 

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Does it really make a difference? The Ford engine currently run in WC and BGN is basically a Cleveland anyhow, the Chevy is a blatant copy of it, and the Dodge is a throwback to the old polyspheric engines of the early '60's.

The cars are virtually identical except for the decals.

In so many ways, NASCAR has gone the way of ASA, a reason why I only go to one WC race each year, instead of 3.

The door has been pretty much closed to manufacturers as far as R & D in new body styles or drivetrains, because no matter what they do to try and gain a competitive edge, NASCAR will adjust the rules to make it even, so why even try.

Face it. The old NASCAR is dead and gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gary,

What class do you race? Late model sportsman and limited sportsman?

Your information about the special head bolts that break off if you try to remove them, thus breaking the seal, is what they're talking about here, along with tracks buying the engines and having them prepped by a designated builder then selling them to competitors "at cost." Some drivers say they've run them two or three seasons without doing anything other than changing the oil and plugs, maybe a valve adjustment.

Spec shocks instead of rebuildable shocks are also a hot topic of discussion for reducing costs.

I think a good idea would be to let the LMSCs use 4-barrel carbs and require AFR heads, thus taking away engine builders' desire to try to sneak in a port and polish job.

Doug
 

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I used to watch ASA as it seemed that GM or Ford entries had a chance of winning. When they changed the rules and made it mandatory that all cars run the GM LS1 engine, I couldn't believe it! I absolutey refuse to watch anything connected with ASA racing, including comercials. I have attended NASCAR races for almost 20 years now (at least two per year), and if they ever make everyone use GM engines, they can forget me as a customer. At least ARCA, World of Outlaws, and other open wheel racing organizations allow other engines to participate, so I watch them too. Even though a series may be dominated by GM, as long as a lone MOPAR or Ford can still enter, I'll be a fan.
 
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