Every year the Performance Racing Industry--better known simply as "PRI"--holds a trade show in Orlando every year for, you guessed it, the racing industry. One week later the International Motorsports Industry Show--or IMIS in Indianapolis. Technically, these shows are all about business, but what it really feels like is a giant toy store for grown-ups. Imagine vast areas filled with manufacturers that brought along their very best offerings for going faster, staying safer and racing better. Yeah, we love it too.
But it'sn't all playtime. While there we scoured the shows and collected what we feel are the very best new products on display that will be available to racers in the coming year. Some are safety products, some will help you race more economically, and some will help you do what it's all about: go faster on the racetrack.
So without further ado, we give you the best of what's new for 2012.
The New Gold Standard
Comp Cam's Ultra Gold series of rocker arms were already among the best available when it comes to aluminum, stud-mount rocker arms, but that didn't stop the company from undertaking a complete engineering redesign on the Ultra Gold series to make them even better. Now known as the Ultra Gold ARC Series, Comp has taken the lessons learned from its Ultra Pro Magnum steel rocker arms. The arched tip improves valvetrain geometry to provide a very precise rocker ratio. The pushrod cup is cut from 4130 steel for excellent wear characteristics, and integral spring oilers help improve spring life. These new ARC rockers are available in a wide variety of ratios.
Street Stock level racing classes often won't allow a lightweight aluminum bellhousing, but that doesn't mean you are necessarily stuck with an insanely heavy stock bellhousing. Quarter Master's steel bellhousing provides great protection to the driver's legs and feet while still coming in lighter than most stock bellhousings. This design is set up to provide clearance for a block-mount starter and is large enough to accommodate stock diameter flywheels. Quarter Master has these steel bellhousings for both Fords and Chevrolets and they will work with most hydraulic throw out bearings.
TCI didn't exactly show us a brand-new product at the show, but the automatic transmission specialist has made several upgrades to all of its high-performance torque converters that should provide for greater durability and more consistent power to the ground. Improvements include a change to 1018 heat-treated steel for the spline. The hub is now heat treated as well. Finally, TCI has changed its brazing process so that when connecting the fin and the casing the edges of the fins aren't melted and stay sharp. We're told the old brazing process was plenty strong, but the new method helps the torque converter work even more efficiently.
Cool Carb Tool
Few organizations have the depth of expertise as Roush Yates Engines. For example, besides engine builders, RYE also has experienced at-the-track engine tuners and even its own manufacturing arm for its NASCAR Cup engine program. Now the parts arm of Roush Yates is manufacturing its own carburetor bowl repair tool in-house, based on the experience of its engine tuning expertise. This device is designed to fix stripped out bolt holes in a Holley carburetor quick and easy--even if you're at the racetrack. The CNC-cut aluminum body holds everything you need, including a properly-sized drill bit, a tap, and helicoils. The body also serves as a jig locator to precisely center the drill in the holes so that everything goes back together just like new.