You hear plenty of talk about how much it costs for a racing engine.There's a cry to lower the cost to make it affordable for competitors,and this is a worthy goal, but somewhat short-sighted. It fails to takeinto consideration a key component--engine life.

It's one thing to spend$30,000 for an engine that will last two full seasons versus an enginethat can only coax out 8-10 races. When you break down the expense of alarge ticket item such as an engine, it only makes sense to figure outthe cost against the use. Grocery shoppers do it all the time bycomparing the price against the number of ounces on items found on thestore shelves. Racers need to use the same logic.

The idea was broughtto light by Steve Mugerauer of Competition Products and Howards Cams.Under his direction, an engine was built for use in a WISSOTA-sanctionedcar that will be running weekly. Close tabs will be kept on engine use,including the number of laps put onto a car.

Charting the use of anengine is not something new to professional racing teams. The teams withthe high-dollar investments know which engine is in which car at whichtrack and how many laps have been run on it. It's an idea that cantranslate to even the lowest division at a weekly track. It's a simplematter of record keeping. Once you get an engine, record how long itruns on break-in. Also, how many hot laps were taken at a track? Howmany racing laps were run at full throttle, including qualifying laps?(You should also consider parade laps and caution laps.) An engine maynot be running full tilt all the time, but it is working even during theslower laps, and that constitutes use.

The components were selected andthe engine was built at Goodwin Competition in Omro, Wisconsin. It wasdyno tested and sent off to the competitor to begin the process ofracing. The chosen competitor remains anonymous, which assures nospecial treatment for or against him or her during the racing.

We'lltake you through the steps of the building process with an eye on thecomponents that were selected. The goal wasn't necessarily to use thecheapest parts, but the best parts available at a reasonable price. Mostof the parts came directly from the shelf stock of Competition Products.