It was several years ago that CT began Project G.R.E.E.N. (which stands for, Green Racing Experimental Engine Narrative), whereby a team of experts dyno tested, track tested, and raced a modern General Motors electronically fuel injected, E85-burning Late Model race car engine. We were then pushing the envelope as to what CT should be involved in politically, but thought we should proceed based on the value of the project. We were not disappointed at the outcome.
We knew through certain sources that persons higher up in the stock car racing community were taking note of our proceedings and that kind of put the pressure on. Just recently, lo and behold, on November 15, 2012, (some two and a half years after we first cranked Project G.R.E.E.N.'s engine), NASCAR began testing a similar configuration at Daytona for Sprint Cup cars. Editor Rob Fisher and I were there to witness this monumental event.
Now we are well aware that ASA, under different leadership and ownership than at present, had run a national racing series that used LS1 engines for several years and that program was a huge success. But what happened to that concept? Maybe it was ahead of its time then, but evidently not now.
It seems that racers will say they don't give a hang about what is happening in Cup, but when they fine tune their aerodynamics or run large sway bars and soft springs, it proves that the short track guys emulate what is going on in NASCAR, for better or for worse.
What we are hoping for is this; now that NASCAR has embraced the FI induction, ASA can be the first short track sanction to return to running FI engines. This will entice other sanctions to follow suit and we can be off on a more current track when it comes to our race engines.
We all know, or suspect, that the age of carburetors is coming to an end. Think about how long FI has been around in production cars. And our youth is growing up with FI cars, not normally aspirated carbureted engines.
The future of circle track racing depends on attracting our youth and making racing interesting. Imagine a world where the rules will allow a race team to tune their own engines on a computer. Kids are now well versed in computer technology and playing games much more complicated than a silly engine tuning program.
Modern FI engine management systems allow adjusting fuel feed and ignition timing for each cylinder individually and independent of the other cylinders. With optimum air to fuel ratios being maintained by the system itself, the driver has more torque and HP at all parts of the rpm range. The motors will last longer, the performance will be better, the fuel mileage will increase all of which will save the team money, and this will create more interest in racing in general.
We can also now utilize alcohol-based fuels such as E85 so that certain emissions will be reduced if we incorporate the FI engines. We've already shown the positive results of running these fuels in past articles related to the G.R.E.E.N. racing project.
Will there be opposition to this plan? Probably so, but as with any major change in the way things are done, you'll always have those who don't want to see change and want to maintain the status quo. But we can't afford to let technology pass us by. Now is the time to move ahead and create race cars that more resemble street cars and one of the most important components that needs to match up is the engine.
Many companies are now gearing up to accommodate the switch to FI engines. Those who aren't will soon be making preparation. The industry can and will adjust and our race cars will be better and more earth friendly as a result. It's a win/win situation.
If you have comments or questions about this or anything racing related, send them to my email address: Bob.Bolles@sorc.com, or mail can be sent to Circle Track, Senior Tech Editor, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619.
Used Chassis Information
I'm a new subscriber to Circle Track and was wandering if you ever had or are going to ever do a story on used chassis? I want to get into racing dirt and need info on how old of a chassis is still good so I would be competitive.
I hear and see all the ads for chassis for sale that have been updated, and of course I'd like to be up to date. Just an example would be a '99 Shaw Modified vs. a 2005 Shaw Modified or an '01 Rocket Late Model vs. '07 Rocket Late Model.
These are just examples but without calling every chassis maker, someone like me just doesn't know. Maybe you have broken this down and maybe you haven't, but the info would be very, very helpful for starters like me.
Some of the info I'm interested in are the updates chassis makers perform, such as the '05 Shaw Mod relocated rear arms to accommodate something that is needed to be more competitive.
An article about so and so won with a 7-, 10-, or 14-year-old chassis would be great reading. Anyway, thanks for reading this and if possible send email back of year and date of the issue that has the info needed and I'll keep my eyes open for new articles in Circle Track. Thanks and keep the info coming.