How do you think it'll race?

We plan on finding that out real soon (laughs). In race conditions, the lighter weight of the LS3 is a big deal and I would absolutely love to run this combo-the aluminum block will be a lot easier on the front tires. Because of that lighter weight and the torque the engine produces, there is a definite possibility that this car could run with a Super Late Model here in Florida. (Ed Note: Typical Florida SLM's use four-barrel engines putting out 600-plus hp while our EFI/E85 combo dyno'd at 540.) Remember, our best lap time on old tires was an 18.2, that's a respectable Super Late race speed around New Smyrna.

What about the E85 versus the race gas?

Some people might say that because we used E85 as opposed to gas that our fuel consumption would go up, which it did. But I could feel a noticeable difference when we switched the EFI configuration from race gas to the E85. And the stopwatch showed a difference too. So yeah, the fuel consumption went up, but my lap times went down. So in a race I have to carry more fuel, big deal, you just alter your rear percentage. I mean, a racer would carry a 55-gallon drum in the back if it meant extra horsepower. Not to mention the fact that E85 is half the price or better than race fuel."

Can you see any drawbacks to this engine combination?

In reality, no. There are only benefits-no loss. The only con is getting the tech officials to sign off on it and I think that's only a matter of time. Once the tech guys get used to checking these motors, they'll see tech will go even faster at the track. There's no reason why it shouldn't go that way. Think about it-there is a reason why every street car out there is EFI.

So you see this type of powerplant as the future of oval track racing?

I think this is where racing is headed, it's just a matter of how long it takes use to get there. Any time there is a gain in on the track, racers will want it, whatever that "it" actually is. The test shows that what we did made the car better in every way.

Team Owner's Turn
Dalton races for his family-owned team, so we wanted to get input from the guy who writes the checks-his father, Marty. On-track performance is, obviously, critical from the standpoint of winning but we learned a lot of additional information during the test that makes EFI a natural fit for today's oval track racing. During the post test discussion with the team in the back of the hauler Marty had a very definite view about the winning engine combination saying, "Sign me up. I would buy one of these engines right now if I could race it."

But why?

Well, for starters carbs are finicky sometimes you want to take a 2-pound sledge to them, but we found that the ease of tuning the EFI setup saved us a bunch of time. And if you think about it, if something goes wrong with the module, having an extra module laying around is way cheaper than an extra carb.

So there's a financial advantage to this

Look at it this way, a good 9:1 motor to race down here in Florida will run you $25,000 to $30,000. There are engine builders out there who are selling 600-plus-hp LS3 fuel-injected engines for less than half that and they run on pump gas. It's a no brainer to me. As a team owner, save me money and I'll race more often, it's just that simple.