All Aluminum SUPR Spec Engine Kit
stroke lightweight crankshaft (44lbs)
H-beam rods with ARP 2000 bolts
flattop with metric ring groove
rings 1.5, 1.5, 3.0 mm plasma moly file fit
balancer SFI 6.25
timing set with Torrington
pressure fed lifter
suction dry sump pan with inspection hole)
T & D
Rocker (1.6 intake, 1.5 Exhaust)
Water Pump (3/4 Shaft)
Parts Not Included in Kit
(Engine Builders’ choice)
Valve Cover gaskets
Note: Cost of
engine is not to exceed $16,450 to the racer.
Freight and taxes not included.
information regarding the all aluminum SUPR Spec Engine Kit contact
Donald Watson at (225) 275-9683 or Greg Holmes at (225) 275-5040 or
e-mail us at
Introduction of Additional Spec Engine
BATON ROUGE, La. (January 3, 2008)
reading this letter the question has probably
crossed your mind why are they creating another
spec engine? What’s wrong with the engine we
have already? In the following pages I hope to
Click here for full story
ENGINE RUNS STRONG, SAVES $$$
A LOW COST
You've heard it before - you have to
spend money if you want to win races. This may be true in some
areas, but not in the SUPR Late Model Series. Competitive motors for
less than half the cost? Read on.
Short Track Racing
June, 1994 - In Louisiana,
Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and surrounding areas, the home base of the
southern United Professional Racers (SUPR), the car counts in the premier
Late Model class just hadn't been growing. There were plenty of drivers in
these areas, but they were spending their weekends sitting in the
grandstands or helping some of the lucky few who raced. These idle drivers
had experienced motor problems and just didn't have the money to get the
car back in shape and go racing.
What a frustrating feeling for a
driver! There sits a perfectly good racecar - a possible contender, except
that it lacks an engine. The price tag for a new engine could run as high
as $25,000, and not many drivers have that kind of money after the season
has started. It's equally frustrating for the promoter, who's seeing his
car counts dwindle. When car counts go down, the fans seem to stop coming.
It's bad all the way around.
Making Late Model racing affordable
and competitive is a challenge, but it's not impossible. And SUPR has come
up with a way to bring the costs back down to an affordable level, yet
still keep the driver in the thick of the action.
"We wanted to
bring back the racers who had quit," said SUPR president Roxy Dancy. "Our
car counts were stagnant. People would race and then you'd lose them. We
had people on the sidelines who had cars, but couldn't afford to race
According to Dancy, the driving force behind building a spec
engine was pure economics. The situation had become a vicious circle:
"Late Models get so expensive that car counts come down. The drivers need
more money in order to compete, so they go to the promoter asking for an
increase in the purse. But the promoter can't justify an increase when the
car count is down."
Some race tracks across the country have been
forced to drop Late Models as their headliners in their weekly shows. The
reason: Car counts did not justify the expense. These tracks offer the
traveling Late Model circuits, but fans no longer have their favorite
local drivers to root for. The traveling series rely on the local base of
cars to strengthen their fields, but if there are no regular Late Model
fields, the car counts will appear to be down when the series come to
Turning this vicious
circle into a "winner's" circle is possible with lower-cost engines like
the SUPR spec engine.
When more drivers can afford Late Model racing
and be competitive, the result will be more cars, and more cars means
extra leverage when seeking an increase in the purse. If racers' initial
costs are lower, they may even make a little money.
A SUPR spec
engine will cost no more than $8,000. If you do it yourself, you're
looking at less than $7,000. Combined with a lower car weight and larger
rear spoilers, the level of competitiveness is not compromised. The cost
is the only thing that goes down.
The idea of the "spec" engine
came from SUPR competitor Donald Watson, who saw that racers wanted to
spend less and race longer, especially those who weren't blessed with lots
of cash. Watson's first call was to James Hall at Hall Racing Engines in
"He asked if we could build an engine that would
meet his needs," Hall said. "He was interested in a complete 550-to-600
horsepower motor that wouldn't cost $20,000."
conversations followed between the two men. Hall accepted the challenge
and used ideas from Limited Late Model engine restrictions in effect in
some parts of the country.
Hall, whose engines won more than 200
features in 1993, didn't need to build this type of engine. He already had
plenty of customers - some of them willing to spend whatever it takes. In
addition, there's not much profit in a low-cost engine, but Hall liked the
"If you've been around racing very long, you know the cost is
getting out of hand," Hall said. "The cost has to stop somewhere. If we
don't stop the rising costs, Late Models are going to end up like the
World of Outlaws. Local racers can't afford it (racing) now. We thought
this deal would be something the locals could afford and would help them
become more competitive."
Another key player was
Brodix, Inc. of Mena, Ark., a company that developed the cylinder heads
and the HV1 intake manifold that are required on the spec
The heads and
intake manifold proved to be big factors in reducing the competitors'
costs. The heads are limited to 60cc combustion chambers, which makes the
engine a true lower compression engine. Many racing engines are running
12-to-1 compression and some are as high as 14-to-1. A SUPR spec engine is
limited to 10.9-to-1 compression. This lower compression also leads to
longer life, which saves money.
Drivers could easily have invested
$10,000 in heads and head work alone in order to gain a competitive edge,
but that can't happen with the SUPR spec engine. Brodix has cast the
letters "SUPR" into the intake and exhaust ports, which allows tech
inspectors to verify that the heads have not been altered. A driver who
isn't spending all of his money on the heads and head work has some left
over for other items on his racing budget.
The idea for a spec engine
surfaced after the 1992 season and the engine's first test came in 1993.
Hall Racing Engines assembled the powerplant
for Watson for the '93 season and Hall selected Oliver Sportsman
a Lunati camshaft, a Barry Grant carburetion system and JE flat top
pistons as its components. Hall's knowledge and experience allowed him to
keep the high-quality components, yet keep the cost
Since racers sometimes need to be shown that something
really will work, there were skeptics who didn't believe the spec engine
would work. Watson quieted the critics by winning the SUPR championship,
due in large part to the engine's reliability. In the entire '93 season,
the new champion only experienced one mechanical failure - a broken rocker
arm late in a race. In fact, no DNF's (did not finish) were listed for any
of the spec engines on the circuit. Other spec drivers who won SUPR events
included Tony Cardin (the 1993 Louisiana State Champion) and Ronnie
The Engine's Possibilities
The spec engine concept may have originated
with the SUPR series, but the engine's possibilities are endless. "Our
emphasis with this engine is on helping others," Dancy said. "Our drivers
are saving money, but the idea can get to promoters elsewhere." When
others begin to see the engine as a way to bring down costs and keep the
racing competitive, it becomes a "win-win" situation.
weekly Late Model shows that are not sanctioned have used the engine with
great success. This is an important point because it starts the
resurrection for the weekly operations. From a racer's standpoint, a lower
cost, yet competitive, engine will give the driver a chance to compete on
an even keel with the "big boys." From the promoter's standpoint, a higher
car count is a bonus, but a higher number of competitive cars will add to
the excitement. The sport lacks excitement when the same few drivers win
every week. For the traveling sanction, the rebirth of the Late Model
class bolsters car counts and encourages fan-based enthusiasm at the race
track. All this is done while keeping racing's number one enemy
(cost) at a manageable level.
SUPR rules allow certain
tolerances that place the spec engine on an even keel with the higher-cost
and greater-horsepower motors.
The sanction has four weight divisions
which are determined by the weight of the car and the engine type. The "A"
engine, which is anything less than 381 cid, must weigh 2,250 pounds with
the driver after the race. The "B" engine cars have 381-410 cid engines
and must weigh 2,350 pounds. The heavyweights are the "C" engine cars.
These cars have engines over 411 cid and must weigh 2,450 pounds after a
race. All of the engines may be steel or aluminum.
The spec engine,
type "S", is a 362 cid steel engine. The weight of this car with the
driver after the race is 2,150 pounds, substantially less than the other
In addition to the weight break, spoiler rules are different
for cars with spec engines. The rear spoiler's dimensions for types A,B
and C are 72 inches by 8-1/2 inches, while spec engine cars are allowed a
little more spoiler - 72 inches by 12 inches.
Each car at a SUPR
event has its letter designation on the roll cage and drivers have to be
honest about their status. Only two drivers in the circuit's history have
been found to be outside their stated designations.
The spec engine also has
the distinction of being the only engine that can be claimed at a SUPR
"We put the $8,000 claim on the engine to keep
them from building high-dollar lower ends," Dancy said. Under the
organization's rules, the engine may be claimed by any of the top 10
drivers from the feature race. The price tag includes intake manifold,
valve covers, heads, block, oil pan, water pump, crank dampener and
internal components. A driver can claim up to four engines a year. Dancy
said the idea was patterned after IMCA's successful claiming
After a race, a winning driver with a spec engine can
expect to spend a little more time at the tech station before the win
becomes official. "Tech gets a little more complicated," said Dancy. "We
have to check and make sure the heads haven't been tampered with and make
sure there's flat top pistons and so on."
Unlike some eastern Late
Model circuits, SUPR competitors run mostly methanol. The spec engine
generates power in the 550 horsepower range on this fuel; with gasoline,
there's a slight drop off in the horsepower. Watson, who qualified through
SUPR for the Hav-A-Tampa Shootout, converted the engine over to gasoline
to run the high stakes show. Despite the drop in horsepower, Watson
qualified in the top third of the invitational field. There was no weight
break involved and the car had to weigh 2,300 pounds.
The engine's success in
its first year of competition will most likely increase the number of
drivers using it, but SUPR doesn't intend to make it mandatory.
"We're not going to make it (the spec engine)
dominant," Dancy said. "You can run any engine you want. We're just trying
to make the low-cost alternative competitive. Some already have the
perception that you have to use the engine to run SUPR. That's not
As of early February, Hall was building a couple of spec
engines for the1994 season and expected to receive a few more orders. His
staff of six people has been kept busy building all types of engines for
the Late Model
ranks. He estimates that about a half-dozen spec motors
were built at his shop last year for SUPR competitors.
Many Drivers Won't Have to
Use a Professional Engine Builder...
In addition to the engine's low cost, another
advantage is the likelihood that many drivers won't have to use a
professional engine builder and can build it themselves. "If you've got
any engine building experience at all, you can do this," Dancy
There's a bountiful supply of blocks, engine parts or kits,
and every racer has easy access to them. The only parts that must come
from a specific manufacturer are the heads and the intake from Brodix.
Hall Racing Engines has given SUPR a breakdown of the parts that are
needed to build spec engines, along with their prices. Dancy cautions that
there are ultra-light parts that could be used, but they are more
expensive. It's important to bear in mind that the engines have a claiming
price. In terms of cost, race-ready lower ends run about $4,000 and the
heads and intake bring the total to just over $6,000.
The engine's lower
compression adds yet another economic advantage.
Many of the high-dollar engines go through one
or two rebuilds in the course of a year. Rebuilding an engine takes money
- between $5,000 and $8,000, depending on the engine builder. The lower
compression engine requires fewer rebuilds, which saves money in
While it may be too early to determine the
effect on car counts, the average number of Late Models in a
SUPR-sanctioned event did increase in 1993. After an average of 25 cars
per show in 1992, the field average was 27 in 1993.
The spec engine
isn't the only cost-saving proposal put forth by SUPR.
circuit's beginning, a set tire price of $110 was established and drivers
may choose from two different sizes and two different
Engine builder Hall sums it up best. "This will help
Late Models, and I say that not just because it could mean business for
me. Somebody's going to have to change this Late Model thing. It's getting
into too much money."
Dancy compares the skyrocketing expenses to a
snake: "You cut off a little piece of his tail - that's not going to
bother him too much. If you continue cutting him, you're going to kill
him. That's what we're doing with racing."
All ideas must start
somewhere. The idea of a lower-dollar, yet equally competitive engine has
apparently taken root in the SUPR Series.
For further information regarding the 2015 P&W
Sales SUPR Series, contact Greg Holmes at 225-275-5040
or e-mail us at
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