V. Gaines understands his desire is outside of the norm. The Pro Stock racer wishes there were a few more hot months left in the season and for him, the hotter the better.
Gaines embarked on a new in-house engine program last season spearheaded by his Madcap Racing Engines shop. This season the effort has shown considerable promise – in the warmer conditions. How the engine will perform in the cooler conditions in Reading, Las Vegas and Pomona is unknown.
“The last two races, our engine has run really, really well in the hot weather,” admitted Gaines, who was the sixth quickest after Friday’s 95-degree qualifying.
Gaines, by his own admission, is not a media hawk and shies away from extra attention. But even he has to admit, the way his engine program has come around in the last few months is worth talking about.
The fact this program is developed in the thin air of Denver, Co., makes their accomplishments even more impressive.
“A year ago, we asked our sponsor Kendall if they minded if we took a step back, they were behind us,” said Gaines, of his decision to embark on a new in-house engine program beginning in 2009. “The guys at Madcap, Joe, Kevin, Chuck and Mario, stepped up and starting throwing parts. Against all odds, when people said it couldn’t be done in the Mile High [region]. They’ve done well and we really have some good things happening. They are producing really good horsepower and have even more coming.”
The future is already bright for Gaines.
“I already can’t wait for next season,” Gaines added.
Admittedly, Gaines, while pointing out his engine program is quickly coming of age, also believes they are behind schedule from where he expected to be at this point.
“We are just a little behind,” said Gaines. “We ran into an area where we just couldn’t figure out. We were stuck in that area for about six months when we should have been there only about one. We figured about a year and it’s taken about six months longer.”
Behind or not, Gaines smiles when he thinks about where he’s at now.
“We have a car capable of running at the head of the pack,” Gaines said. “This engine is now running with the best of them. It has the potential to do even more once we realize how to utilize that power. In the evolution of this program we’ve come a long way. But, we have a few rungs to climb on the ladder, still. We already know, come Reading, we have something in the back pocket.”
Gaines is smiling now because he understands a fast car in the heat, translates well to horsepower in the cooler fall temperatures.
“If Reading is as cool of a race as they say it’s going to be, we are going to set some speed records,” Gaines explained. “But, we haven’t run them in the cool weather – so we’ll find out.”
For now though, Gaines likes his chances.
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