NHRA's Pro Stock 500 cubic inch engine is dead.
In a suprising announcement made late last evening, the California-based sanctioning body announced the popular Pro Stock division would transition to a new 358-cubic inch engine beginning in 2012.
“This is a necessary step to keep the Pro Stock division in step with manufacturers who work so dilligently to maintain identity between the cars and the fans,” explained NHRA President Tom Compton. “In addition, the move to a 358 engine will further assist engine builders, like Roush/Yates, to gain a foothold in the business of Pro Stock.
“We have held discussions with several team owners, drivers and engine builders concerning the timing of this change since 2009. When it became obvious the competitors couldn't come to an agreement on when or how to make the transistion, we stepped up our efforts and are now ready to eliminate the monster-bore motors.”
A glimpse of the new engine package rules, provided by an unnamed engine builder, will not just change the size of the engine, but will eliminate the need for the monstrous hood scoop which clearly identifies a Pro Stock car. The new engine will derive it's horsepower from twin turbos which promise to further increase the speeds in the quarter mile run. The use of nitrous oxide, legally for the first time, in conjunction with under the hood superchargers, could project the class to the role of the world’s quickest and fastest doorslammers.
“Yes, they'll go faster,” admitted Graham Light, who caught a sideways glance from Compton during the interview. “We believe the new package, which we have tested for the past six months, could put the Pro Stock contingent in the 272 to 275 miles per hour range.”
Disputing those numbers, one engine builder remarked, “Once we get a few laps under our belts there is no reason we shouldn't be able to run 275-280 and after a couple of years we could be knocking on the door of the 285 mile per hour barrier, making Pro Stock more exciting than Top Fuel or Funny Car.”
Some former champions of the class, who wished to remain anonymous, stated they would quit NHRA and go run ADRL if the change was made.
“We've got too much invested in our current equipment to just junk it all. I am not sure what those morons in Glendora are thinking, but I can assure you they aren't thinking about the current Pro Stock teams and drivers. As far as I am concerned, if this engine change isn't rescinded I am done with the NHRA.”
Faced with the possibility of mass exodus by the drivers and teams, some who said they would rather run in the IHRA's pre-programmed “Dragscapade” shows, Bobby Bennett, former owner and editor of Competitionplus.com and newly appointed NHRA Director of Pro Stock Competition, simply stuck a finger in each ear, stuck out his tongue and winked.
Before you laugh, a stock bodied car has run as fast as 252 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
THE NHRA'S PROPOSED RULE CHANGES
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