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Mopars in IRL, Sprint cars, and WOO

Discussion in 'Historical' started by Beentherebefore, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Beentherebefore

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    I ran across this article while searching some open-wheel racing history. It's dated 1996, around the time that Mopar decided to get back into short track open wheel racing in the US big time. I'm better informed about WOO than I am about Silver Crown, but I believe that Silver Crown was (is?) the biggest motored sprint car series that did not have wings.









    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/date/19960701/news01115.html





    More on Sills and the Silver Crown series. This is from Mopar's own "Milstones" site. Shows how you can market "Performance" when you support US racing series.

    Mopar Milestones - 60 Years of Mopar!
    [​IMG]
    1937-1997 1996




    1996 Team owner Gary Stanton and driver Jimmy Sills give Chrysler its first USAC Silver Crown championship with a season-ending win at Del Mar; Mopar chalks up a record $3 billion in sales.
     
  2. Beentherebefore

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    I've been looking for some information on this since I've been on this board and finally found something. I kept remembering something about Ronney Householder pushing an Indy car motor program at Chrysler in the 1960s in addition to all the other performance programs that the company had going. Below is a copy of a Champion Spark Plug ad from 1969 after Art Pollard won this (now IRL) Dover race with a motor based on the Chrysler 340" small block. The Indy car organization (USAC back then) was seriously considering going to Nascar style motors as their powerplant choice back in the late 60s and Mopar came up with this obviously competitive package. Unfortunately, the powers that be @ Indycar opted to drop the stock-block formula and decided to go with more exotic type motors. Keep in mind that Householder had this Indycar motor development program going @ Chrysler at the same time the company's performance staff was working on their drag racing packages (the now famous '68 Hemi-'Cudas and Darts and the upcoming new Pro Stock class), the winged cars for Nascar, and getting ready for entering the Trans-Am series. That was a full court PERFORMANCE press!





    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Cool!

    Mike
     
  4. Beentherebefore

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    This thing was a terror in World of Outlaws racing around the turn of the millenium. It was driven by Mark Kinser to the WOO championship in 1999, a year in which he won 19 races, almost a third of the total races run by the WOO series that year.

    If you disregard the Indy Car series, WOO is the most popular (and best covered) short track open wheel series in North America.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. Muther

    Muther Well-Known Member

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    That photo kinda makes you wonder where in the heII they put their legs.
     
    Beentherebefore likes this.
  6. Beentherebefore

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    "That photo kinda makes you wonder where in the heII they put their legs"

    Pretty near straight out in front of the driver, as with most types of sprint cars.

    Comfortable?.....................I'm guessing you get used to it.

    Dangerous?....................... Ask Tony Stewart.
     
  7. Muther

    Muther Well-Known Member

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    I have actually helped work on a couple Outlaws, and got the opportunity to drive oneā€¦ slowly, around a track. I am familiar with their seating arrangements. I was using this particular photo to comment on the seating arrangements typical of Sprint cars. It was just a feeble attempt at humor. It's just, from the angle of this photo, you really can't tell where his legs are, unless you have seen somebody sitting in of these things.

    I may be showing my @$$ here (...Big Bird always told me that asking questions was a good way to find things out), but aren't the sprint motors usually bored and destroked big blocks running at around 10,000 rpm? Seems to me like that is real hemi territory. Don't hemi's make tons better power up on top, than wedges, pents, or poly's. With the flow of the heads/valves in the latest hemi's, it would seem to me like Sprint car racing would be a match made in heaven for Mopar Hemi's. What engine speed does it take for before hemi's start running into flame front issues. How are those issues dealt with?

    Can somebody with the technical knowledge enlighten me/us about how these (Sprint) engines run. What are is typical power, engine speed, flow rates etc. How would a hemi stack up if it was going to built for Sprint?
     
  8. Beentherebefore

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    The last outlaws race I attended was back when Mark Kinser was still running and the Mopar teams were running versions of the LA small block, mostly built by Stanton. Most of the field was powered by sbc based motors. I browsed around in the pits after the race and never saw any big block powered cars. The Blaney brothers also had a Mopar powered Outlaws car for awhile, in fact, I was reading somewhere on the net a while back where they switched all their stuff over to Mopar power, figuring that was the way to go after Mark Kinser's domination in 1999 and 2000. I really don't know what the series engine rules are. I, myself, wondered about Hemis and brought up the question on another part of this board. There was quite a discussion of the sprint car motors over the summer on another thread, but it wasn't actually a historical thread. Somebody (Danno maybe?) gave the actual motor specs. If I'm remembering correctly, some of the series run methanol and some run pump gas. This would be a great thread to discuss that all on. I'd love to hear from someone that still attends those series and knows exactly what is allowed now and whether or not Hemis are an option. My guess is that they probably are not since they likely would put all the "Brand C" based small blocks at a disadvantage and that would be 95% of the field. Anybody got a rulebook from one of the major sprint car series? I'm waiting for that key passage - "HEMISPHERICAL TYPE COMBUSTION CHAMBERS ARE NOT ALLOWED"
     
  9. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Technically, the wedge doesn't belong in that group.
    The Hemi, Poly and Pentastar are re markedly similar when dissected. The three share equal spaced and length intake and exhaust and all three are very efficient air pumps, with the current generation Hemi sharing much more with the Poly, than with the first generation Hemi.
    To your question, look at the modifications performed to the NHRA engines, which make them the torque and horsepower monsters they are, however Im not sure the valve train could sustain that rpm for an extended period of time, with any durability. You'd likely need an OHC for that rpm.
    The Poly and Hemi are normally low rpm torque power generators, by design.
     
  10. Beentherebefore

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    "Danno" gets into some of that in post #50 on the Nascar historical thread in the "Chat" section.
     
  11. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    There are two Plymouth-Westlake 327 Indy engine from 1969 at the Museum of American Speed in Nebraska. It was an iron block and started life as an LA 318.

    According to that website, Art Pollard drove the Plymouth-Westlake and won 200-mile Indy car race at Dover, Delaware on August 24, 1969. This would turn out to be the only victory for Plymouth in the history of Indy car racing.

    See link below for freaking cool engine pics!!!

    http://www.museumofamericanspeed.com/Weslake-327-CID-Plymouth-Indy-Car,9232.html

    The same museum has the 1969 #57 STP Gerhardt Plymouth Indy Car sitting next to the display engine on the stand. According to the website the car was built in 1969 by Fred Gerhardt copying a Lotus chassis, then sold to Andy Granatelli's STP team.

    We found the car!!! At least it is safe in a museum and still has the Plymouth-Westlake engine!!!

    Click link for pics of the car:

    http://www.museumofamericanspeed.com/No-57-1969-STP-Gerhardt-Plymouth-Indy-Car,7110.html

    So yes, that museum had two Plymouth-Westlake Indy engines on display with a third one installed in the original car that won at Dover.

    Mike
     
  12. Beentherebefore

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    Cool engine pictures indeed!

    They don't look anything like the 318s I've owned ;) .

    Great find, Mike. Genuine Mopar legacy.
     
  13. Beentherebefore

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    From the Trans Am thread...............

    OK, I need to be enlightened here as I never was too deep into these series at that time. Would F1-Formula 5000 be using the same basic engine package as IRL was using? i.e., the 318 based motor that are pictured in Mike's link?
     
  14. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    My assumption would be yes, given Gurney's had a relationship with Westlake and it was the "factory backed" package.

    Norm?

    Mike
    I love the corporate blue Plymouth logos on the red car. Super cool!!!

    Mike
     
  15. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    The Years from 1968 to 1980 probably saw the F1 and Indy cars as close as they ever were.
    There were engine differences of course, but most major constructors, Gurney, McLaren, Lotus and others were building cars for either series with some modifications.
    After Clark and Gurney brought Lotus to Indy, the Drake-Offenhauser front engine cars were doomed and now only exist in Sprint Cars. (Which is weird because USAC Sprint cars were always the feeder system for Indy Cars. That may actually explain why so few Americans race in Indy Car now? )
    So not the same identical engine packages because displacement was different, but the rest was very similar.
    Today of course they are worlds apart.
    Some current differences:

    Weight. F1 cars minimum weight is 585 kg (1,287 lbs). Indy car
    minimum weight is 1,550 lbs (704.5 kg).

    Brakes. F1 cars use carbon fibre brakes which are lighter and
    more durable than the steel brakes used by Indy cars. (Indy cars
    are allowed to use carbon brakes on the 2.5 mile superspeedways
    at Indianapolis and Michigan. Steel brakes are mandatory at all
    the other races).

    Ground effect. [AS] It is generally said that ground effect cars
    are no longer allowed in F1 but this is not strictly true. All
    cars generate ground effect, you cannot 'ban' it, only try to
    design the rules to limit the downforce that can be obtained
    from it. In F1 this is done by requiring flat bottoms between
    the wheels (now with 50mm step). In Indycar they still allow
    shaped ground effect tunnels, but with strictly controlled
    dimensions and at a minimum height above the bottom of the
    chassis.

    Turbo charging. Banned in F1 but still allowed in Indy -
    although at a much lower boost pressure than was used by F1 cars
    in the 80's.

    Semi-automatic gearboxes. Allowed in F1 but not in Indy.

    Read more: http://stason.org/TULARC/sports/formula-one-motor-racing/6-3-What-s-the-difference-between-F1-and-Indy.html#.UrB9I8u9KSM#ixzz2nkcAT9st
     
  16. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    Actually with the new engine regulations for F1 coming in 2014... F1 will be running turbocharged V6 engines.

    It will be interesting to see how similar the new Honda F1 engine in 2015 will be to its IRL cousin.

    Mike
     
  17. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    The more things change, the more they stay the same... ;)
     
  18. Beentherebefore

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    The original Honda V-6 IRL motor back in the 90s bore some resemblance to their stock block V-6s, if I'm remembering correctly. I'm not that well informed about current IRL motor specs. What's the current c.i. limit? Any relationship to street/production motors?
     
  19. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    1.6L for the new F1 V6. No idea on relationship since the Honda won't debut until 2015.

    Mike
     
  20. Beentherebefore

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    I was inquiring more about the IRL motors since F1 is already covered by Ferrari. I was wondering if anything in the Mopar V-6 portfolio might be adaptable to IRL racing.

    Call it "wishful thinking". :lol:
     

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