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It is said that racing improves the breed, be it horses or cars. We don’t know much about horses (the kind with four legs) but we agree with this sentiment when it comes to cars. From the invention of the rearview mirror for Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp which won the inaugural 1911 Indy 500 to the development of materials, processes and systems that can withstand the torture inherent in racing for 24 continuous hours at LeMans, the cars we drive today are better because of racing.
Consider for a moment NASCAR racing. Here is an environment so competitive that grams of weight and fractional horsepower improvements can mean the difference between winning and losing. A NASCAR Cup engine displaces 358 cubic inches and produces around 850 naturally aspirated horsepower. To get that kind of power from a small block requires revving the engine to nearly 10,000 rpm and running at wide open throttle 90% or more of the time. But it’s not enough to just squeeze more than 2.3 horsepower from every cubic inch of the engine at extreme RPM, a Cup engine has to hold together and survive while running at WOT at almost 10,000 RPM for hour and after hour of racing.
It’s not enough to make extreme power, a NASCAR engine must have rugged durability while making this power under conditions that are trying to tear the engine apart every second that it’s running. It’s easy to make an engine that produces a lot of horsepower…for a short period of time. Likewise, it’s easy to make an engine that is very durable…as long as it’s not making a lot of power. But to make a ton of power, pushing every internal component to the razor’s edge of weight reduction while being subject to extreme RPM and load and to make that engine reliable and durable enough to do this for hour after hour in a 500 mile race, well that is what separates the contenders from the champions.
Enter Arrington Performance, historically one of the preeminent builders of NASCAR engines for the Mopar brand. Founded by Buddy Arrington, one of the most devout Mopar NASCAR racers ever and arguably the most successful independent privateer ever, for decades Arrington was focused on building NASCAR Cup, ARCA, Truck, NHRA and other racing engines for teams that won races and championships. When you build championship level racing engines, research and development is a daily, ongoing process as part of the hunt for grams of weight savings and fractional improvements in friction reduction and durability. Everything about Arrington Performance, each department, person, machine and process, was honed to a competitive razor edge by this history of racing development. Arrington Performance has transitioned its primary focus from pure racing engines to building “NASCAR proven power for the street” for late model Gen 3 HEMI engines as well as late model HEMI drag race engines.