Since hitting the dragstrips in 1968, Hemi-powered Barracudas and Darts have dominated Sup
Whether you're a Mopar enthusiast or not, the dominance of Hemi-powered A-Bodies in Super Stock drag racing is indisputable. As seemed to be the norm back in the heyday of musclecars, Chrysler set their sights on dominating the ranks of a racing class and did just that with their Hurst-built Barracudas and Darts. Fortunately, rather than banning Chrysler's winning combination like NASCAR later deemed appropriate, drag racing sanctioning bodies simply modified class rules to accommodate the quicker cars, eventually leading to the Pro Stock class. After many years of ruling the SS/AA class with no real brand-X contenders, the NHRA made a class exclusively for the Hemi-powered Super Stock A-Bodies, and SS/AH racing was born.
When the Super Stock Darts and Barracudas hit the track in the late '60s, drag racing was a different world. These were not purpose-built chassis, rather they were street cars converted for race use. Racers hauled their cars on open trailers with station wagons and pickup trucks, not semis and motor coaches; chassis, engine, and tire technology were in their youth. A racer could literally purchase one of these cars from the factory, then with very few modifications race the car competitively. Elapsed times in the 10-second range were considered extremely quick, but the Hemi Darts and Barracudas clicked off 10-second passes with apparent ease. As the class evolved over the years, racing technology helped these cars get quicker and quicker, and sanctioning bodies were forced into rule changes for the safety of the sport.
As the Darts and Barracudas became more powerful thanks to improving engine technology, and traction got better thanks to improving tire technology, the wheelies got higher and elapsed times kept getting lower. Ultimately, the NHRA was forced to allow wheelie bars and suspension upgrades for safety reasons, but as a side effect, the cars again got quicker. Cars running deep in the 9-second range were common during the '90s, and the 8-second barrier was quickly broken as well.
Modern engine technology has again given this class a boost with engine builders getting more and more power from the factory 426 powerplant. Currently, if you plan to be competitive in the SS/AH class you'd better run in the 8s, deep in the 8s!
To get a full-bodied Barracuda to run deep 8s takes power and a lot of it. Charlie Westcott Jr. and his team have been making enough power in their "War fish" Super Stockers to not only be competitive, but also to set several class records. Making this kind of power is serious business, and requires many hours of hand massaging each part for maximum performance.
Though engine builders in this class are typically a very secretive bunch, Charlie Westcott Jr. and his team allowed us to look at what goes into their Super Stock Hemi engines. in case you don't think Charlie Westcott and his crew are the right guys to show us what's inside one of these things, guess again. In the last Hemi Super Stock race, seven of the twelve top qualifiers were running an engine built by Charlie and company. We'd say that qualifies him.
Though impressive in entirety, it actually takes a combination of research, good parts, ac
After issues with cracked pistons, the Westcotts worked with Bill Miller Engineering to de
The pistons get to the Westcott shop in a "semi raw" state. The Westcotts perform final pi
The use of factory blocks used to be mandatory in Super Stock, now aftermarket blocks are
Final decking of the block is also performed in-house. While the Westcotts didn't disclose
After decking, the cylinders are honed to their finished size. Cylinder wall preparation i