Hitech Motorsport,Bart Wells
Hitech Motorsport, located in Ramsey, Minnesota, is a newcomer to our engine challenge. Founded by Bart Wells in 1999, Hitech operates under the philosophy of giving customers quality performance work with a personal touch. They build custom engines for domestic street and race applications and also perform custom chassis work. Nothing is too exotic for Hitech; they frequently install and maintain turbochargers, superchargers, and nitrous oxide injection kits. Dyno tuning is also performed by Hitech on their chassis dyno. Hitech is currently growing and will be moving into their new 22,000 square-foot building in September of this year.

The engine Hitech enters in our challenge will be a 499ci wedge and is currently in the planning stages. Edelbrock cylinder heads will likely serve duty atop this motor, but the rest is still to be determined. Follow our challenge as we update you in later issues on the progress made by Hitech and the rest of our competitors.

J.D. Engine and Machine, Jeff Dickey
Recognizing the limited opportunity working for others and the need to support his racing habit, Jeff Dickey started J.D. Engine and Machine in 1988. Since his humble beginnings, Jeff has built his shop into one of the best equipped machine shops in central Missouri. Jeff impressed us during last year's challenge when his dual Dominator-equipped 500-inch Hemi posted the highest horsepower numbers of the contest even with damaged valvesprings. Jeff can build combinations from mild to wild, but his specialty is tweaking every last horsepower from his motors. In addition to building engines, Jeff is an avid racer and has campaigned successful entries in the popular 10.5-inch tire class. He and his crew are currently working on an NHRA-legal Pro-Modified entry, which we are sure will post some impressive numbers when complete.

Jeff's theory for this year's competition is the same as last-make big power. Jeff's combination will be a conventional 4.150 stroke/4.375 bore and will likely utilize single carburetor induction. Cylinder heads are still in question, but at the time of this article, Jeff is leaning toward Edelbrock's new Victor series head for the big-block Chrysler. Whatever the final combination, we're sure this shop will be one to watch for some impressive peak numbers.

MRL Performance, Mike Liston
MRL Performance was started in January of this year and concentrates on Mopar street performance engines that can be built for a reasonable cost. This theory should work well in our competition since we concentrate not only on horsepower and torque, but factor the cost of the engine as well. Don't let the relative youth of this shop fool you; Mike has been building Mopar engines for himself and for others for more than 13 years. During that time he has accumulated a wealth of information about how to obtain power from the RB powerplant at a reasonable cost. Mike concentrates on street/strip engines, leaving the all-out race motors for the bigger shops, and treats each engine as a custom unit. By defining the customer's goals, the engine can then be specially built to meet those needs, creating a better end result.

Mike has a couple of theories regarding his entry in our competition: the first-a solid, economical street engine. This combination would produce killer torque, reasonable power, and be a low-cost/high-endurance build. His second theory would involve a less docile entry, pushing power numbers and cost a little higher. We're eager to see which plan he chooses as the contest deadline approaches.