MRL Performance
Jackson, Michigan

When Mike Liston of MRL Performance isn't building powerful Mopar engines, he's working at the Chrysler proving grounds testing current Mopar iron like the new Dodge Challenger (and we thought we had a good job). Mike will build anything Mopar, but is a self-proclaimed small-block specialist, which is why we're eager to see what he brings to the engine challenge.

When we asked Mike what engine he was going to build for this year's challenge, he quickly answered, "A 318, baby!" Inside his 318, Mike will use a stock forged crank, Keith Black forged pistons, and Scat H-beam connecting rods. A Comp Cams solid flat-tappet camshaft will work the valves, and the engine will be topped by hand-ported Magnum cylinder heads. Mike states that going for a win will take good power and a tight budget, and it sounds like his combination might have just the right mix of both.

Mid America Racing Engines
Washington, Iowa

Mid America Racing Engines is another engine shop founded by a die-hard drag racer. Having built his own race engines for years, engine builder David Bruns recognized the need for a quality machine shop, and since opening, he's provided engines for racers all over the country. If you followed last year's contest you already know that David tuned his 500ci wedge to a first place finish, making some 740 hp and more power than any of last year's Edelbrock-headed engines. David assures us the small-block he brings to this year's challenge will have the potential to win as well.

David Bruns hit his combination perfectly last year, earning him a win in the '06 engine Challenge. This year he plans to back up his stellar performance with a 410ci engine based on a factory 360 block. Inside the 360, David will utilize an Eagle crank and rods, and SRP pistons. The engine will be topped with Indy cylinder heads and will utilize a MSD ignition. When asked about camshaft selection, David would only say he is considering a couple of different cam profiles, stating cam selection as being vital to placing well in this contest. We're sure that once the decision is made, this will be an impressive engine.

Muscle Motors
Lansing, Michigan

Anyone who's raced Mopars for very long has probably heard of Muscle Motors. Located in Lansing, Michigan, Muscle Motors has been supplying Mopar gearheads with the engines, machine work, and parts it takes to go fast for many years. These guys specialize in stroker kits and carry a full line of Mopar high-performance parts, in addition to their full-service machine shop. In our inaugural engine challenge, the Muscle Motors entry impressed us with its combination of power and torque, so we're eager to see what they bring to this year's challenge.

Like most competitors, Mike decided to base his small-block on a factory 360. Utilizing a Callies 3.79-inch stroke crankshaft with Ross pistons will bring displacement to 400 ci. A solid roller camshaft will actuate the valves, and the engine will be topped with Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads. Since Muscle Motors has CNC programming to port virtually any Mopar cylinder head, we're sure the heads atop this motor will be treated to the works. Feeding this beast will be a trio of Holley two-barrels on an aluminum Six-pack intake manifold.