It's hard to run a dyno competition without a dyno, and Comp Cams again gladly offered its research facility, personnel, and dyno cell for our contest. As usual, the staff at Comp was professional, helpful, and courteous, which really made the Engine Challenge run smoothly. To make things even more interesting, several of the Comp engineers were consulted by the engine builders while selecting the cam for their Challenge engines. So when these builders ran their engines, Comp's engineering staff was there to observe and to take notes as to how their camshafts performed. In all, the team at Comp was very professional and showed a high level of dedication to designing and improving their products. We again thank them for their help with this year's contest.

There was much speculation about how much power it would take to win this year's contest, and most of us around here thought horsepower numbers in the low 700s would do it. In actuality, many of the engines made close to 700 hp, and to capture the win the Indy Cylinder Head entry used some clever techniques to make nearly 760 hp. This month we'll outline how each of the engines performed in the order they placed in the Engine Challenge, then we'll go inside each engine in future issues, detailing the parts and building techniques each shop used to be competitive.

Indy Cylinder Head
Topping the field in this year's contest, engine builders Russ Flagle and Ken Lazzeri of Indy Cylinder Head brought a potent 440 to the Challenge. Drawing the last dyno position, it was evident from their first qualifying dyno pull that this engine had contest-leading power. The crew from Indy made minor tuning changes during their pulls, changing ignition timing, spark plugs, and valve lash, to net a best pull of 758 hp and 601.6 lb/ft of torque for a contest-leading combined score of 1359.6. These are very impressive numbers for a stock stroke 440, and the crew at Indy used some conventional, and a few not-so-conventional tricks to get there. Be sure to follow future issues as we're eager to show you what went into this killer combination. We congratulate Indy Cylinder Head for winning the 2008 Amsoil/Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge.

J.D. Engine and Machine
Placing second in this year's Engine Challenge was J.D. Engine and Machine. Engine builder Jeff Dickey obviously did his homework for this year's challenge, and his engine performed flawlessly from its first dyno pull. During his qualifying pulls, Jeff and his efficient crew tuned the engine by adding an air-turbine hat to the carburetor, changing carb spacers, then bumping ignition timing from 38 to 41 degrees. Jeff stated that instead of using exotic bottom end tricks to net a single horsepower here or there, he concentrated on cylinder head and intake manifold flow to net big power numbers. On his engine's best judged dyno pull, it made 737 hp and 586.4 lb/ft of torque for a combined score of 1323.4 to capture second place. Even more impressive, Jeff made these numbers not using a tunnel-ram, but with an Edelbrock single-plane intake and single Dominator carburetor. Though not completely happy with second place, this engine may have been a tunnel-ram away from making the contest even closer, and would certainly retail for less than Indy's first place entry. We congratulate J.D. Engine and Machine for their second place finish in this year's competition.