Schurbon Engine and MachineAs last year's second place finisher, Schurbon Engine and Machine was a contender for a top finish in this year's contest. A series of unfortunate events, however, would keep us from seeing the true potential of this engine. As the proprietor of Schurbon Engine and Machine, Scott Schurbon's misfortunes began when his top engine builder and close friend Devin Sievels was killed in an unfortunate motorcycle accident on April 5, 2008. Prior to his passing, Devin had been assigned the Challenge engine and was excited about showing off his abilities during our contest. After Devin's passing, Scott says the loss of a great employee was only outweighed by the emotional loss suffered by Scott and the rest of the employees at Schurbon Engine and Machine. Dedicated to completing the engine in Devin's honor, they struggled to regain the excitement about the contest that Devin had felt, but it was tough. Engine builder David Bruns from Mid America Racing Engines pitched in to help with the cylinder heads, and the Schurbon crew sadly completed the work that Devin had begun. Finishing the engine just in time to dyno, then having to repair the engine just prior to delivery, had Schurbon behind the eight ball. Even so, their 440 fired immediately and sounded crisp on Comp's dyno, but a misread of the timing light by Scott inadvertently set the timing at 64 degrees total advance on the first pull. Scott quickly realized his error, but the damage was already done. Detonation had blown both head gaskets as well as seizing several compression rings, rendering his engine severely down on power. Considering their problems, we'd consider just showing up to the engine challenge a win. Their 654.8 hp and 569 lb/ft of torque netted a combined score of 1223.8, and a sixth place finish in this year's Engine Challenge.
PromaxSchurbon Engine and Machine wasn't the only shop with issues in this year's Challenge as Mid America Racing Engines and Diamondback Engines both dropped out of our competition for their own individual reasons. As an alternate, we called Ben Gorman of Promax Carbs to see if he'd like to participate. Although time was short, Ben said Promax would build an engine and should be able to meet our deadline of the Mopar Nationals. With limited time, building an all-out competition motor wasn't feasible, so instead, the crew from Promax built an engine that would highlight their specialty, Six-Pack induction. Using a customer's intake and heads (with permission, of course), Promax built a solid street 440 that performed well during the contest. Though the cylinder head ports were left at the 906 port size, and compression was a mild ten to one, the Promax entry proved powerful as it made 554.1 hp and 526.3 lb/ft of torque to finish seventh in the 2008 Engine Challenge.