4th Place
ProMax Performance

Located on Gasoline Alley in Indianapolis, Indiana, ProMax Performance is right in the heart of the racing capital. Engine builder and carb guru Ben Gorman started ProMax 15 years ago, building carburetors in his garage to support his Mopar drag racing habit. The business has since evolved into a full service engine and machine shop, with a speed shop and dyno facility. The crew at ProMax still races, campaigning three Mopar drag cars of their own and sponsoring the ProMax fastest street car shootout. Of course ProMax is still known for their carburetor products and restoration services, and has entered and performed well in two prior Engine Challenges.

As a foundation for their entry, ProMax used a factory 400 block and a forged 440 crankshaft combined with Eagle H-beam rods and Diamond pistons. A Comp solid flat-tappet cam and lifters were installed and the Edelbrock Performer RPM cylinder heads were ported in-house. A combination of reasonably priced new parts and some used equipment was utilized in this engine, keeping costs down while not sacrificing durability.

Once on Comp's dyno the ProMax Performance 451 inch engine fired immediately and sounded crisp. Engine builder Ben Gorman and his crew tuned their big-block with timing changes, eventually making their best pull with 40 degrees of ignition timing using a ProMax prepped 850 carburetor. ProMax's impressive 568.9 horsepower and 518.1 lb/ft of torque, combined with a sensible combination of parts was enough for a forth place finish in this year's Engine Challenge.

5th Place
Mid America Racing Engines

Having competed in all but one of our annual events, engine builder David Bruns of Washington, Iowa, is no newcomer to our contest, winning the Engine Challenge in 2007. Mid America has been in business for 34 years, building stock restoration engines, street rod engines, mild to all-out street/strip motors, and engines for full-blown drag and circle track applications. Mid America performs all machine work in-house, utilizing their Superflow engine dyno and flow bench to optimize their combinations.

Not wanting to sacrifice durability, Mid America built a solid big-block for this year's contest utilizing a factory 400 block and a used RPM 4.15-inch crankshaft with RPM connecting rods, and Keith Black pistons. Engine builder David Bruns even spent the money for a main girdle to further strengthen his engine's bottom end, and utilized a solid roller camshaft for maximum power potential. Mid America performed all of the machine work and ported their Edelbrock Performer RPM heads in-house, then dyno tuned their engine before bringing it to our contest.

At Comp, the Mid America entry performed flawlessly, even though the dyno fuel pump decided to stop working. Luckily, a spare was on hand so after dyno operator Rich Smith made a quick repair, engine builder David Bruns got busy tuning his 500 inch big-block. Having already been dyno tuned at Mid America, David optimized power through a series of carburetor jet changes, using an ice pack on the intake to cool the charge for each pull. Netting a best pull of 697.4 horsepower and 619.3 lb/ft of torque, this is a powerful and durable big block that would be a blast in a street or strip car.