Built Frustration: Team Owner Bob Garbarino Maddened By Whelen Modified Tour Motor Issues

Bob Garbarino

Bob Garbarino

Bob Garbarino just wants a level playing field.

But the owner of the Mystic Missile Whelen Modified Tour team has little optimism that NASCAR wants the same thing.

After finishing third in Wednesday’s Whelen Modified Tour Mr. Rooter 125 at Thompson Speedway, Mystic Missile Racing driver Todd Szegedy talked about the feeling that his team is at a competitive disadvantage because they run a traditionally built motor rather than the spec motor that NASCAR has pushed for the past several seasons as a lower cost alternative for teams within the division.

“We’re up against some stiff competition,” Szegedy said of the teams near the front of the standings. “… One day when we do get on an equal playing field with them then I won’t have to drive so hard and we can contend for some wins.”

All five Whelen Modified Tour events this season have been won by teams running spec motors.

NASCAR helped to create the spec motor program on the theory that a lower cost alternative to traditionally built open motors would allow more teams to be able to participate in the series at a fairly competitive level.

“One thing that we’ve said all along is that we want that engine to be an option for the teams,” Whelen Modified Tour director Jimmy Wilson said in April. “So you’ve got Package A and Package B and whichever fits the team as best possible. I think we’ve achieved at this point and we’ll continue to monitor that moving forward to make sure that we have parity between the two so one doesn’t have an advantage over the other. And from that standpoint I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

But Garbarino, a mainstay with the Whelen Modified Tour since its inception who has been loyal to Hutter Performance engines since 1981, thinks the spec motor philosophy has lost its course.

“There’s no parity,” Garbarino said. “It’s not even close. They brought the fox into the hen house now the feathers are flying and they’re trying to straighten it out. In my view it’s wrong. It’s wrong from any concept. It was all done on the notion that it was going to be less expensive way to go racing. That was it. And that’s not the case. That’s not the case at all the way I see. If you haven’t accomplished that, what have you accomplished?

“It’s a sad situation,” Garbarino said. “They created it and I suspect that they think they really accomplished something here. Because I’m watching guys go into that would have no reason to do that other than that they’re not going to be competitive if they don’t. If they find enough of those guys out there that will spend the money I guess there’s nothing to worry about. I just have a question of if you can find enough of those people to keep the series viable.”

The “spec engine” uses all NASCAR approved components for assembly of the motor. NASCAR helped develop the program through Robert Yates Racing Engines. According to the Robert Yates Racing Engines website, teams have reported an average annual cost savings of between 30-40 percent compared to buying, maintaining and running a typical built engine.

Though many around the Whelen Modified Tour have said that despite the spec engine being cheaper off the shelf than most built motors, the long run costs that come with running it eventually make it more expensive than a traditional built motor to keep it competitive.

Garbarino said he is paying $40,000 for his Hutter Performance motors. The current cost for an assembled spec engine according to Robert Yates Racing Engines is $29,000. The unassembled spec engine kit is listed at $24,000 by Robert Yates Racing Engines.

“They can say anything they want to say but the reality is they’re up to the price of the built motors,” Garbarino said. “They can blame the motor builders if they want. They can blame [Roush-Yates], or whoever they want to blame, but the problem is you’ve got to write out the check. That’s not a fact of life. They are not less expensive. And not only are they not less expensive, they’ve taken what we have – what they call expensive motors – and made them worthless. So I get hit from both sides of the head.”

Garbarino said, as the system is right now, his team has virtually no chance of winning against the spec motor.

“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished given what we’re running against,” Garbarino said. “You play college ball and you play NBA ball, it’s two different leagues and we’re in the college ball league right now. I don’t have to hang my head. I can keep my head up as far as what I’m doing. I don’t expect I’m going to win any races and that’s not what I’m there for. Some guys are happy to go to the races and go around in circles and I applaud them for that if that’s what makes their heart flutter, but my heart flutters with winning and that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now.”

After Wednesday’s race at Thompson, NASCAR officials took the spec motors from race winner Doug Coby and fifth place Woody Pitkat, along with Szegedy’s motor. Coby and Pitkat both run spec motors.

Coby has two wins this year for Mike Smeriglio Racing. Coby’s team, after winning the series championship last year running a traditional built motor, opted to go to the spec motor program this season. Pitkat’s Buzz Chew Racing team has been running the spec motor for several years. Ryan Preece has won the other two series events this year, running spec motors with his TS Haulers Racing team.

Wilson wasn’t available immediately for comment Wednesday. NASCAR spokesman Jason Cunningham said the motors were taken after Wednesday’s race for a competitive analysis to be performed at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.

“They took our motor last night and they took two spec motors and they’re going to go down and run them on the dyno, and they’re going to tell us whatever they’re going to tell us,” Garbarino said. “And that’s a very small part of the story.”

The question is whether or not physical numbers analysis on a dyno test can really equate the true differences in performance?

Whelen Modified Tour driver Ted Christopher said that during a test recently at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl he ran two cars, one with the spec motor and one with a built motor. He said there was no question the spec motor was at a competitive advantage.

“The thing is, the spec motor doesn’t show that much better on the dyno [performance test], but it performs way better on the racetrack,” Christopher said.

Asked if he hopes NASCAR is ready to make changes to the system Garbarino said: “I hope.”

“Do I expect it to happen?” Garbarino said. “Not likely. That’s just me. They got what they wanted, why would they do much?”


  1. Hey jimmy Wilson how about a option c this option you can shove right in your A$$

  2. now just about everyone is getting new transmission to,with higher gear around 156-163, 3rd gear for spes motor,another 4k-5k add to price of spec motor

  3. racin with hey zeus says

    Preach it Mr G! Love old skool guys like Mr G. They don’t pull any punches and call a spade a spade!

  4. Two things I don’t understand after reading this article:

    1. What are these $12,000 in extra costs that make the spec engine as costly as a built engine, and

    2. Why does dyno performance not equate to track performance?

  5. Bobby "Gastyme" Richards says

    They “NASCRAP” always seem to get what they want! Like did you really think they would get an Engine builder from up North to Build these motors….Why Rousch? Good Ole’Boy down south and for no other reason. REALLY why do you need this Tour Sanctioned by NASCRAP?? Drop them and do away with all the “BULL”…Many are just FIXATED on the name …NASCRAP! DUMP THE NAME…

  6. Why don’t he stop running nascrap races

  7. Good ole boy from down south says Bobby “Gastyme” Richards? What are you smoking? Roush grew up in Ohio and was heavily involved in sportcars and drag racing for years before coming into NASCAR. And many people back then thought the real “good ole boys” from down South in NASCAR held that against him.

  8. Rafter fan says

    1. I don’t believe Roush is involved in Robert Yates Racing Engines. Didn’t Roush form Roush – Yates with Doug Yates (Robert’s son)?

    2. Bob Garbarino may be “darealgoodfella”.

  9. Just don’t understand how you can have a spec motor in a modified. I would consider it an oxymoron.
    Hutter has always produced some of the biggest power on the tour and now he can’t keep up? How is that? Lets get back to the true meaning of the division, no more store built cars, big built motors and guys that work hard to get to the front.

  10. NASCAR just like the federal govt as soon as they put there hands on things they mess it up . Oh yea and when that spec motor block needs work you have to throw it away . That’s a money saver .

  11. Garbarino dominated for years w Hutter cause he had the money to buy 3 and his relationship w Hutter was as tight as can be. Yes the spec motor is a better performing engine on track NASCAR did it to make money and put money in there chosen ones just like the engine builders at mass ct tracks etc all about money. It’s ways going to be about who can spend more. Buy the right equipment crew etc

  12. 83Earnhardt says

    First off The Spec motor program is administered by NASCAR thru Robert Yates Engines which has NO affiliation with Roush Yates. The “SPEC” motor has an equal amount of horsepower as the “Built” motor supposedly. The difference is the SPEC motor when it hits the flagstand is still pulling and the Built motor has its tongue hanging out. The SPEC motor has a heavy (48lb) crank which once it gets the momentum going really drives it deeper into the corner. Other areas of the country have experienced the same thing and have had to restrict their “SPEC: motor either by carburetor or by chip. Also keep in mind the SPEC motor has an 850 carburetor not the 390 like a Built motor. The truth is that a SPEC motor should be NO BETTER in performance than a BUILT motor.

  13. This is hilarious:

    “One thing that we’ve said all along is that we want that engine to be an option for the teams,” Whelen Modified Tour director Jimmy Wilson said in April. “So you’ve got Package A and Package B and whichever fits the team as best possible. I think we’ve achieved at this point and we’ll continue to monitor that moving forward to make sure that we have parity between the two so one doesn’t have an advantage over the other. And from that standpoint I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

    We’ve had built motors in different flavors: Chevy, Ford, Dodge and Pontiac, and they were pretty darn equal. Now the SPEC is an option that blows away built motors. Where’s that parity in that?

    Why the other engine option? What is it supposed to provide the teams and Tour?

    The SPEC engine was supposed to be a low cost option to improve car counts. As in, a low cost option for the low budget teams to buy big horsepower so they can be competitive. That did not happen. The low budget teams are still running the built motors and the well funded teams are running the SPEC motor. That’s because the SPEC motor is too expensive for the low budget teams, and the SPEC motor has a performance advantage that is REQUIRED to have a chance at winning.

    I don’t know how Jimmy Wilson can be very proud of completely failing to provide parity. It’s just not there, not even close.

  14. old observer says

    OK all, just a few random thoughts.
    1 The spec is cheaper to start with
    2 the final package is near 40K
    3 the spec has a durability limitation
    4 you can compete with an older built motor with lower rebuild costs
    5 spec has a Big carb
    6 gear rule is set for spec torque /hp range.
    7 helps new teams starting out
    8 hurts long time supporters because they have to spend $$$ to keep up with the new rules.
    9 Nascar get a cut on spec engines$

  15. “2. Why does dyno performance not equate to track performance?”

    The SPEC engine is much lighter than the built motor. So to maintain the minimum car weight, the weight has to be added back to the car, and it is added much lower than where the weight would be in the engine. The SPEC motor has an aluminum block, the built motors are steel. That’s a huge weight difference. So when the weight that was up high is moved down low, that DRAMATICALLY lowers the center of gravity of the car and therefore improves the handling of the car. The car can corner faster, and exit faster. This can not be measured on a dyno. Two cars with identical engines but different CGs will perform and handle very differently. For NASCAR to pull those engines and think they can reveal more information or resolve this by dyno racing engines demonstrates conclusively and irrefutably that NASCAR does not understand what is going on.

    The SPEC motor cars are also lighter per the rules. This enhances the lower CG.

    The SPEC motor makes more horsepower than the built motor.

    The SPEC motor is also why there is the intermission break at the Loudon races. The SPEC motor is a fuel pig, burns much more fuel than the built motors, hence NASCAR calls for an intermission at Loudon races to allow the SPEC motor cars to refuel. The SPEC motor is not as fuel efficient as the built motor.

    The SPEC motor blocks are not serviceable. The SPEC engine block needs to be replaced when what’s left of the engine is refreshed. So a built motor refresh consists of things like bearings, rings, gaskets, valve springs. With a SPEC motor, you add a block to that.

    The SPEC motor valve springs have to be replaced every race. We’ll, they should be.

    And the engines, critical parts and service MUST, per the rules, be provided by Robert Yates Racing Engines exclusively. Just a reminder, this is 2015 in the United States of America. NASCAR created an engine monopoly.

    How was this supposed to be a good thing for Modified racing?

    This is nothing to be proud of. I can go on and on.

  16. And Jimmy Wilson is only the Tour Director, he pretty much does as he is told.

    The real brain trust behind this is Tony Glover, the Technical Director for the Touring Series.

  17. So, are we starting to get closer to an SK mod-based package touring series? it would reduce costs, for sure.

    I have nothing against WMT and VMRS, but i have to believe the first one to blink and move to that type of rule package is going to have long term survival and thrive.

    May still be 2-3 years away at the earliest, but I’d like to see it emerge.

  18. Confucius says

    So where is this Hutter spec motor that many of the ‘know-it-all’ commenters on this site said that Garbarino had coming this past spring? Sounds like a Hutter spec is an oxymoron…

  19. The Legend cars went to spec motors DNS look at them now. Car counts have dropped dramatically.

  20. Youhavenoidea says

    Well first off yes the original spec motor when the block was work was trash however now the new block which is a 5g upgrade is a dart block with sleeves so u don’t have to trash it and also the carb is a 830 not a 850 as people believe but still it’s huge. The thing that really sucks is that the parts are all laZer tagged with matching numbers and u have to buy the parts from them when in all actuality say you broke a rod you could go and take it out of your suburban or go to a Chevy dealer and get it probably a 1/4 of the cost, it’s really only a 6000 crate motor with who the f**k knows to make it cost so much lol but kudos to mr g and long live the legend Ron Hutter!!

  21. What a relief to read youhavenoidea’s post. Somebody else knows. I heard GM is no longer supplying the LS2 block, so that leaves Dart with the additional cost, maybe more since it will be sole source.

  22. Modified fans unite!!!!!! Don’t let NASCAR ruin our favorite cars and turn them into another cookie cutter spec series.

    We need to show support for Bob Garbarino and awesome, exciting modified racing.

    We should wear yellow shirts, sweatshirts, hats, whatever to the races for now on. Everybody cheer for the 4 car.

    This is a modern day David vs Goliath folks, Bob Garbarino vs NASCAR, and we have to let Bob Garbarino know we appreciate him and back him.

    Everybody… Wear yellow!!!!! Wear bright yellow!!!! Support Bob Garbarino!!!!!

  23. ITs all about MONEY MONEY MONEY for nascar.Nascar gets a cut of every single bolt,piston crankshaft,etc in that motor.

  24. Spec engines are saving the Mod Tour, 30 cars on average through 5 races this year. The mods live

  25. ModFan, the Tour has many Riverhead cars running this season. That hasn’t happened before, or as long as I can remember. So it’s not like a bunch of cars came out of mothballs because the SPEC engine.

  26. If you want to compete and win, then there is only one engine option and that is the SPEC engine.

  27. Crazy in NY says

    Bob G. Bring the 4 to Tri-track and MRS. Give NASCAR the finger.

  28. JustaFella says

    Sounds like Bob should just call Doug Yates and order a new SPEC engine and stop whiny and start winning again !

  29. Justafella, the Tour has had many different engines for decades and they have had parity. All those different engines and heads from different manufacturers, and yet there was parity. Now NASCAR is pushing the SPEC engine that is a huge performance advantage over the traditional built engines.

    Why did they do that? Why didn’t they make sure the SPEC engine was equivalent to all those built engines?

  30. Dear Mr. Tony Glover, NASCAR Technical Director Touring Series,

    The recent move to pull three engines at Thompson and send them down to NC for dyno testing is very interesting. In doing so, you have acknowledged that a problem exists.

    What is the certified accuracy of the dyno that will be doing the assessments? Do you know why dyno accuracy is important? Is the dyno accuracy suitable for the assessment you are attempting? Clearly it is impossible to get two different engines to have identical dyno results, so what is the maximum variance between the engines that NASCAR has established to be acceptable?

    The dominant problem plaguing the Built vs SPEC motor crisis can not be resolved with dyno results. This has been known for a long time, well over a year or so. Why are you still insisting on using dyno testing to address something that can not be resolved with a dyno?

    There are other factors in play here. I am surprised that NASCAR is still trying to use dyno testing to address this. It is like using a yardstick to measure temperature.

    When the 6 & 51 were of the first to run the SPEC motors, it was obvious that the cars had a huge handling advantage. Those cars looked like slot cars, the front end went wherever the driver pointed it. Those cars turned and maneuvered very impressively and far better than the built motor cars. The 6 & 51 drove through and around the best built motor cars in the turns with absolute ease, thanks to the lower CG. A dyno can not assess the CG. Many drivers even comment that the SPEC motor car handles much better.

    It is obvious that the SPEC motor cars have a much better center of gravity. And indeed that turns out to be true. The SPEC engine is much lighter than a built engine, and that weight gets put back in the car as weight blocks down low which lowers the center of gravity of the car. The SPEC motor cars have much better turning capability than the built motor cars. And that can not be measured with a dyno. The SPEC engine has an aluminum block and the built motor has a steel block resulting in a rather large weight advantage for the SPEC engine.

    The SPEC motor cars are faster at the end of the straights. That proves what the dyno has shown, that the SPEC motors make more power. The SPEC motor cars are lighter per the rules. So is it any wonder that a lighter car with a lower center of gravity and more horsepower is faster? The SPEC motors are making more power, and they are given a weight break. Seriously? A car with more power needs to have more weight to be equivalent to the built motor car. So because of the bigger power of the SPEC motor, the SPEC motor cars need to weigh more than the built motor cars.

    So the question for you Mr. Glover is why did you give such advantages to the SPEC motor car? You gave the SPEC motor car more horsepower, less weight and a lower center of gravity. That assumes you were aware of all these things. Center of gravity is critical with a Modified car, absolutely critical. The impact of a change such as an engine package, especially an engine with an aluminum block, should have been fully assessed. If it was assessed and you let this happen, shame on you. If you never considered the total impact of the changes due to the engine package, shame on you.

    Why does the SPEC motor car weigh less than the built motor car? The weight break is just baffling, where did that come from? Please explain how that rule was established. What was the data used, the analysis, anything objective or based in data that was used to form that weight rule. Please let us know.

    Mr. Glover, there is a very simple no-cost solution to the problem. Ideally, the only thing that should have to change is the left side weight percentage to compensate for the lower CG of the SPEC motor car. But there are other problems such as the SPEC motor makes more power and the SPEC motor car has a lower weight rule. Those are indeed problems.

    The SPEC motor car has to have a different left side weight percentage rule to get the SPEC and built motor cars equivalent in the turns. That calculation is complicated, a bit tedious, but readily available. This must be done. Let it be known that you are looking for help with this and someone will help you.

    The SPEC motor makes more power, and that needs to be turned down a bit, or the SPEC motor car needs to be heavier than the built motor car – NOT LIGHTER AS PER THE RULES. So instead of making the teams spend thousands of dollars again for a right sized carburetor and all the rework of the carburetor to get the power of the SPEC motor the same as the built motor, just add weight to the SPEC motor car. About 100 pounds needs to be added to the SPEC motor car, given the advantages of the SPEC motor package. It would be far more preferable if there was only one weight rule that both cars comply with, and that should be the 2,645 pounds. If the SPEC motor was calibrated and controlled to the same horsepower as the built motors, which should make perfect sense, then the SPEC motor car should also be required to follow the same 2,645 pound weight rule as the built motor car.

    And here’s some other things you need to be doing to watch over the credibility of the SPEC engine:

    Use the dyno to fine tune the size of the SPEC motor carburetor and/or a restrictor plate so the SPEC motor is the same as the built motors. Using a reference carburetor on all SPEC engines during dyno testing, and multiple runs, and then averaging the results should help to reduce dyno accuracy concerns and differences in carburetors. Then compare the results with the reference carburetor (a genuine OEM box stock as built by the manufacturer as it is supposed to be carburetor) against the carburetor belonging to that engine. Using a reference carburetor makes sure the dyno is assessing the ENGINE and not the carburetor, and can separate the issue between the engine and carburetor. After all, to a very large degree, we are really racing carburetors, and the SPEC engine just introduced a new carburetor to the mix. And then the carburetor from the 88 should be run on the 2 engine, and the 2 carburetor should be run on the 88 engine, just to see what differences there are. Dyno testing is not all about the engine, but quite often very much about the carburetor. You have an opportunity to do some revealing tests on the SPEC engine carburetors, take advantage of it.

    NASCAR should use a flow bench to assess carburetors, instead of using an engine on a dyno as a flow bench.

    If you get the SPEC motor to have the identical power and torque characteristics of the mature built engine, then the SPEC and built motor cars can have the same weight requirement. Then the only thing you need to address is the SPEC motor car left side weight shall be far less than the built motor car left side weight. It shouldn’t be that hard to get the SPEC motor power and torque curves to mimic the power and torque curves of the built motor. There are simple techniques to get the SPEC motor to mimic the built motor. We’ve had a level playing field for decades with built motors of many different manufacturers. Now it is time to bring the SPEC motor into compliance.

    With a genuine effort given the engines you now have in your possession, you can make this all happen, and establish a level playing field. I hope NASCAR has a pristine, virgin, 100% rules compliant SPEC engine for reference purposes.

    That’s it for now. I want to see how well you do with the testing of the three engines. I’m very curious as to how dyno testing will address the left side weight percentage of the SPEC motor car. I look forward to the extremely detailed results of your engine assessment, conclusions and how this will move forward. Hopefully I won’t have to say anything else.

    Thank You Very Much

  31. What bob is trying to say is nascar is telling him where to get his engine . He is dedicated to Ron hutter and has been for years . There are Not to many loyal people. these days so yes I support bob and what he is saying 100% . He has his motors and now he has to spend more money if he wants to compete with the spec so how does that save money ? Oh just throw away that hutter and buy this Yates motor. Yes he could buy the parts from Yates and have hutter build it but then what ? This is not a money saver . So in the future he will probably stop racing the tour just like art Barry And the Pasteryaks .

  32. Hutter could assemble a SPEC motor for Mr. Garbarino – correct?

  33. Crazy in NY says

    JustaFella says:
    June 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm
    Sounds like Bob should just call Doug Yates and order a new SPEC engine and stop whiny and start winning again !

    Sounds like Justafella should just call Bob G and offer to buy his built stuff.
    Nothing to it.

  34. just a fan says

    first off the price of the spec with the dart block are $32.300 plus headers..the same as a build motor from most ….still a throw away alum. block…..motor good for maybe a season or two at best …built motors can and do go for years and years and years ,,,handed down to other teams at lower costs ….motors WERE not EVER the problem with the tour … NO purse money …NO tv races …NO more big tracks with big paying races are the problem …loudon payed almost 20 grand in the 90″s now half of that….Y …you tell me ….nascar let it happen..so they put the blame on the motor cost for low car counts..but as to the bob”s problem ….hutter could fix it in a minute if he wanted to ….do unto others as they do unto you ….ADD BORE AND STROKE BIG TIME that’s what is beating you ….and you can still make it lightweight which the spec is not and kill it …throw away your ten year old cams and built a stump grinder to get you to the start finish line first !!!! give me 2500 for a crank 1000 for pistons and 300 for a cam and i will make that hutter drive by that spec with everything else equal in a week !!!! DO NOT tell me ron hutter the best in the business could not do it in a second… NO one whats to go to work on the engine side they just threw up there hands and let the spec take over without a fight ..it was so easy its unreal …yes nascar tried to help out with a cheaper motor at 20 grand with the wrong cam and bigger tires so the gear rule at the time did not work so the motor was not as good a couple years ago….but today because it works should be no big deal for the open motor just change it to fit just like they did and you will beat it with the light crank and better heads you have worked with for years ….why just give up ? nascar will still let you …remember there is NO cubic inch limit whats a 100 pounds for a hundred foot pounds…lol

  35. Jim… put yourself in an owner’s shoes… NASCAR just established an engine monopoly. The engines, parts and critical machining can only be done by Robert Yates Racing Engines. Go get the rule book, it will make a decent person puke.

    The thing is, the SPEC motor is no better than a common crate engine. It’s made from off-the-shelf parts. Buy it as any other crate engine and it would be a few grand, maybe $7-8g. It has little to no machining, no porting, just the normal stuff a family minivan would get, and the machining is where the cost comes from. Go shopping for the same parts, then have to pay an extra arm and leg for the privilege to buy from the sole NASCAR SPEC engine supplier. The parts are all laser coded to make sure all parts come from the the NASCAR sole source. Could you imagine being treated like that, being told where you must buy your engines? If you expect to win, you have to run the SPEC motor. The HP, center of gravity and weight break are all stacked in favor of the SPEC engine car. Oh yeah, and the mandatory intermission at Loudon so the SPEC cars can refuel because they are fuel pigs.

  36. JustaFella says

    How many teams in the 31 car field had Spec engines under the hood @ Thompson ?

  37. This is some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read:

    “One thing that we’ve said all along is that we want that engine to be an option for the teams,” Whelen Modified Tour director Jimmy Wilson said in April. “So you’ve got Package A and Package B and whichever fits the team as best possible. I think we’ve achieved at this point and we’ll continue to monitor that moving forward to make sure that we have parity between the two so one doesn’t have an advantage over the other. And from that standpoint I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

    That’s Jimmy Wilson saying the SPEC program is a wonderful success. He’s very proud.

    NASCAR yanks three engines, one built and two SPECs from the Thompson 125 on June 10 to analyze in NASCAR R&D Center. Tony Glover probably had something to do with that.

    Ya think these guys know each other?

    Jimmy, what are you talking about when you say “whichever fits the team as best as possible.”? Jimmy, what do you mean by “fit”? Jimmy, what would be the decision process to decide which engine to buy?

    Help me out here. Jimmy… do you attend these races? It’s pretty obvious that there is no parity between the SPEC and Built engines, because most competitors abandoned the built motor, and there isn’t even parity amongst the SPEC motors. The SPEC motor cars should be running nose to tail, pack racing. That isn’t even happening. Jimmy, you need to meet with Tony Glover and work on the parity. You guys have to stop dyno racing and watch what is going on on the track. The dyno can’t address this problem, even if the SPEC and built motors had identical power plots.

    Think about this… NASCAR releases a report in a couple days saying that the motors are all fine, no problem, there is ENGINE parity. Well, then how do you explain the lack of parity and freight train watching on the track? It’s because of what I said earlier… the dyno might show the engines are fine, but that is not the problem. And the dyno will not reveal or address the problem.

  38. TO: Tony Glover & Jimmy Wilson

    It would be very helpful to help achieve parity on the Tour if you were to pull numerous SPEC engines for dyno testing. I recommend that the engines from the top finishing cars such as the 2, 6, 88, 44, and 93. Then for the other end of the SPEC motor spectrum pull the SPEC engine from the 99 and other SPEC engine car that finish towards the back. Compare the engines from the 99 and other slow SPEC engine cars against the engines from the 2, 6, 88, and 93. If this NASCAR SPEC motor is really that good, all these engines should be clones. That is the point of the SPEC engine. Before the SPEC engine can have a chance at parity with the built engine, it must have parity with itself.

    Please perform this performance check and let us know how it turns out.

    Even if you don’t, please address the lack of parity within the SPEC motors.

  39. JustaFella says

    Crazy in Ny Says:
    Sounds like Justafella should just call Bob G and offer to buy his built stuff.
    Nothing to it.
    I believe Donnie Lia has offered to buy 2 complete Spec Engines in the past and Bob G was not interested !

  40. JustaFella says: “I believe Donnie Lia has offered to buy 2 complete Spec Engines in the past and Bob G was not interested !”

    Well, things aren’t much different for Lia this season, even with the SPEC engines and LFR chassis. But his old ride is doing much better this season, with that classic Troyer and built engine. Looks like Bob G. was right.

    Bob G. shouldn’t have to go buy new SPEC engines to be competitive. The new SPEC engine option should have been developed to be identical in performance to the built engines. That didn’t happen, the SPEC engines, and the SPEC engined cars, have HUGE advantages over the built engines and built engine cars. Owners should not be forced to go buy new engine packages every time NASCAR changes the rules so they can be competitive. The rules should establish level playing field, not dig it up.

    Where’s the parity? There isn’t anything close to parity within the SPEC engined cars.

    The SPEC engine is a complete disaster. And it is only going to get worse as time goes by.

  41. For years, the teams were fed up with the rules changes and costs involved with seemingly senseless changes. It seemed like NASCAR was changing rules to make teams spend more $$$. Talk to the teams that left the Tour for MRS. Sick and tired of repeatedly being hit for more fees, costs, etc. Look at the MRS roster and all the names that were Tour regulars. No complaints or problems with engines. So how did NASCAR address the complaints about the constant expensive changes and fees? With the alleged low cost SPEC engine. And all the SPEC engine has done is INCREASE costs to be competitive. The field HAD to go refit their cars with SPEC engine packages. And it made the gap between the definite competitive cars and the cars that were getting close much, much larger. If you don’t have a SPEC engine, you do not have a chance at winning, and barely at being competitive. It’s all there in the statistics. All thanks to NASCAR.

    NASCAR needs to figure out why there isn’t parity amongst the SPEC engines. That’s a huge problem. If there isn’t parity within the SPEC engines, then the SPEC engine program is very suspect. And there can obviously not be parity with the SPEC and built engines since there isn’t parity within the SPEC engine group. This is not a level playing field, which is what the rules are to provide.

    This is just strange, there is no logical reason for the way this SPEC engine has unfolded… just what are Darby, Bodine, and Glover thinking?

  42. Besides the 2, 6, and 88, does anyone know what teams are running a spec engine?

  43. modracer says

    Switch the spec engines from the ls2 aluminum block to the lq9 iron block(80lbs heavier) .That takes care of the cg weight issue..Lq9 loads cheaper and more durable then the dart block.

  44. Cars running the SPEC: 07, 2, 6, 8, 88, 44, 22, 16, 13, 93, 99, 51, 15, 40, 58, and a couple others I don’t recall.

    modracer, I can only hope Darby, Bodine and Glover read that. It’s way too obvious, simple and productive. 😉 This engine weight issue is kinda funny since it is a taboo subject, as if it doesn’t exist, not allowed to talk about, must be in whispers. Totally laughable. But definitely the obvious arrow through the head.

    If we get the lq9 block to replace the LS2, we just need to get rid of the weight break for the SPEC engine car, and add a restrictor plate to fine tune parity due to the big honking SPEC carb and extra cubic inches of the SPEC engine. Yes, that’s right, the SPEC engine has more cubic inches than the built motor.

    SPEC engine car has:
    More cubic inches than built engine car
    Bigger carb, way bigger than built engine car
    Weight break, SPEC engine car is lighter than a built engine car
    Lower CG (aluminum SPEC engine block)
    More horsepower than the built engine

    Did I miss anything?

    Brought to you by NASCAR. Let’s not forget that the SPEC engine program was intended to be a low cost alternative engine for the low budget teams, so they could have an engine to enable them to be competitive. That didn’t some close to happening. Looks like the exact opposite happened: a higher performance engine that the teams that could it afford it jumped on.

    And it is taboo to talk about that stuff. That is really sad.

  45. This is the first phase of the Obamafied tour. If you like your engine program you can keep it(but don’t expect it to be competitive). We’re going to make it affordable for anyone to go modified racing. Once everybody is on the program, we are gonna change all the rules to make it even more competitive and affordable for all. Now how many of them there spec motors can I sign you up for Mr Garborino?Remember, I’m from the sanctioning body and my sole interest is to save you lots of money.
    Now for phase 2, my fellow racers, because we have saved you so much money on the cost of putting the show on for us, we are gonna cut taxes….uh I mean purses by 25% so we can keep the ticket prices so low. But wait there’s more………we are only going to raise the license fees and entrance fees by 10% next year.

  46. If it’s Tuesday, it must be official NASCAR news day.

    Hey Shawn, any NASCAR press release on the engine evaluations?

    They have to say something soon.

  47. Here’s a perfect example of how screwed up this spec deal is; Part of the package is the alternator-the alternator has to be spec. from RYR. RYR(Hopefully I formed that hyperlink correctly) At that URL you will find the alternator for, get this, $999.99. You can buy 3-4 of pretty much the unit for a built motor. You gotta have a spare, right? WTF, how much does NASCAR need to profit on the back of this series? What, so they can boost the prize money for the cup guys? I thought only the government could get away with stuff like this. Very discouraging to say the least.

  48. SteveS, stop looking, you will only get more and more disgusted. The incredible audacity to put a program like that in place is just outrageous.

    I don’t know if I should laugh or cry for the teams that bought the SPEC engine.

    Just spread the word… wear bright yellow in support of the Mystic Missile. Cheer for the Mystic Missile.

    Boo the SPEC motor and SPEC motor cars.

    The SPEC motor is not special at all, it’s a glorified crate motor. The SPEC motor should cost about $6-7g.

    Here’s what needs to happen now. Since there are clearly two classes of cars, the SPEC motor cars and the built motor cars, there needs to be two classes of Tour modifieds. Like they do in road racing, they run both classes together, but separate points, scoring, purses, etc. The purses need to be split in two, equally going to both Tour Mod classes.

  49. Shawn,

    Any release from NASCAR about the engine evaluations?

    The silence if deafening!!!!!!

  50. darealgoodfella, typically you won’t hear a word directly from Nascar. In my experience, they don’t even tell the teams whose engines they took more than some hints. Just how they do it.

  51. Shawn,

    This is a great article. You hit many of the key elements of the issue.

  52. SteveS,

    This is a huge issue. NASCAR shouldn’t remain silent, and they need to be extremely careful about what they do say.

    The consequences and implications, regardless, are enormous. What NASCAR does not say will be important.

    Even silence is profoundly damning.

    The last thing NASCAR wants to do now is create, or continue, an appearance of arrogance, belligerence, abuse of power, favoritism towards the SPEC engine, etc.

    The thing is, the three engines they pulled can be perfectly identical and that won’t mean thing. It still doesn’t address why there is no parity amongst the SPEC engine cars. All teams that run the SPEC engine are brimming with talent and should be running for the top. That isn’t happening, not even close. The parity between the SPEC engine and built engine cars goes far, far beyond dyno racing. The dyno can never establish parity between the SPEC and built engine cars – NEVER!

    Whatever NASCAR says about this dyno testing will be “target rich”. Perhaps it is in their best interest to remain silent. It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.

    Everybody, wear bright yellow to the races!!!!!

  53. darealgoodfella, I agree with that entire statement, but they do what they do. When they first introduced that motor, there was on track testing between the two motor types and exchanging plates/tweaking to dial the performance in which is the only way to do it. Swap two drivers so there is no sandbagging and dial them in- and i think you would have to repeat the process at several tracks as well. Maybe if Nascar decides to assess a licensing fee to all the built motors they can get back to the task of parity, fairness and competition. The licensing wouldn’t surprise me but the rest absolutely would.

  54. Okay, you must have all heard the joke, that the team owners can’t afford NASCAR’s cost improvements, right?

    Well consider this.

    A SPEC engine will end up costing right about $40g once all the bells and whistles are added.

    I think there are 18 cars running the SPEC engine on the NWMT, and of course, each team needs two, so make that at least 36 SPEC engines so far.

    At $40g, those 36 engines cost $1,440,000. That’s a lot of $2,800 first place purses. Actually 514 first place purses.

    And then there is the extra $$$ that are spent massaging the SPEC motors. That is adding up like a very large tote board. Kinda like the deficit under any Bush. That massaging is expensive, let’s guesstimate about $20g per engine, on average. Massaging ain’t cheap… if you are gonna do it, do it right. And it costs tons to make it undetectable or bring it right to the edge of the rules.

    After massaging, that pair of SPEC engines costs a team about… a small fortune. Thank goodness that’s low cost!!!!!

    The engine procurement costs plus massaging is pretty expensive.

    And for what?

    Is the racing any better? No. Actually, it’s worse, there has been far less actual racing. Parity? No chance. Looks like a two horse race shaping up this season. There isn’t even parity among the SPEC engines.

    So over the years, who was doing all the “complaining” over cost, and how did making the well funded teams spend about $2+ million on SPEC engines in the last year or so reduce costs to those that were concerned with the costs of running a car on the NASCAR Modified Tour?

    Costs exploded, parity went down the toilet, racing is, well, less racy.

    Somebody please explain the benefit of the SPEC engine? Please!!!!

    NASCAR? Darby? Bodine? Glover? Wilson? Anyone?

  55. Has there been any statement from NASCAR about this?

    Or are they staying silent?

  56. darealgoodfella,

    I don’t expect any public statement to be made about this, and I don’t expect Jimmy Willson will be talking to the media about this.

  57. I’m thinking all those SPEC engine cars at the back of the pack are complaining about the lack of parity.

  58. Sect.D Row25 says

    darealgoodfeela, Good news, Tony Glovers people have reached out and they want to arrange a sit down. It seems they are finally ready to personally address the garbled rantings of an obsessed lunatic. With all due respect I know it is Friday and race day but you might want to stay home and close to the phone tonight. After all is said and done who knows maybe they open the books and you get your Button.

  59. Sect.D, Row25… what ever help you need, I’ll try to provide. I still don’t understand that anyone, make that you, could not understand that the SPEC engine is a total failure.

    If the engine evaluation was wonderful, why didn’t NASCAR tell us that?

  60. Please read this again, very carefully:

    “There’s no parity,” Garbarino said. “It’s not even close. They brought the fox into the hen house now the feathers are flying and they’re trying to straighten it out. In my view it’s wrong. It’s wrong from any concept. It was all done on the notion that it was going to be less expensive way to go racing. That was it. And that’s not the case. That’s not the case at all the way I see. If you haven’t accomplished that, what have you accomplished?

    “It’s a sad situation,” Garbarino said. “They created it and I suspect that they think they really accomplished something here. Because I’m watching guys go into that would have no reason to do that other than that they’re not going to be competitive if they don’t. If they find enough of those guys out there that will spend the money I guess there’s nothing to worry about. I just have a question of if you can find enough of those people to keep the series viable.”

    Really, what has the SPEC motor accomplished to the benefit of the Tour, the teams, the tracks, the fans, and the sponsors? Zero, nada, zilch, nothing. It is actually a setback, a detriment. Very sad and now NASCAR has to find an exit strategy. The teams that did buy the SPEC motor couldn’t resist the big carb, big cubic inches, bigger power, and weight break. They bought it hook, line and sinker, for pure performance reasons. And if NASCAR tweaks the SPEC motor car to bring about parity with the field of built motor cars, that will totally piss off the Tour teams that bought the SPEC motor.

    The built motor business is gone. What will the bottom half of the field use for motors when their built motors that they get second hand are no longer available and no longer serviceable? They clearly can’t afford the low cost SPEC motor. What will that then do to the car counts? It won’t take long for this to happen.

    Still not sure what NASCAR was after with the SPEC motor. It clearly wasn’t an affordable, low cost motor alternative for the low budget teams, since not a single low budget team is running one, and only the performance oriented teams are running the SPEC motor.

  61. Sect. D Row25 says

    The LFR house car went up on Racingjunk this week. They state they would split the package up and ask 48k for the car and 37k for the spec engine including the headers, carb, starter, bell and clutch. I don’t need you to repeat the same things you have said in the previous 20 plus comments you have made. I never disagreed with you, just felt you had made your point already. Writing letters to NASCAR Heads on RACEDAYCT is like Clint Eastwood talking to the empty chair. Here we have an actual fact based number you can buy that engine for. These people are trying to sell a new chassis so I would guess this engine has had a fair amount of massaging.

  62. Has anybody heard or seen anything from the empty chair?

  63. I hope NASCAR officials will attend the TTOMS at Seekonk.

    Looks like over 50 cars entered, and a big purse. See the correlation?

    Big purse brings out lots of cars.

    SPEC motor does nothing for car counts.

  64. I used to watch NASCAR all the time and go to races I think NASCAR has turned racing into trash I have not watch a races in 10 years because they suck now you no the true story if you want to see a real race watch open wheel

  65. Randy Beecher says

    I used to watch NASCAR all the time and go to races I think NASCAR has turned racing into trash I have not watch a races in 10 years because they suck now you no the true story if you want to see a real race watch open wheel

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