Ilmor Engines and Plate Racing a Winning Equation, says Enfingerby Kyle Pokrefky March 4, 2015 0 comments
Photo credit: ARCAracing.com
The ARCA Racing Series’s new Ilmor 396 engine has received a stamp of approval from this year’s Lucas Oil 200 winner, Grant Enfinger.
The now two-time defending winner of the series’s season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway says that he believes the new motor played a role in providing an exciting race for those watching and spectating.
The on-track action in this year’s Lucas Oil 200 was different than from years past. In previous years, cars in the lead pack were seemingly glued to the inside line in single-file while being unable to make a move to the outside to advance their position.
This year’s Lucas Oil 200 was much different with its drafting as cars were able to form second (and third) drafting lines and advance their position with ease – so to speak.
While the number of lead changes in this year’s race was on par with the average number of lead changes in previous Lucas Oil 200s, the drafting for the lead was much different this time around, says Enfinger.
“I think it was better honestly across the board,” Enfinger said. “I had a chance to finally watch the race last week and even in the car I [could] tell it was a better race.
“Sometimes at Daytona for whatever reason when you get a good car out front it ends up being single-file for the top-five or six cars, and it wasn’t like that for this year. It would be single-file for maybe half a lap and then it seemed like there was always a second groove – at least a second groove coming, if not a third groove.”
Not all 40 drivers to take the green flag of this year’s Lucas Oil 200 had a new Ilmor powerplant under the hood of their car, but Enfinger did. From what Enfinger could tell, the new Ilmor engines were able to suck up to other cars well, allowing for slingshot passing maneuvers.
“The motors got up to speed quicker, which means it’s less momentum so you can use a little bit more of a slingshot and use more of the draft,” Enfinger stated. “I thought it was a better race and overall it was a cleaner race, I don’t know if that’s any relation to the motor, but the racing being more competitive definitely was.”
The next race on the ARCA calendar, the ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway, will give the ARCA field the opportunity to use the series’s new optional composite bodies manufactured by Five Star Bodies for the first time in competition.
While Enfinger will again use an Ilmor engine at Mobile, he will not be using one of the new composite bodies at the half-mile speedway that happens to be his home track.
Enfinger’s team, GMS Racing, is planning on acquiring composite bodies down the road, but an official timetable has not been set yet for such an acquisition.
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky