ARCA Ilmor 396 Engine announcement produces positive reactions

ARCA Ilmor 396 Engine announcement produces positive reactions

(TOLEDO, Ohio – Aug. 12, 2014) – The recent engine package option announcement by ARCA has resulted in a number of the series team owners commenting on the series’ efforts to work toward reducing the cost of participation in the ARCA Racing Series.

“For the future of our series, I think it’s nothing but a positive,” said team owner Bill Kimmel.

ARCA President Ron Drager announced the introduction of the ARCA Ilmor 396 engine package at Pocono Raceway on August 1, and, since, several team owners have stepped forward to support the move, including the seven-time Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Kimmel.

“From a competition standpoint, I have to think it will be a positive because we will all have the same horsepower,” Kimmel said. “It puts teams more on an equal playing field.

“From an owner’s standpoint, I think it will also be a very good deal. If you figure we race about 4,500 miles per year…with three motors…your engine bill is $105,000. That’s pretty darn good for a full year. That’s probably better than any full time tour. Then, for the second year, if you have all three motors rebuilt with the same performance results, then your motor bill is $45,000. That’s where you’re really going to start seeing the savings.”

The ARCA Ilmor 396 Engine will be a purpose-built powerplant, developed and assembled by legendary engine builder Ilmor Engineering. The cost of the engine will be $35,000, and is being designed to run 1,500 miles prior to needing to be re-built. The ARCA Ilmor 396 will deliver 700 horsepower and 500 ft. lbs. of torque, with durability and performance standards. The engine will be fuel injected, with Holley EFI Technology regulating the Electronic Control Unit and the fuel injection system.

“As a team that has been primarily focused on driver development over the years, the ability to offer the high horsepower this package will have, combined with the fuel injection, is a good fit for our team,” said Nate Thiesse, co-owner of Win-Tron Racing. “The young drivers want the feel of the high horsepower, and the technology of fuel injection will be attractive as we continue to build our development program going forward.”

Kevin Cywinski, Thiesse’s partner at Win-Tron, is a former 3-Time ASA National Champion, and has had experience with fuel injection. He’s looking forward to the new package from several angles.

“We had a lot of success at ASA when they switched over to the fuel injection package, so this is not really new to us,” Cywinski said. “I’m excited about putting the results back into the drivers hands … and the hands of the crew who can find the right set-up for each track. This package promises to level the playing field, and takes cubic dollars and cubic horsepower out of the equation. I like it.”

While the technology of fuel injection is a plus, at the end of the day ARCA felt the need to work towards containing the ever rising cost of the team’s engine budgets, which at the high end had begun to spiral out of control.

“We have identified and are addressing the financial challenges of racing competitively faced by many ARCA teams,” ARCA President Ron Drager stated during the ARCA Ilmor 396 announcement. “Our responsibility as the sanctioning body is to manage the bigger picture business model for all our stakeholders. The ARCA Ilmor 396 is the best engine option we can introduce for the long-term health of our series,” Drager said.

Ken Schrader is a 17-time winner in the ARCA Racing Series and made more than 700 NASCAR starts in his career. He’s now both a car owner and part-time driver in the series. He said he can foresee Schrader Racing jumping on the engine bandwagon immediately.

“I find it very exciting. We’ve experienced something like it in other divisions out there, and looking at it, this really makes sense to me,” Schrader said. “I think it’s a real good move.”

Steven Volpp

So...FordRoxToyotaBlowz....what is YOUR suggestion?


Absolute garbage. The IROC series is long gone. We don't want this crap. 

Tim D.

ARCA Racing...

Gary H.

Is it a gm ,Ford or what?