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NASCAR Engine Building - How To Build A NASCAR Engine In 15 Minutes

Inside The Mahle Engine Builder Showdown

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Discounting that six degrees of separation exercise, you would think NASCAR engine builders Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman of Pro Motor Engines in Mooresville, North Carolina, have very little in common with iconic '60s artist Andy Warhol. It's a sure bet that the white-haired Warhol never had a torque wrench in his hand-and yet there is a weird, time-space convergence where these two wildly divergent parties meet. Andy Warhol's famous quote, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes" four decades ago rang true in Mooresville when these two engine builders used that quarter hour (plus another 59 seconds) to not only win the '08 Mahle Engine Builder Showdown but also to set a new world record in the process, besting last year's record of 16:25.

So what is the Mahle Engine Builder Showdown? 2008 marks the ninth year that Mahle Clevite has sponsored the fun event that this year challenged 23 two-man NASCAR engine-building teams in a four-round elimination to see which team could assemble a Sprint Cup 357ci small-block Ford race engine in the least amount of time. One fragmented engine is laid out in front of each team with the block on a stand at the start of the event. Using only handtools, the men assemble a complete engine and run it for one minute-all in the shortest amount of time. As you might expect, penalties are assessed for loose or missing fasteners. If you think about the hundreds of details required to assemble a running engine, this is really a test of far more than an ability to twirl a speed wrench. Plus, these guys also had to perform under the additional rigors of being watched by a large audience, cameras, and dozens of automotive journalists.

Of course, this is for more than just bragging rights. The total '08 Mahle Clevite purse came to $50,000, with $26,000 going to the winning team and $9,000 to the runners-up. Considering Borem and Hoffman performed this task in almost exactly 16 minutes, that comes to a hefty rate of $812.50 per minute. The showdown this year was staged at the NASCAR Technical Institute that's part of Universal Technical Institute's facility in Mooresville with teams running through several preliminary rounds much like a drag racing single-round eliminations format where you only get one shot to win. To show you this sub-16-minute effort was no fluke, we referenced the Pro Motor team's last three rounds of competition, and consistency was one key to its success with times of 16:37, 16:12, and the finals-winning 15:59 an indication of how well they had prepared for this event.

We joined the action on the floor for the final round where these two guys revealed why they are returning champions. We sat back and learned from the masters.

SOURCES
Mahle Clevite
Ann Arbor
MI
8-00/-338-8786
Engineparts.Com
Universal Technical Institute
campuses nationwide
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