by John Dearmore
I'm sitting here on a Sunday morning trying to figure out why people enjoy racing. As someone who has been around for a while and has tried most all kinds of motorsports, and I do mean all types: I've raced go karts, sprint cars, saturday night junkers, sport cars, Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars, I always had a blast racing and talking to all the people engaged in each of those sports.
I guess the biggest challenge I had was making a top fuel run and keep it together. I had a chance later in life to have a person call and want me to be their crew chief and run the operation. He was at a point in his life where he just had to do it and wanted someone who would look out for his best interest. With all racing you have to start with the basic combo and build up from there and I believe the crew that helps is the most important part. If you say, I have me, my wife and that pretty much is it, then the load is on your shoulders to make sure everything is just right. However, to be successful in this demanding (and expensive) sport, get the best you can…you have to!
Let’s stop and look at this: You either have to be a jack of all trades, or have people who make product for you. I think as them as part of the crew; these are people who deliver parts you can trust and depend on. I hope you are the type who does not follow the advertisements and listens to all the companies that tell you how much horsepower you can gain by using their product. Example: I was at my deck one day and the phone rang and the customer on the other end was upset - not at me, as he had just received his new set of DRE Rockers and was telling me how much he liked them – but that he was not getting the power gains advertised by other companies whose products he had added that, with the addition of the rockers, should have been over 100 horsepower. “Wow!” I told him, “How did you come up with that?” He then told me the other additions he’d added to his engine and the claims each manufacturer had made for their pieces: 5 h.p. from this company, 10 h.p. from another, and so forth. He had been running his car before he got the rockers and the other equipment, and since it wasn’t appreciably faster, he was upset. He just couldn’t figure out why his engine didn’t have the extra power gains he was expecting.
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. I tried my best to tell this gentleman that was not how horsepower is made, and that this goes on a lot in the industry. Always remember, you do not race dyno slips. No matter what the engine builder tells you, it is what you do with that engine that will tell you how good you are!
I’m pretty sure my rocker arms are the best we can make and they will help your valve train become better and more stable. If you are still running the pedestal mounted ones, it’s time to save your money and buy a set of shaft rockers, and ones that are American made. That’s another story I'll talk about later – when racing a cheaper product is not always the answer.
Until next month give me a call and let’s talk rocker arms!
Nostalgia Drag World - by John Dearmore; photo by Connell R. Miller