The Superstar Racing Experience cars have found their power. On Thursday, the series announced Ilmor Engineering and Edelbrock have become the series’ engine supplier for the inaugural season when it begins in the summer. In particular, the spec racing league’s cars will utilise Ilmor 396 engines, which is also prevalent in other stock car series.
Since 2015, the Ilmor 396 has been one of the available engines in the ARCA Menards Series, intended to be a cheaper alternative to the teams building one themselves or purchasing from a costlier builder. The 700-horsepower, LS-based V8 engine features a Chevrolet base but can be used by cars regardless of manufacturer, and receives fuel injection from Holley Performance. Much of the field uses the 396, with all but two of the fifty-nine cars at the presason Daytona test in January sporting one.
An upgraded version of the 396, the NT1, was introduced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2018. Brett Moffitt of Hattori Racing Enterprises switched to the NT1 late in the season from a Joe Gibbs Racing motor after rule changes that hoped to level the playing field, and he went on to win the championship. The NT1 also became an option for ARCA teams in 2020. While the NT1 and 396 share a number of similarities, among the differences is that the former has a flatter underside to allow for better airflow.
Ilmor’s racing background also extends outside of stock cars. In the early 1990s, they provided engines for Formula One teams like March, Tyrrell, and Sauber. Since 2012, the company has worked with Chevrolet to build IndyCar Series V6 motors, though their presence in American open-wheel racing began in the 1980s.
Founded in 1938, Edelbrock has a partnership with NASCAR that included the presence of contingency stickers on cars. For SRX’s engines, the company will provide a COMP Cams camshaft, pushrods, a water pump, and ignition coils.
While the Ilmor/Edelbrock tandem will work on engines, FURY Race Cars provide chassis for the cars. FURY, a former NASCAR Xfinity Series team, build late models and other stock cars for track day and competition. Although Ilmor’s engines have Chevrolet ties, the SRX cars do not have any manufacturer representation.
The six-race SRX season is set to begin at Stafford Motor Speedway on 12 June. Eleven drivers, most recently Michael Waltrip a week prior, have confirmed their entries for the series.