Volume III, Issue 5, Page 36
Tracy and Levi tryin’ ‘em out!

hevrolet's all-new Midget racing engine was unveiled this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by GM representatives and United States Auto Club (USAC) team owner Tony Stewart. Designed by GM Racing specifically for the USAC National Midget Car Series, the purpose-built, four-cylinder Chevrolet racing engine will initially power Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) drivers Tracy Hines and Levi Jones and will be available to all USAC competitors through independent engine builders.

"One year ago, Chevrolet announced its sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing in open-wheel competition," said Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper. "Now, Chevrolet has taken the next step by creating an all-new racing engine for this popular grassroots series. “

The methanol-burning 166ci (2.7-liter) engine produces more than 350 horsepower. The lightweight, inline four employs an aluminum block and cylinder head with two valves per cylinder. Per USAC rules, it is equipped with mechanical fuel injection and utilizes an electronic ignition system.

"Having the Chevrolet bowtie on the engine and not just on the side of the car as a sponsor is indicative of how much technical support the brand has given our program. In the past, we've competed with engines that were based on Chevy parts but weren't necessarily a Chevrolet engine,” Stewart said.

Starting with a blank computer screen, GM Racing engineers developed a package that departs from the engines traditionally used in Midget racing. Its innovative architecture improves combustion efficiency, enhances airflow, and lowers the center of gravity. Advanced technical resources such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and solid 3-D modeling used to design GM production engines were also used to develop this engine.

Said Tom Stephens, executive vice president, GM Global Powertrain and Global Quality, "Like the championship-winning Chevrolet R07 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the record-setting LS.7R small-block V-8 in the American Le Mans Series, the Chevrolet Midget engine was designed and developed using many of the tools and technologies employed to create exceptional production engines like the 638 horsepower LS9 V-8."

 

This engine will be mounted in the car with some degree of tilt, yet for the most part, it will sit between the frame rails much like a V8 would.