Technical Inspector Ricky Brooks revealed new information Monday morning about the Super Late Model engine test that led to a restrictor plate being placed on Hamner sealed engines. Appearing on Speed51’s Morning Bullring talk show, Brooks provided and confirmed details that had not been known publicly prior to his call into the show.
Some of the questions following Wednesday’s announcement about the addition of a 1.350″ restrictor on the Hamner sealed engines surrounded the process in which the performance of each engine was measured during the dyno test. That test, which was conducted by Robbie White (RW Racing Engines) in Seymour, Tennessee, showed a performance advantage for the Hamner sealed engines compared to other engine builders in the Sealed Engine Alliance Leaders (S.E.A.L.) program.
“We used the same carburetor, we used the same headers, we used the same oil, we changed oil in between running motors and the engine builders were present or a representative of theirs was present,” Brooks said. “And if the car owner wants to show up, he can show up as well.”
While the complete results from the dyno test have not and will not be revealed publicly due to the request of each engine builder, Brooks did confirm that the engines tested ranged from 590 to 618 horsepower. He also confirmed that the recent dyno test was the first time that Hamner engines have been pulled and tested since 2011.
The Champion Racing Association did dyno-testing, led by lead Tech Director Eddie Chew, in the fall of 2015. Each one of the engines, McGunegill, Hamner, Progressive and the Southern Parts Engine versions were tested twice in two separate locations, the second round with Brooks present at the Hamner Racing Engines location in Alabama. Chew stated that the engines were “almost identical in performance.” (Click Here for the Story from 2015)
Since 2011, according to Brooks, a number of parts within the Hamner engines were changed without approval.
“It was the intake change, it was a rod length change, it was a piston change, a piston ring change and gas ports on the pistons, just to put it out there,” Brooks stated. “The intake change was approved, but it was approved for alignment purposes only, not performance gained. We took him on his word that it was no performance gain.”
In an interview with Speed51 last week, Hamner Racing Engines owner Justin Oertel indicated that each new part placed in their engines had received approval from S.E.A.L.
Compared to the results of the dyno test completed in 2011, the results of the 2019 test showed the Hamner sealed engine with a total of 20 horsepower gained, according to Brooks.
“Those changes added up to a total of 20 horsepower gained and 17 on torque. Throughout the entire RPM range from the original specs that we had and dyno numbers, not over the total numbers but throughout the RPM range, there is 30 horsepower and 30 foot pounds of torque throughout the entire range over what it was in 2011 when we dyno’d those motors.”
The Hamner engine that was tested as part of this process was the engine that powered Noah Gragson to his victory in the 51st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL) in December. Brooks clarified that another Hamner engine was also tested, ensuring him that it wasn’t just the Kyle Busch Motorsports engines that had the performance advantage.
“I have looked at one other (Hamner) engine since then and it came right in line with the Kyle Busch engine. It’s not just the Kyle Busch engine that has been checked.”
Moving forward, Brooks indicated that engines within the S.E.A.L. program will be checked much more frequently.
“Going forward, you’ll see more motors coming out of cars, more motors tore apart and it will not go nowhere near what it has,” he stated. “Up until this point, we didn’t feel like we had an issue. At the Derby, when I pulled motors I never dreamed this would come about. The sealed program is to keep us from staying at the race track late at night tearing motors apart. It’s a privilege to have a sealed motor because we put trust in those builders that they’re going to keep everything identical.
“It’s like the Progressive engine package. That package has stayed the same with just a few minor changes in 18 years that got approved, but that horsepower on that motor stayed the same in 18 years. McGunegill motor, he asked to change a camshaft. He brought it to me; we dyno’d it, we checked it and it was spot on so it got approved last year. We’re not saying that if you have an issue with something, a part or whatever, that it cannot be changed, but it needs to be done the right way. We need to make sure it’s not going to give a competitive edge over the next guy.”
In an interview with Speed51 during The Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway this past weekend, Brooks had claimed that “he had somebody else, somebody that’s not currently in our program right now, that can take that program back in.” That led some people to question whether Robbie White and RW Racing Engines may be entering the S.E.A.L. program. On Monday morning, Brooks adamantly denied that and further explained what he said over the weekend.
“Absolutely not,” he said when asked the question by host Bob Dillner. “When I made the statement about another engine builder that we could put it back into, the option is to put that engine package back at PME where it was at with Hamner last year before this deal come about. It’s been questioned to me over the weekend basically questioning my trust and integrity and Robbie White’s about the dyno and taking the engine somewhere else to dyno. I’ve thought long and hard about that and I’m not doing that. People trust what I do.
“What I will do to satisfy those inquiring minds is they can hire a guy from Super Flow to come in, he can calibrate the dyno, he can run the dyno and we’ll sit there and cherish and watch it.”
Until a solution is reached, Brooks says that the restrictors will remain on the Hamner sealed engines for ARCA/CRA Super Series, CARS Tour, Southern Super Series, SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series and other events that operate under the S.E.A.L. guidelines.
“The restrictors will remain unless we come up with a solution to get the engines down by changing a rocker arm ratio or whatever. It will remain in place until we come up with a decision with the group – everyone that was in that Monday meeting will be in that group.”
“The restrictor can stay on them and it’s not a penalty. That was a compromise. The reason we didn’t just kick it out is because it’s as big as it is and the other engine builders agreed that it would be detrimental to the racer.”
Brooks ended his segment on Monday’s Morning Bullring by offering a plea to those on social media.
“People on social media just need to, if they’re not involved and sitting on the couch and don’t know what’s going on, they need to just shut up. All it does it create a bunch of negativity for the racer and everybody involved. We need to promote racing, not kill it.”
The full interview with Ricky Brooks can be viewed on-demand by clicking here.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com