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Chevy R07 NASCAR Engine - The Future Is Now

Chevy's NASCAR Teams Begin A New Era Of Racing With The R07 Small-Block

By Dan Ryder, Photography by Courtesy of GM, Dan Ryder, Pennzoil

The new Chevy engine uses a dry intake manifold, which has an extended plenum design to help equalize the atomization of fuel between the cylinders. Coolant passes through a separate valley cover. If the positioning of the distributor in the front of the engine throws you off, don't fret-it's still a Bow Tie.

The valve covers are cast aluminum, sealed with an O-ring. These particular units contain integral valvespring oilers, which are pressure fed from passages within the cylinder head, additionally eliminating the need for external oil lines. GM Racing has also added a more efficient water pump design, along with a carbon-fiber front timing cover. These particular engines employ the use of a camshaft beltdrive system.

The R07 also contains a provision for the traditional style diaphragm fuel pump, or a remote-mounted mechanical unit, which is driven by a cable off the rear of the camshaft. The remote unit can be put towards the rear of the car near the fuel cell, enhancing safety in case of an accident.

Key Players
According to Pat Suhy, GM Racing Group Manager, Oval Track, "Chevy NASCAR teams were deeply involved in the design of the Chevrolet R07. We meet monthly with representatives from our four key partners-Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc.-to get their input on how we can make Chevrolet racing engines more reliable and easier to build and service. Many of their ideas were incorporated in the R07's final design, such as the integration of the oil and cooling systems."

GM Racing's mission is to provide premium quality, easy-to-use components, so that Chevy teams can spend more time testing, making power advances and preparing engines.

A large amount of the steps taken by GM Racing engineers to develop the R07 engine are also used to develop GM production type engines. While the R07 may seem like it can power the Space Shuttle, let it be known that similar steps are taken to power your street-driven Bow Tie.

The Future
Now we don't know how likely the R07 engine casting technology will trickle down to production vehicle status, but we can speculate all we want. While taking a look, this engine has some similarities to the popular LS-style engine, along with the overhead valve design dating back to the first ever small-block in 1955. We're already starting to see SB2 NASCAR heads finding their way onto street and race small-blocks, so the day may come when you'll be able to get your hands on one of these.

Just in case you're wondering about all those SB2 engines, no, they are not being scrapped for boat anchors. They have been passed on for use in the Busch Series and Craftsman truck series. However, we're sure the market will eventually be flooded with NASCAR Monte Carlo SS rollers as the teams will make a full-time switch to the "Car of Tomorrow" Impala SS for the 2008 season.

By Dan Ryder
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