NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Engine Wars! F1 vs IndyCar vs Pro Stock vs NASCAR vs Top Fuel

Ever wonder how NHRA drag racing engines stack up against the world? Spoiler alert: We overpower every other motorsport on earth!
19 May 2020
David Kennedy
Racing Technology
NHRA vs NASCAR vs IndyCar vs F1

Racing engines have always been shrouded in secrecy because power promises the ultimate advantage. Drivers inherently want enough horses to break the tires lose everywhere on the track. Have too much power? Use less throttle. The motorsport with the most power is obvious to everyone reading these pages, but how far ahead of the competition are we? And what might we learn from the circle-track and road-race engines architectures to make our engines more powerful? We’ve gathered all of the publically available engine specs we could find on F1, IndyCar, Pro Stock, NASCAR, and Top Fuel engines we could dig up.

It’s a collection of information from rulebooks, magazine articles, and the racing series. In some cases, we don’t know certain specs because they are not regulated by the respective sanctioning body, but we’re certainly interested in learning.

NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car Nitromethane Engines

Performance: More than 11,000 hp

Engine speed limit: 7,900 rpm (Top Fuel) 7,700 rpm (Funny Car)

Engine design: 90-degree Hemi V-8, with deep-skirt block and cross-bolted main bearing caps

Material: 6065-series aluminum

Maximum displacement: 500 cid (8.2 L)

Bore size: 4.1875 inches +0.004 inch

Maximum bore-center spacing: 4.800 inches

Maximum cam-to-crank centerline: 5.400 inches

Crankshaft material: EN30B USA Timken Steel

Oiling system: Dry-sump oil system permitted

Supercharger: 14-71 roots-type with a billet-aluminum case

Rotor helix: Cannot exceed that of a standard 71-series GM-type rotor group

Rotor material: Billet aluminum with replaceable Teflon or Nylatron strips

Maximum fuel-injector air inlet opening: 65 square

Supercharger inlet: May not exceed 11.750 inches in length and 4.600 inches in width

Supercharger overdrive ratio: 30 to 45 percent

Air volume moved: 3,500 cubic feet per minute (cfm)

Fuel system: Mechanical multi-port fuel injection

Fuel: Nitromethane, restricted to 90-percent maximum concentration

Fuel pump: Mechanical, engine driven

Fuel pump volume: 115 gallons per minute (gpm) maximum at 8,500 rpm

Fuel burned per run: 14 gallons (18-20 gallons, including warmup)

Intake manifold: Cast magnesium or billet aluminum

Port size: 2.400 inches

Manifold burst panel(s): Mandatory, SFI Spec 23.1

Ignition system: Dual magneto MSD system with 16 sparkplugs

Cylinder heads: Billet aluminum

Combustion chamber size: 200cc

Number of valves per cylinder: Two Intake valve angle: 35 degrees, +- 1 degree Intake valve diameter: 2.470 inches (maximum)

Exhaust valve angle: 21 degrees, +- 1 degree

Exhaust valve diameter: 1.925 inches (maximum)

Valve covers: Must be fabricated steel, titanium, or aluminum

Camshaft: Roller-lifter style

Camshaft diameter: 60 mm

Typical lift: 0.500-0.525 inch

Lobe separation: 114 degrees

Duration: 303-304 degrees (intake); 300 degrees (exhaust)

Rocker-arm ratio: 1.6:1 to 1.75:1

Exhaust system Top Fuel: Headers must be directed to rear, away from driver. Cannot exceed 16-inches in length measured from the top of the frame rail.

Exhaust system Funny Car: Must be double-tube insulated, not to be laid back more than 40 degrees, and not to exceed more than 83-inches of maximum width from left side of car to the right Maximum header tube outside diameter (O.D.): 2.75 inches. The outside diameter and inside diameter must remain constant to the exit of the header.

NHRA Pro Stock Engine- Chevy Drag Race Competition Engine (DRCE)

Performance: More than 1,400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque

Engine speed limit: 10,500 rpm

Engine design: 90-degree V-8, with four-bolt steel bearing caps (center three caps are splayed), based on big-block Chevy

Material: Cast-iron (DRCE 2); cast-iron or compacted-graphite iron(CGI) (DRCE 3 and DRCE 4)

Maximum displacement: 500 cid (8.2 L)

Bore: 4.700 inches Stroke: 3.600 inches

Bore-center spacing: 4.900 inches

Cam-to-crank centerline: 5.750 to 7.067 inches

Crankshaft: CNC-machined steel

Oiling system: Dry-sump

Fuel system: Electronic multi-port Holley fuel injection

Throttle body: 25-square-inch Holley unit required on all engines

Fuel: Sunoco SR18 (118 octane) gasoline

Fuel pump: Engine driven or electric, 90 psi maximum pressure

Injectors: 80 or 160-pound-per-hour Holley units, maximum of eight

Fuel burned per run: 1 gallon Intake

Manifold: Billet aluminum

Ignition system: Coil-near plug Holley crank-trigger system with eight sparkplugs

Cylinder heads: Cast T355-T7M aluminum

Number of valves per cylinder: Two

Intake valve diameter: 2.55 inches (approximately)

Exhaust valve diameter: 1.80 inches (approximately)

Valve covers: Fabricated aluminum

Camshaft: Roller-lifter style

Camshaft diameter: 70 mm

Typical lift: 1.10 inch

Lobe separation: 116 degrees

Duration: 280 degrees (intake); 308 degrees (exhaust)

Rocker-arm ratio: 1.75:1 to 2.00:1

Exhaust system: Four-into-one, or tri-Y headers

IndyCar Engine-Chevy Twin-Turbo

Performance: 735 hp

Engine speed limit: 12,200 rpm

Engine design: 90-degree V-6

Engine weight: 248 lbs

Material: Aluminum

Maximum displacement: 134 cid (2.2L)

Bore: 3.74016 inches (95 mm)

Stroke: 2.02 inches (51 mm)

Crankshaft: CNC-machined steel

Oiling system: Dry-sump

Turbochargers: 71-mm-inducer BorgWarner EFR

Fuel system: Direct and port electronic fuel injection systems (two injectors per cylinder) controlled by a McLaren Electronics TAG 400i ECU Fuel: E85 (85-percent ethanol, 15-percent race gas)

Fuel pump: Dual engine-driven injection pumps, plus an electric pump

Injectors: Six in-cylinder (direct) injectors and six port fuel injectors, 4,351-psi maximum fuel pressure Intake

Intake manifold: Composite

Ignition system: Coil-on-plug with six sparkplugs

Cylinder heads: Aluminum

Number of valves per cylinder: Four

Valve covers: Aluminum

Camshaft: Dual overhead camshaft

Exhaust system: Three-into-one headers with dual wastegates

NASCAR Engine-Chevy R07

Performance: 550 to 750 hp (depending on configuration)

Engine speed limit: 10,000 rpm

Engine design: 90-degree V-8, with compacted-graphite iron (CGI) block and four-bolt steel main bearing caps

Engine weight: 525 lbs

Maximum displacement: 358 cid

Bore: 4.185 inches

Stroke: 3.25 inches

Bore center spacing: 4.500 inches

Crankshaft: CNC-machined steel, with 2-inch-diameter main bearings and 1.850-inch-diameter rod bearings

Oiling system: Dry-sump

Fuel system: Holley electronic port fuel injection systems controlled by a McLaren Electronics TAG-400N ECU

Throttle body: Holley Fuel: Sunoco E15 (15-percent ethanol, 85-percent race gas) 98-octane

Fuel pump: Engine driven injection pump with electric lift-pumps in tank

Intake manifold: Cast aluminum

Ignition system: Coil-near plug crank-trigger system with eight sparkplugs

Cylinder heads: Cast aluminum

Number of valves per cylinder: Two

Valve material: Titanium

Valve covers: Aluminum Valvetrain

Camshaft: Flat-tappet style

Camshaft diameter: 60 mm

Typical lift: 0.800-0.950 inch

Rocker-arm ratio: 2.20:1 (but ratio varies)

Exhaust system: Four-into-two-into one headers

F1 Engine-Mercedes Hybrid

Performance: 1,000 hp (engine + electric motor)

Engine speed limit: 15,000 rpm

Engine block design: 90-degree V-6

Engine weight: 320 lbs

Maximum displacement: 98 cid (1.6 L)

Bore: 3.1496 inches (80 mm)

Stroke: 2.0866 inches (53 mm)

Turbocharger: Single turbo, with the compressor mounted at the front of the engine, and the turbine mounted at the rear. An electrical motor generator (MGU‐H) unit is mounted to the turbine shaft between the compressor and turbine wheels to generate electricity, or to be electrically spooled

Oiling system: Dry-sump

Oil type: Must be “engine oil as this term is generally understood”

Fuel system: Electronic direct-injection Injectors: 220 pound-per hour maximum fuel rate

Fuel type: Must be petroleum based, but not contain substances capable of exothermic reaction in the absence of external oxygen Maximum fuel pressure: 7,251 psi

Intake manifold material: Composite

Number of valves per cylinder: Four

Hybrid Power Unit: In addition to the engine there is also a motor generator unit—kinetic (MGU-K) mechanically linked to the powertrain before the main clutch. The maximum torque of the MGU‐K may not exceed 147 lb-ft (200Nm). This unit receives electrical power from the energy storage system on the car, or from the motor generator unit—heat (MGU-H) that’s built into the turbocharger located in the Vee of the engine.