Pro Stock engine builders have a legendary reputation for dedication and persistence that goes beyond maniacal. Their work ethic and ability to bring concepts into reality has been something to behold in NHRA pits for more than 50 years.
To understand their mindset, we are profiling eight of these engine builders. These are the suppliers of naturally aspirated superpower, and all of them are for hire to build your next race engine. None of them will be your cheapest option for building an engine, but their dedication and track record is proven.
Business: Frank Iaconio Racing Engines (FIRE)
Point of contact: Frank Iaconio
Builds engines for: Kenny Delco
Cars he’s helped power: Frank Iaconio, Greg Anderson, Mike Edwards, and Ricky Smith
Favorite accomplishment: Won three races at Englishtown and three races at Pomona
“If you can’t see 2 hp on your dyno, you’re just going to be chasing your tail.”—Frank Iaconio
DRCE architecture used: DRCE 2 and 4 blocks with DRCE 2 and 4 heads
Philosophy when building engines: “It’s a lot of hard work with so much trial and error. It’s very time consuming. You can’t cut corners. There’s no part that come out of box you can just put in. Everything has to be machined or fitted. You need the short-block to seal up, you can’t be floating the valves when you play with the camshaft specs. I’ve been doing this so long it’s a practice, not a philosophy for me.”
Technical capabilities that stand out: “The most important thing is your dyno, it has to be good. The dyno has to be able to repeat. The data acquisition on the dyno has to be good, otherwise your hard work won’t pay off.”
Other engines they build: Boat racing and circle track engines