NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

What is the Chevy DRCE Pro Stock engine?

Chevrolet’s top-secret Pro Stock race engine has been shrouded in mystery for decades. It’s known as the Drag Race Competition Engine (DRCE), and its architecture has been massaged into a nearly 10,000-rpm, fuel-injected, 500-cid race mill that actually began life with the Oldsmobile brand.
31 Jul 2020
David Kennedy
Racing Technology
DRCE 3 Engine

The Drag Race Competition Engine (DRCE) is a series of purpose-built drag racing cylinder heads and engine block castings that are based on the big-block Chevy, but originally branded as an Oldsmobile. There are four generations of DRCE aluminum cylinder heads and four generation of the DRCE cast-iron engine blocks, with the DRCE 2 engine blocks offered in both gray-iron and compacted-graphite iron (CGI) versions.

Unlike in other forms of motorsports, where a new platform makes the previous engines obsolete, the DRCE 1, 2, 3, and 4 engine parts are all competitively racing in NHRA Pro Stock. In fact, Erica Enders 2019 NHRA Pro Stock Championship was won with an early DRCE engine.

Each generation of the DRCE has meant changes in design and supplier. With each evolution came improvements, but keep in mind the DRCE is really just a raw canvas for engine builders—the magic of these motors really comes from the machine shop and engine builders they go to.

The Four Generations of DRCE

DRCE 1: Gray-iron block and aluminum heads cast by Paul Wright in Canton, Ohio, and then produced through Hurst for Oldsmobile.

Used by: Warren Johnson and Elite Performance

DRCE 2: The gray-iron block was cast by International Tooling and Engineering in Michigan, and the compacted-graphite iron (CGI) block was cast by Caterpillar in Peoria, Ill.. The DRCE 2 heads were cast in aluminum by Ross Aluminum Castings in Sydney, Ohio.

Used by: Gray Motorsports, and, Warren Johnson, and Elite Performance

DRCE 3: These were all CGI blocks cast by Motor Castings (the company closed in 2019) in Milwaukee, WI. The DRCE 3 heads were cast by Eck Industries in Manitowoc, WI, from aluminum.

Used by: KB Racing, Warren Johnson, Elite Performance, Chris McGaha, and Joey Grose

Reinhart Reveals: NHRA Pro Stock cylinder head porting and preparation

DRCE 4: These are all CGI blocks cast by Grainger & Worrall in the United Kingdom, while the DRCE 4 heads are billet aluminum and are made by CFE in Eastpointe, Mich., for GM.

Used by: Frank Iacono, Nick Ferri (for Cuadra Racing), Elite Performance, and Joey Grose

Pro Stock racing in 2020 and beyond; The kids are alright