Springfield, MO – The COMP Cams Engine Builder Duel series concluded this weekend at the Fall Street Machine Nationals. The two-day event hosted two head-to-head builder competitions on Saturday, and one on Sunday. All three pairs of teams were evenly matched, and the times were close. As always, even though one team may be trying to start their engine first, that never means it’s over. Incorrect timing and other mistakes can allow opponents to catch up.
The first match of Saturday morning, September 26, was a pair of husband-and-wife teams. Friends in hot rodding, the couples battled head to head for bragging rights, and both did surprisingly well. Joe and Jennifer Kossen were on Team COMP, and assembled their Small Bock Chevy in 44:59, but were just a few minutes shy of their competition, Chris and Amy Smith of Team FAST, who assembled theirs in 41:03.
The second round pitted Mike and Kristi Parr against Richard Schofield and his 15-year-old son Jacob. It was Jacob’s first engine build. The Parrs got their engine assembled and running before the father-and-son team, but they encountered a bit of ignition trouble in the distributor area. In trying to get their engine to run for the required thirty second they were passed by Richard and Jacob, although both engines ended up running at the same time. Officials deemed it a tie, and both pairs went home winners. Young Jacob was recently given a Ford pickup truck, and was excited to receive the COMP Cams gift certificate. The times were 43:19 for Team Parr and 44:01 for the Schofields.
Sunday, September 27’s lone showdown was a bit more fast-paced thanks to two evenly matched sets of engine-building skills. The father-and-son team of Allen and Nick Marcinek on Team COMP took on the husband-and-wife team of Jared and Megan Petersen competing for Team FAST. Megan often helps Jared tear engines down, and knew her way around the wrenches. In the end the Marcineks set the event’s lowest time of 30:48, besting the Petersens, who weren’t far behind with a 32:08.
The Engine Builder Duel has been held for the last eight years. Surprisingly enough, one of the original engines is still functioning. Catastrophic failures are quite rare thanks to the diligent efforts of the tech inspection crew, headed by Bryan Pitcher. Bryan has overseen all but two events during the program’s lengthy run. As a testament to the durability of the Small Block Chevy, these engines have had more component torque cycles, head swaps, rod and bearing torques, and starts and revs with dirty oil and no coolant more than any other set of engines on the planet, and they continue to educate and inspire hot rodders of all ages. Join us next year for the 9th running of the COMP Cams Engine Builder Duel at a premier auto event near you.