What Engines Are Used In NASCAR? How Much Horsepower Do They Make?

NASCAR, the adrenaline-fueled world of high-speed racing, captures the hearts of millions of fans around the globe. Behind the thunderous roar of these powerful machines lies a key component that propels them to victory: the engine. 

But how do these small cars make so much power? What engines do they have? Let's dive into the world of NASCAR engines and discover what makes them so special.

The Real Question? How Powerful Are They?

NASCAR V8 engines produce impressive horsepower numbers, typically ranging between 750 to 900 horsepower - depending on the exact tune and engine type. The engines are designed to generate substantial low-end torque, allowing drivers to accelerate quickly out of corners and maintain high speeds on straightaways, while not over spinning.

The Powerhouse: NASCAR V8 Engines

At the core of every NASCAR car lies a V8 engine - a true symbol of American power and performance. These engines are custom-built and specifically designed to meet the demanding requirements of oval track racing. Let's explore the key features and specifications that make NASCAR V8 engines stand out:

  • Displacement and configuration - NASCAR V8 engines have a displacement of approximately 358 cubic inches (5.8 liters). They are naturally aspirated and feature a pushrod overhead valve configuration. This traditional setup provides excellent low-end torque (because there is no turbocharger) and allows for easier maintenance and tuning.
  • Camshaft and Valvetrain - NASCAR engines utilize a high-lift camshaft with aggressive profiles to maximize power output. The valvetrain consists of sturdy pushrods, rocker arms, and two valves per cylinder, providing precise control over the intake and exhaust processes.

The Thrill of NASCAR Technology 

While NASCAR engines retain some traditional elements, advancements in technology and strict rules have shaped their evolution. NASCAR regulates engine specifications to ensure fair competition and keep the racing close - just like in other formats like F1. Engine builders and teams work within these guidelines to maximize performance and gain a competitive edge through meticulous tuning, optimization, and fine-tuning of components.

Despite your car not being in NASCAR it still needs maintenance and care. That's why we invite you to Chicane Motorsport! Book an appointment from our wide variety of procedures, and relax while the pros hand the job!