Chevrolet Unveils a New Midget Engine
All-New Powerplant Will Appear in USAC
Chevrolet's all-new Midget racing engine was unveiled today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by GM representatives and United States Auto Club (USAC) team owner Tony Stewart. Designed by GM Racing specifically for the USAC National Midget Car Series, the new purpose-built, four-cylinder Chevrolet racing engine will initially power Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) drivers Tracy Hines and Levi Jones in upcoming events. The new Chevy Midget engine will be available to all USAC competitors through independent engine builders.
"One year ago, Chevrolet announced its sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing in
open-wheel competition," said Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper. "Now Chevrolet
has taken the next step by creating an all-new racing engine for this popular
grassroots racing series. Chevrolet races to win, and America's brand is aiming for
more victories in this uniquely American form of motorsports."
The new methanol-burning 166ci (2.7-liter) Chevy Midget racing engine produces
more than 350 horsepower. The lightweight, inline four-cylinder engine employs an
aluminum block and cylinder head with two valves per cylinder. Per USAC rules,
the Chevy Midget engine is equipped with mechanical fuel injection and utilizes
an electronic ignition system.
“The Chevy Midget racing engine is definitely going to be an asset to Tony Stewart
Racing," said team owner Tony Stewart. "Having the Chevrolet bowtie on the engine
and not just on the side of the car as a sponsor is indicative of how much technical
support the brand has given our program. In the past, we’ve competed with engines that were based on Chevy parts but weren't necessarily a Chevrolet engine. The Chevy Racing engineering and marketing staffs have really embraced the TSR racing programs, and the debut of this new engine is the start of another exciting new chapter in our relationship.”
Starting with a clean sheet of paper and a blank computer screen, GM Racing engineers developed a package that is a departure from the engines traditionally used in Midget racing. The new Chevy powerplant stands out from its competition with an innovative architecture that improves its combustion efficiency, enhances airflow and lowers the center of gravity. Advanced technical resources such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and solid 3-D modeling used to design GM production engines were also used to develop the Chevrolet Midget racing engine.
"The Chevrolet Midget racing engine represents another step in GM's continuous development of high-performance, high-rpm overhead-valve engines," said Tom Stephens, executive vice president, GM Global Powertrain and Global Quality. "Like the championship-winning Chevrolet R07 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the record-setting LS.7R small-block V-8 in the American Le Mans Series, the new Chevrolet Midget engine was designed and developed using many of the tools and technologies GM engineers employ to create exceptional production engines like the new 638-horsepower LS9 small-block V-8."
The new Chevy Midget engine (GM Photos)
The major components that define the Chevrolet Midget engine package – the cylinder block, cylinder head and certain ancillaries – will be available to all USAC competitors. Independent engine builders can then assemble Chevy Midget engines using internal components from their preferred suppliers. Kistler Racing Engines of Fremont, Ohio, supplies the Chevy engines that power the two TSR entries.
"Many of the aftermarket engines currently racing in the Midget series are based on the four-cylinder Chevy II engine produced in the '60s," explained GM Racing director Mark Kent. "Others are essentially one bank of a conventional V-8 engine. We took a different approach to bring innovative technology to the series while respecting a racing heritage that reaches back to the '30s. We've also incorporated lessons learned in designing and developing race-winning engines for NASCAR, ALMS and NHRA competition. By harnessing GM's technical resources to create a brand-new Midget racing engine, we're putting more Chevy into the cars that wear bowties on the race track."
A close-up look at the new mill.