How Do You Know A Racer Is Lying?...

How do you know a racer is lying?...He's telling you about his engine.
By Don Terrill © -

Don’t waste you time asking a racer what he’s got under the hood, because whatever answer you get will more than likely not be the truth. Now there are exceptions to the rule, but the rule is most certainly racers lie about their engines.

I’ve built engines for over 20 years and dealt with just about every kind of racer, stock car to drag racing and I can tell you, they all do it. Some of the reasons make sense, like when you’re bending the rules, but others are ridiculous and may say something about the psyche of racers. I believe the most common reason for lying is the desire to be viewed as intelligent. Everyone wants to be thought of as the smartest guy at the track.

You can do it the hard way or just lie your ass off:

  • Tell them it weighs 300 pounds more than it actually does
  • Tell them it’s 100 cubic inches less than it actually is
  • Tell them the heads are cast iron when they’re actually painted aluminum
  • Tell them it’s a flat tappet when it’s actually a roller cam
  • Tell them it runs on pump gas when it’s 13-1 compression
  • Tell them it runs on street tires when they’re actually slicks with two grooves
  • Tell them it’s a street car when actually it wouldn’t make it 10 minutes without over heating

My favorite story from stock car racing:

I decided to go to the track with one of my limited late model customers. These cars had to run a two-barrel carburetor and extra weight if the car had ported heads. How did the track find out if you had ported heads? They just asked you. Call me cynical, but I didn’t share the track's confidence. So, I told my customer to go over to the scales, where racers had to claim ported or non-ported, and check the list to see how many racers had claimed ported. It turned out we were the only ones out of 40+ cars. Now please, not for a second do I think we were the only ones out there with ported heads. That was one of the nights I confirmed there is a god – we qualified on the pole.

I think it’s a lot more fun to tell them exactly what you’ve got and still kick their ass.

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