It’s been four years since ARCA announced a partnership with Ilmor Engineering to bring the ARCA Ilmor 396 into competition in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. And while “legacy engines” are still legal in ARCA competition, the Ilmor has won all 71 races ARCA in that time frame and swept all 53 General Tire Pole Awards; the only entity to defeat the ARCA Ilmor 396 is Mother Nature, who has forced qualifying to be canceled 18 times.
And for the second time this season, the Ilmor Engineering staff working in the ARCA Racing Series will have a chance to help the company score two wins at the same track on a single weekend. Not only will Ilmor be looking for its 72nd-consecutive ARCA win in the Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway, they will be looking for their 325th victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series the next day in the Iowa Corn 300.
Ilmor also staffed both the ARCA Racing Series event and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race two weeks ago at Gateway Motorsports Park. Ilmor is building the NASCAR NT1 for the first time in 2018.
Ilmor, founded in 1983 by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan, began manufacturing race engines in 1986. Its Chevrolet Indy V8 was the dominant engine of the late 1980s and early 1990s. They then partnered with Mercedes and built “The Beast”, a pushrod V8 engine that exploited loopholes in the rulebook en route to a dominant win in the 1994 Indianapolis 500. In 1998, Ilmor partnered on a NASCAR program with Dodge. After an eight-year partnership with Honda, Ilmor rejoined Chevrolet in 2012 to create the current 2.2-liter twin-turbo V-6 currently in use in the IndyCar Series. In 2015, Ilmor then moved into the ARCA Racing Series with the ARCA Ilmor 396, and has been undefeated in the series since.
Over the course of the four seasons the ARCA Ilmor 396 has been in use, they have delivered 118 engines to ARCA teams. To date, 44 of those 118 engines have won at least one race. There have been 43 different race winners, and 26 first-time winners. Also, 35 different engines have won poles in the 53 rounds of qualifying that have been completed. There have been 37 different pole winners, and 20 first-time pole winners.
The Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway is a one-day show, with practice scheduled for 12:45 pm ET/11:45 am local. General Tire Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 4:45 pm ET/3:45 pm local, and the 150-lap race will go green shortly after 9 pm ET/8 pm local. ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring throughout all on-track activities, and the race will be broadcast on a delayed basis on MAVTV.