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: How important is it for you to be involved in these TV and magazine project cars?

Kaase: Oh, it’s huge. Really, as far as our shop goes, because of the Engine Masters and the cover photos and the TV shows, probably in the last four or five years more people know who we are and what we do than they did after all that Pro Stock stuff we did in the last 20 or 30 years.

: When a new magazine or TV story comes out do you see an uptick in business?

Kaase: That’s hard to say because a lot of it overlaps. We have an article out right now in Car Craft by Jeff Smith, who built an engine with parts we sent them and that one will help because they actually built the engine themselves with our parts. They cleaned up an old junkyard block and put on our parts and made 830 horsepower, so that one will help.

: What’s the secret to doing well in the Engine Masters Challenge?

Kaase: A lot of it is starting out with the right parts. There are certain brands that work better than others, like a Dodge wedge maybe wouldn’t be as competitive, but when I ran the Pontiac it was pretty good stuff, but the Cleveland I think is the best design, so you’re starting out with really good parts.

: How long does it take to put together your Engine Masters entry?

Kaase: I probably have at least a month in it if you figured it all together. When it gets down toward the end you’re looking at a lot of time, late nights and weekends in here. In fact, I’ve got to get going on mine for this year; I really haven’t done much to it yet.

: So, what’s your project motor for this year’s challenge?

Kaase: It’s a big Chevy; it’s probably going to end up about 400 inches. Right now I’ve got a Dart block and a Bryant crank and I probably didn’t really need that good of parts, but I’m going to punish it pretty bad, so I’ll spend the extra money and buy parts that I know aren’t going to tear up.

: What does the Engine Masters require from the engine?

Kaase: They do three dyno runs back-to-back without shutting it off. It’s pretty tough, but the one Cleveland I ran it for three years and won two of them and missed by one horsepower, I think, the first year. Same engine; it’s an old Ford passenger block that probably had two-hundred thousand miles on it when we got it. The big thing at Engine Masters is the average power, so if you’re looking for the big number sometimes the bottom numbers aren’t as good and the average is worse. You have to restrain yourself and try to get all the numbers good and not just the peak power.

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