Engines, Racing, Motorsports: Science vs. Religion

Science vs. Religion

Something I sometimes take for granted in this industry is the amount of knowledge at our disposal. It comes from all walks of life, different ages, genders, regions, as well as from different areas of manufacturing, development, engine building, racing, you name it. We have some very smart, talented people helping spread information throughout our industry. We also have some characters too, but that comes with the territory, and who doesn’t like a little fun?

I say that I take our industry’s knowledge for granted sometimes because a lot of what we talk about and cover when it comes to engine building can get repetitive at times. Engines only have so many components, and some don’t change too drastically very often. However, nothing reinvigorates you like hearing from or talking to someone with a fresh perspective, or someone who can explain complex, highly technical subject matter in an easy-to-understand way or an entertaining way.

I’ve had the opportunity over the past seven years now to speak with some of the industry’s brightest minds on nearly a weekly basis. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with guys like Gale Banks, Pat Musi, Steve Morris, Charlie Buck Jr., Drew Pumphrey, Jared Alderson, Tom Lieb, Lake Speed Jr., Billy Godbold, Ken Tyger, and more – if I left your name off this list, please don’t feel offended. There’s a ton you smart men and women out there!

Someone I recently got to speak with a few times in the past month is Ben Strader of EFI University. He’s just one of those guys that oozes enthusiasm, pride and joy for talking about engines, racing and making motorsports better. That’s fitting because he teaches for a living and passes along knowledge to thousands of tuners and engine builders either looking to get into this industry or advance themselves further in this industry.

Something he said to me recently that struck a chord was that a lot of engine builders and racers learn so much of what they do based on religion. What he meant by that is most people look around to see who the fastest guy is or who’s winning all the races. They want to know what equipment they have and what procedures they do, and that’s what they want to do too. 

In Ben’s words, it’s really difficult to move forward and expand the performance envelope if all you’re ever doing is copying somebody else and never really knowing why or how that works. Therefore, he ensures his EFI U classes and courses have a full dose of science, math and data behind them, which is the opposite of religion.

Science refuses to accept any contradictions and always digs farther to find the result, find the answer, to find out why. EFI U uses a lot of math, physics and science as well as test data to teach its students how to never accept ‘because I said so’ or ‘because I won’ as an answer. 

Many engine builders and racers get stuck in that hamster wheel of doing something simply because someone else is or told them to. Ben says he teaches a lot differently than that and I think that’s why so many people have such a great experience getting involved with courses at EFI U. It’s refreshing to learn from somebody who gives you the tools to teach yourself rather than standing up and telling you to simply take their word for it.

I thought that was refreshing and certainly captured many people in this industry. You can read much more about Ben Strader and EFI U on page 52, as well as about several other ways to gain more knowledge in this industry throughout this issue. What side of the coin do you fall on – science or religion? EB

You May Also Like

It’s Racing Season!

Well folks, racing is officially back! And that means engine builders, tuners, transmission builders, chassis builders, and racers have all been hard at work these past few months getting things ready for the track. . Every year it seems the off season will take forever on paper, but in reality, we’re back racing again in

Well folks, racing is officially back! And that means engine builders, tuners, transmission builders, chassis builders, and racers have all been hard at work these past few months getting things ready for the track. .

Every year it seems the off season will take forever on paper, but in reality, we’re back racing again in the blink of an eye. From the time the industry gears up for PRI in Indy to the time some of the first races of the year take place, that time goes by incredibly fast. And, it seems these past few years have carried much more excitement for racing across the board, which is always a good thing!

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

Happy New Year everyone! I trust you all enjoyed the holiday season and are hitting the gas full throttle now that we’re in a new year and January is already flying by. Personally, I’m not generally big on making resolutions – at least not ones that require tons of effort or ones I know I

Changing the Narrative Surrounding the Automotive Industry

Every now and then, one of my local radio stations in the Cleveland area invites people to call in who recently got ghosted after a first date. For those who need the definition of ghosting, it’s when someone cuts off all communication without explanation. The radio station tricks the ghostee into telling their side of

Brand Loyalty – is it a Thing of the Past?

Well folks, it’s late September and summer has officially come to a close. If you’re like me, you’ll miss those warm weather days and longer hours of daylight, but it’s been a great few months of race events, car shows, seeing customers, visiting shops, and of course, creating tons of content. In fact, one of

Engine Builder Attends SBI’s 40th Anniversary Gala

If there’s anything that these past couple years has demonstrated, it’s that nothing is for certain in life or in business. In these days of such ever-changing environments, economies, consumer habits and the like, it’s more than impressive when a company reaches a major milestone. In July, the team at S.B. International, located in Nashville,

SBI Gala

Other Posts

Ed Iskenderian of Isky Racing Cams Celebrates 100

July 10, 2021 marked the 100th birthday of Isky Racing Cams founder Ed Iskenderian. The man is an icon in the industry.

Start with Engine Basics

This column is for the young folks out there who believe they have passion for automotive performance. You see the people in this industry and you really want to get involved. I get a lot of calls and emails from these younger folks who want to maybe intern or come to the shop to learn.

Where Have All the Engine Parts Gone?

Does this sound familiar? “We are experiencing issues within the supply chain that has created manufacturing delays, temporary stock-outs, longer lead times and increased cost. You may experience delays in shipment and product shortages. We are committed to working through these challenges and thank you for your patience and support.” Related Articles – The EPA

Protect Yourself as a Small Business

This month’s column is for all those folks in automotive performance with a small business, as well as those looking to get into this segment of the industry. Automotive performance is this gray area that comes with risks and rewards as well as customers who don’t know what they don’t know. If you’re not careful,