Think You Got What it Takes to Brawl? - Engine Builder Magazine
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Think You Got What it Takes to Brawl?

Builder’s Brawl is being promoted by Joe Zolper of the TV show Garage Squad, will highlight those who have what it takes to be a good mechanic versus having the right billfold.

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That’s right! Builder’s Brawl, which will take place at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL just outside St. Louis from July 29-30, invites builders from all over the country to come compete against one another’s building knowledge versus who has the deeper pockets – and we can’t wait to attend. 

All participants go through a screening process to qualify as a builder to be part of this race. Potential participants have to convince a panel of five that they qualify as a builder. They also have to be the driver of the vehicle. They can qualify in one of three ways:

  1. Build your own engine (not machine work). You must start with a bare block and build the engine up to the point where it is running in the car.
  2. Build your own chassis. This includes building a cage in your car for proper cert. of speed, welding proper fitting, etc.
  3. Build your car from the ground up. This means you can start with a bare chassis and a built engine, but you must prove you did all the fab work, paint and body, etc. to qualify as a builder — must be extensive work done by the driver, and must have built the entire vehicle. This will be the hardest and the most scrutinized in review.

While a majority of the work must be done by the driver of the vehicle, people can get help with heavy lifting and where more than one hand is needed. But when you’re done, credit must go to the driver for the work. Wiring or plumbing your car, installing an engine, installing wheels, or bolting on suspension parts will not qualify you as a builder in this race.


Participants will compete in one of four class – Big Tire, Small Tire, 4.50 Index and Daily Driver. Only the Daily Driver class is exempt from having to qualify as a builder and is open to all vehicles.

The Big Tire class has no weight restrictions, but a steel roof and quarters are required unless factory, no tire larger than 33.5 is allowed, and drivers must manually shift. The Small Tire class requires a steel roof and quarters (stock ‘Vette permitted), must shift your car, no wheelie bars, and a 28/10.5 tire max. The 4.50 Index class excludes bikes and jet cars, but beyond that, competitors must shift their car, can run any tire, use any fuel, can have a steel/carbon/fiber glass car, and is open to all cars, trucks, dragsters, funny cars, etc.


If you’re interested in submitting an entry, visit the submission page ( to tell Builder’s Brawl more about your build, which most of you should have no problem doing! Include social media posts, old photos and anything that you can think of that gives you credibility. Lying on a submission to be able to enter the race would probably not be a good idea as sponsors, racers and tech guys are looking to set an example of someone who is lying. In fact, part of the rules allows drivers to call one another out if they suspect foul play. 


We are excited to cover this new event, and we hope you come and check it out as well. More on the rules, the classes, the event itself, and ticket options are all available at

One group of folks we know would fit right into this kind of race event is the diesel crowd. Tons of the folks in this market are constantly doing work on their trucks themselves to modify them inside and out with the ultimate goal of a better-running truck. For those reasons, we dedicate an entire issue to diesel content each year, and we hope you enjoy this one! EB

Engine Builder Magazine