With few representatives from the Mopar camp aiming to knock down the competition in our Engine Masters Challenge, it stands to reason we'd pay close attention to what they're up to. Firstly, we've seen Mopar designs kick total ass in our last two engine contests (the Small-Block Shootout and Big-Block Shootout, respectively), and secondly, all Mopar entrants are running Indy cylinder heads.

One of the entries comes straight from Indy Cylinder Head themselves. We'll be looking at one of the other Mopar entrant designs in a future issue, but this month we're going to see what Ken Lazzeri and his crew at Indy Cylinder Head are brewing up.

I'll be honest with you here, too. We've heard plenty of enthusiasts offer up their pre-contest choices for who will win the Engine Masters Challenge. Naturally, we staffers have been quizzed repeatedly about our own calls, too. The engine we're profiling this month is the one I've personally told everyone to watch out for, and I'll tell you why: I feel the small-block Mopar has a natural advantage in the Engine Masters Challenge based on its core design. Remember, the LA-series small-block engine shipped from Mother Mopar with flow-friendly 18-degree heads and incredibly stable shaft-mounted rockers. These critical design elements push it ahead of the competition, at least on paper. The Chevy guys are limited to factory-style 23-degree heads, and the Ford camp is being held to their 20-degree dimensions. Both the Chevy and Ford camps must run stud-mounted rockers, too--just the way those engines shipped from the factories.

Naturally, design is only a part of the story. The wizards at Indy Cylinder Head are hard-core racers. These heads they've created do mimic the factory valve angles and use a factory-style single-shaft rocker assembly, which makes them legal for our Challenge, but they are not simple stock-replacement castings. These are serious performance parts, and if Indy is going to showcase what their stuff is worth, they will leave nothing to chance and nothing on the table. They've researched the needs of the small-block Mopar more than most, and our 366ci limit was chosen based on a .030-over 360 Chrysler. This should make some of their choices easy and put them in a prime position to show well in this competition.

Naturally, these are my own opinions, and they have no bearing on anything. People have asked for my call, and now you've got it. Or, at least you will once you finish reading this story. Do I have to tell you to keep an eye on this one, come dyno day?