Just got back in.
The 390 stroker did just fine.
Looking through the nine pulls I made in my 35 minute session, the peak horsepower number was actually in one that I chose not to use in scoring - it made 553.7 HP at 6300 RPM. The peak torque was recorded on a different pull where it printed a 526.7 lb number at 4400.
As a quick summary, this engine is nearly a crate package. Flat top 447 with a .040 bore and a 4.250 stroke. Heads are Survival CNC with a 2.200 valve. Intake is a Performer RPM. Carb is a 20 year old 850 vacuum secondary Holley. Distributor is Ford, Oil pan is Ford C8AX, exhaust is Rod C's 427 cast iron, valve covers, water pump are Ford. Wires are 7mm repops. Cam is a genuine Comp 294S flat tappet with 248@.050 and .605 published lift on both sides (not my first choice...). Zero trick parts. Zero chrome. It made more torque and a higher score with headers and a Quick Fuel carb, but it still would not have won, and nobody would have noticed it. The OEM sleeper look got lots of attention.
On my dyno at home the best numbers I have on the sheets I brought with me were 542.8 HP @ 6300, and 529.4 lbs at 4400. I seem to remember a 554 HP pull but don't have that sheet with me right now. But considering how close these numbers are I would say my dyno is pretty dang close to the ones at the school. That's as close to "proof" as I can provide regarding accuracy of my dyno & test data.
My pulls were all glass smooth at the challenge. I only heard one engine that displayed a "stair step" sound during its runs. Kaase thought it might have been tuning related, while another competitor thought it might be related to the inertia factor - a dyno setup function that was not used (set to "1")during the challenge. In any case it did not affect the standings. Much better than last year, where we worked through some software challenges.
On the business side of things, the parent company of Hot Rod (TEN) has been acquired by the Discovery group (cable TV folks). Coming into the contest, there was a good deal of uncertainty about it's future. The new owners of Hot Rod not knowing where the Challenge fits into the scheme of things, along with some tension between the host school and Hot Rod, seemed to be the source of the problems. Two key sponsors - Amsoil and the new owners of SuperFlow have both committed to the future. The video coverage on Facebook was excellent this year with 30 minutes or more dedicated to each entry, and I think the response far outran any expectations. The short clip of a school student lifting the head off of Kaase's insane MEL was approaching a half million views within a couple days. I am hopeful that the combination of sponsor support and demonstrated reader interest will help keep this event going forward.