the Coach's Choice
Joe Gibbs is one of the greatest names in sports. He won
three Super Bowls and five NFC titles as Head Coach of the Washington Redskins.
No doubt, Coach Gibbs was stellar on a football field, but he's been nothing
short of amazing as a NASCAR Team Owner.
Since it was formed in 1991, Joe Gibbs Racing has won Six
Championships. In those 25 years, JGR has, also, won 271 races, qualified on the pole 233
times and finished in the top-five 1024 times.
Christopher Bell in
the #4 JBL Toyota Tundra leads the field at Martinsville in 2017.
Eight BME Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons help the #4 truck get to
the front. Image: Kyle Busch Motorsports
For 20 years, JGR has depended on the reliability and
durability of Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons. Of Joe
Gibbs Racing's four Sprint Cups ('00, '02, '05 and '15) three of them, along
with both its Xfinity titles ('09, '16), came with
engines using BME Pistons.
During 2016, JGR Toyota Camrys
won 19 of 33 NASCAR Xfinity events--almost 60% of the races--and
every one of those wins came with BME Pistons. In the '16 Camping
World Truck Series, Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundras won 11
races, ThorSport Toyotas won two and Red Horse Racing had one
victory. Under the hoods of all those trucks, which won nearly 50%
of the races, were engines from Joe Gibbs Racing fitted with Bill
Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons. BME domination of
the Xfinity and Camping World series was not just in 2016. Since
2007, Joe Gibbs Racing Engines with BME Pistons inside have won the
Xfinity championship twice and the Camping World Truck championship
BME-equipped, JGR-built Toyota NASCAR V8 helped Daniel
Suarez win the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship.
Suarez drove #19 JGR Toyota Camry to 19 top-5s, three
pole positions, three wins and the Xfinity title. Image:
Joe Gibbs Racing.
The NASCAR success of Bill Miller
Engineering has been long-standing. Since 1996, BME Pistons have been in the
engines of six Sprint Cup Champions, Jeff Gordon (1997, 1998, 2001) Bobby
Labonte (2000) and Tony Stewart (2002, 2005) along with six Daytona 500 Winners.
In 1998, the late Dale Earnhardt won at Daytona using BME
Bill Miller Engineering is
proud that the greatest driver of NASCAR's modern era, seven-time
Champion, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., used the performance and
reliability of BME parts to put the famed #3 Goodwrench Chevrolet in
the victory circle at Daytona in 1998--considered the greatest
Daytona victory of all--and at other races in the final three years
of his career.
BME Dominates Down Under
Six-time Virgin Australia Supercar
Champion Jamie Whincup, in the BME-Equipped #88 RedBull Holden
VF Commodore, leads the field at the Melbourne Supercars Grand
Prix in March of 2016. Whincup eventually was the runner-up in
the Championship to his teammate, 2016 Virgin Austraila Supercar
Champion, Shane van Gisbergen.
Image: Red Bull Content Pool.
Some of the best sports
sedan road racing in the World is the Virgin Australia Supercars
Championship. Broadcast in 137 countries, it has world-wide appeal. Events
average over 100,000 attendance and the Clipsal 500 (sort of like Australia's
Daytona 500) draws a quarter of a million spectators. Competitors are GM's
Holden brand, Ford, Nissan, Mercedes and Volvo.
In five out of the
last seven years, the Triple Eight Race Engineering team, running either Holden
VE or VF Commodores has won the Championship. Triple Eight's engines are built
by KRE Racing Engines. KRE puts eight Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum
Pistons in every engine they build.
In 2016, Triple
Eight's two teams, Red Bull Australia and Team Vortex won
15 of 29 races--better than 50%--and finished first and ninth respectively in
the team standings. Winning eight of the races, Shane Van Gisbergen (Red Bull),
took the driver's title. Six-time Champion, Jamie Whincup (Red Bull, six wins),
was runner-up and three-time Champion, Craig Lowndes (Vortex, three wins) was
fourth. Other teams used BME-equipped KRE engines, too. Fifth in points, with
two wins, was Tekno Motorsports', Will Davison, in another VF Commodore. KRE
engines won 2/3rds of the races and one of the reasons they own the Virgin
Australia Supercars Championship is their BME Pistons.
BME: The 450 MPH Piston
Engineering Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons have been successful in all types of
racing: NASCAR, Drag Racing, Mile Roll Racing, Road Racing, Boat Racing, Offroad
Truck Racing and, the fastest of all: land speed competition.
Both of the 3500-hp, BAE
Hemis in Danny Thompson's Challenger 2 are fitted with BME Forged
Aluminum Racing Pistons. Image: BME Ltd.
In 2018, BME
Pistons were in the engines Danny Thompson used to set a Bonneville speed record
for piston-powered vehicles at 448.775-mph. Southern California Timing
Association (SCTA) National Records at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, are an
average of two runs, one each direction. During each run, the car accelerates
for five miles with the last two of those five a speed trap. After the fifth
mile, there are two miles left to stop.
On 21 August 2016, Danny Thompson
set the SCTA AA/Fuel Streamliner National Record at 406.769-mph driving the
twin-engine, all-wheel-drive "Challenger 2". Powering the "C2" are a pair of
500-inch, Jerry Darien built, Brad Anderson Hemis. Each is unblown on 72%
nitromethane and produces 3500-hp. For the performance, reliability and
durability needed to produce a sustained, 7000-hp for 10 miles or more, Danny
Thompson uses BME Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons.
Three weeks later, Thompson was back
at the Salt with the BME-equipped Challenger 2 to try for an Federation
Internationale de l'Automobile
(FIA) World Record in Category A, Group II Class 11. Interestingly, back in
1959, Danny's Dad, Mickey, famed drag racer and land speed racer of the 1950s
and '60s, set a 345.330-mph record in the same FIA class with the "Challenger",
a four-engine, 2100-hp streamliner.
16 September: running against an existing, 414-mph record,
Danny came oh-so-close. At 413-mph, both rear tires blew.
Thompson got the C2 stopped safely but the tire failures
ripped the rear driveshaft out of the car and damaged the
body, so hopes for a World record in 2016 were dashed.
At Bonneville in
2017, on his first run, Danny went 439-mph, but he could not
back-up that speed. That ended the Challenger 2's Bonneville
racing that year.
A year later,
11-13 August 2018, Thompson took the Challenger 2 to
Bonneville one last time and, finally...success. Danny made
two runs in the BME-equipped, streamliner. The first was
446.605-mph. The second was 450.909-mph. The two-way average
was 448.757-mph: a new land speed record in SCTA AA/Fuel
Streamliner making the BME Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons
the fastest and finest pistons you can get.
Why have Bill Miller Engineering Pistons
had such success in NASCAR, the Australian Supercar Series, at Bonneville and in
other forms of racing?
BME makes a better piston.
The BME Advantage
In the mid-'90s, the first Sprint Cup team
to switch to BME Pistons gained 8-10 horsepower. In NASCAR five horsepower is
substantial and 8-10 is huge. Soon, other teams switched. By the end of 1999,
all the top GM teams in Sprint Cup were buying BME Pistons.
Prior to that, most Cup teams used another
piston brand. The engine shops of the two top Chevrolet teams, Richard Childress
Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, were having trouble with "micro welding".
In a 1990s NASCAR engine, the heat
transfer path was: from the piston top, to the top ring, to the cylinder wall
and, finally, to the block's cooling jacket. To keep the piston from
overheating, this path had to adequately transfer heat. The other brand of
pistons had ring groove surface finishes so rough that heat transfer from the
piston to the top compression ring was inhibited. That allowed the ring to get
so hot that microscopic, heat-softened pieces of piston material would weld to
the ring. Once that happened, ring rotation stopped, ring seal degraded and
The solution to micro welding is the
higher-quality finish on the ring grooves of a Bill Miller Engineering Forged
Aluminum Piston. Superior manufacturing processes, using Okuma Simulturn CNC
machining centers, and rigid quality controls hold tolerance for ring groove
run-out to less than two ten-thousandths (.0002) of an inch, 360-deg around the
piston. A BME Piston's nearly mirror-smooth ring groove surfaces improve heat
transfer. That reduces peak temperature of the top ring, eliminating micro
welding. Ring seal during the intake stroke is enhanced. That increases the
pressure differential caused by the piston moving down on the intake stroke so
the engine pulls in more air. More air means the engine can burn more fuel. The
final result is more power.
Since BME Pistons are custom-made, we
offer a variety of optional services and one some NASCAR teams choose is a
unique piston design. This allows the team to have pistons of its own, special
configuration. The specifics of these designs are known only to the teams?
engine shops and the engineers at BME.
BME's special machining procedures result in a very smooth
finish on ring lands. That near-mirror finish greatly increases
resistance to microwelding. Image: BME Ltd.
BME makes 400-gram, NASCAR racing pistons for the Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota
NASCAR engines and a 400-gram piston for the Holden V8.
BME Pistons are manufactured in Carson City, Nevada. BME's factory is clean,
modern and filled with the latest in manufacturing technology, such as Okuma
Simulturn five-axis CNC machining centers.
BME Pistons: The
Drag Racers' Choice
well-known reasons many nitro class engine builders choose BME Forged
Aluminum Pistons are
1) their winning record and 2) their reliability. But,
there's a third important issue and that's cost. Top Fuel and Funny Car
teams need many sets of pistons because each of them has half-a-dozen or
more engines. If the pistons are more durable, they will last longer and
a team will need less of them. That makes the BME Piston not only a
winner but also a great value. Image: BME Ltd.
While BME's flagship piston products are NASCAR and road racing pistons, Bill
Miller Engineering's cutting-edge technology and premium quality wins races in
another motorsport which is a grueling test of pistons: blown-fuel drag racing.
In fact, drag racing was the first market for the BME Forged Aluminum Racing
Ever since legendary, dragster and funny
car crew chief, the late Dale Armstrong, switched to BME in the 1980s,
blown-fuel racers have used BME Pistons in their engines. Since then, in the Top
Fuel and Funny Car classes of National Hot Rod Association and International Hot
Rod Association competition, where engines making 1000-horsepower per cylinder
are the norm; BME products are a benchmark by which racing pistons are judged.
There is only one piston manufacturer in
the World which races its products in its own Top Fuel Dragster and that's Bill
Miller Engineering. Bill Miller's "BME Top Fuel Dragster", driven by Troy Buff,
is a key development tool Bill Miller Engineering uses to validate its piston
designs along with that of all its other products.
better way to prove you make the best blown-fuel pistons in the
industry by running them in your own Top Fuel Dragster? Image: BME
BME makes a variety of pistons for other
types of drag racing, including blown alcohol, Pro Stock, Comp Eliminator, sport
compacts and Super Stock. Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Pistons have a
growing popularity amongst racers in the Pro Mod ranks. Some of the top Pro Mod
teams running supercharged or turbocharged, alcohol-burning engines in NHRA,
NCMA, SCSN, PSCA and PDRA, use engines built by Pro Line Racing. The folks at
Pro Line put BME Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons in every alcohol-burning engine
The father-and-son team of Troy Coughlin and Troy Coughlin Jr. race two
Corvettes in Promod, a 2015 "C7" and a 2004 "C5". Both the Jegs
Corvettes rely on Pro Line Racing for power. Pro Line uses BME Pistons
in the engines for both Vettes. Image: Team Jegs.
CLICK HERE To Download Piston Order Form
Piston Tech Briefing
Bill Miller Engineering Pistons are forged
from 2618-T61 aluminum. BME has used 2618 for almost 25 years because Bill
Miller believes it to be the best choice when strength and durability are prime
Another reason racers
pick BME as their piston supplier is attention to detail. This set
of racing pistons is being built for Drag Racing megastar, John
Force, but whether it's pistons for Force or just your average
bracket racer, every Bill Miller Engineering piston gets the same
care taken in its manufacture.
Many other piston
manufacturers use a silicon-aluminum alloy, such as 4032 or MS75.
Pistons made from those alloys have good wear characteristics
because the silicon particulate's hardness improves the piston
skirt's durability, however, silicon is, also, their downfall
because it makes pistons brittle. Through race track testing, BME
found that silicon-aluminum alloys are prone to fracturing when
subjected to extreme loads.
This gets worse. With pistons made of brittle, silicon-aluminum
alloys, once a crack starts; it doesn?t stop until the piston
suffers catastrophic failure. In the rare case of a crack in a BME,
2618-T61 piston, once the crack reaches an area of lower stress; it
stops, making immediate failure less likely.
In the tongs is a BME
raw forging that has just come out of the forging die. Just right of the
piston blank in the tongs is a chunk of aluminum bar stock that will go
into the forge on the next cycle. The forging temperature is 800 deg. F
and it applies a force of 18,000 tons to forge a piston.
NASCAR racers use BME pistons to win races
with engines which must produce upwards of 800 horsepower, sustain speeds above
9000 rpm and do that for up to 600 miles. The choice of a strong and durable raw
material, subtle differences in the design of the forging and precision
finishing of ring grooves are just some of the reasons why pistons made by Bill
Miller Engineering outperform and outlast other racing pistons in stock car
With its blown-fuel drag race pistons, BME
takes durability measures even further by treating each piston to a very low
temperature, hard anodizing process. As a result, compared to other brands, BME
Pistons last about twice as long in blown-fuel, drag race applications.
Bill Miller Engineering uses
state-of-the-art equipment to manufacture BME Pistons. Here a BME
Team Member programs an Okuma Simulturn CNC machining center prior
to a run of BME Sprint Cup racing pistons. The Okuma CNC equipment
is used to machine ring grooves and to "cam turn" the piston's
The Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Piston line is
focused on the types of products hard-core racers tend to buy. "I've decided."
Bill Miller states, "to concentrate my efforts on making high-quality, high-tech
racing pistons for professional racers who compete in specific types of
motorsports using certain types of engines. By focusing on a limited amount of
hardcore racing pistons and making those pistons to order, we can give our
customers a measure of performance, quality, reliability and durability no other
piston manufacturer offers. We, also, can do that with very short turnaround
The three most important things about a Bill Miller Engineering piston are quality, quality and quality.
Every step of the way, the manufacturing process at BME employs stringent quality control along with careful
In addition to NASCAR and Australian
Supercar racing pistons, BME makes pistons for the Chevrolet Big-Block V8 along
with the "traditional" (Gen 1 and 2) and LS-type (Gen 3, 4 and 5) Small-Block
V8s and for the Holden 5-liter road race engines. For Ford engines, BME offers
pistons for the 460 big-block, 289-302W and the BOSS 302/351s. Bill Miller
Engineering has Chrysler, late-Hemi-style pistons for blown-fuel and
blown-alcohol applications along with parts for the older small-block Chryslers.
Bill Miller Engineering has a variety of piston designs for Pro Stock drag
racing. Lastly, BME manufactures sport compact drag racing pistons for Honda
four-cylinder engines. Prices for most BME pistons are listed on our price page.
BME offers a number of special services which are optional at extra cost. See a
list of those on our services page.
BME makes no inventory items. All its
Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons are either custom-made to customer specifications
or, in the case of race teams who take the specific forging die option, are
Not only does Bill Miller Engineering make
the most reliable and durable forged pistons in the business but it prides
itself on great customer service, accurate technical advice, quick turnaround of
orders and fair prices. More importantly, everyone at BME, from the office
staff, to the high-tech manufacturing specialists who make the pistons, to the
shipping department and, of course, to Bill Miller himself, are intent upon
great communication with customers.
Try this with any of the other piston
makers: call and ask to speak to the owner. If you don?t get the reply,
"Uh--he?s not taking calls.", you?ll at least get voice mail. At BME, when you
ask for help from the top, Bill Miller, himself, answers the phone.
That?s the sign of a great business--the
one from which you should buy your next set of racing pistons.