Beginning in 2015, National Trail Raceway will be a seller of Sunoco Race Fuels.  Sunoco, the Official Fuel of the NHRA, have been associated with racing excellence.  Today, Sunoco has expanded the reach of its racing fuels line around the world to include all types of motorsports.  As the largest manufacturer of racing gasolines in the world, Sunoco has a 40-year track record of winning performance.  With its unsurpassed innovations and years of experience, it’s easy to understand why more and more engine builders, racers, tracks and sanctioning bodies choose Sunoco over all other racing gasoline combined.

Sunoco Standard (110 Octane) - Sunoco® Standard™ is a 110 octane leaded race fuel that is commonly used in all forms of motorsports.  It features a comprehensive additive package to enhance shelf life by improving stability and minimizing oxidation.  Sunoco Standard is designed for compression ratios up to about 13:1 in conventional small block V8s with iron heads, and can tolerate higher compression ratios in smaller or more efficient combustion chambers.  It is also a good choice for mild nitrous, turbocharged, or supercharged applications Sunoco Supreme (112 Octane) - Sunoco® Supreme™ is a 112 octane leaded race fuel designed for competition engines routinely operating over 7000 rpm.  Supreme is blended to achieve a high motor octane number and fast burn speed to ensure engine protection lap after lap and pass after pass.  It features a comprehensive additive package to enhance shelf life by improving storage stability and minimizing oxidation.  Sunoco Supreme is designed for compression ratios up to about 15:1 in small block V8s, and can tolerate higher compression ratios in smaller or more efficient combustion chambers.  Supreme's fast burn speed also makes it a popular choice for 2-stroke applications.

Sunoco Maximal (116 Octane) - Sunoco Maximal is a 116 octane, extreme performance leaded racing fuel designed for high revving racing engines with high compression ratios.  Maximal’s fast burn rate makes it particularly beneficial in large-bore, large-displacement naturally-aspirated drag racing applications.  It has also proven to be very popular in the highly-stressed naturally-aspirated big blocks used in truck pulling.  Sunoco Maximal is very resistant to vapor lock, ensuring consistent fuel metering between passes.  Sunoco Maximal is for off-road and racing use only.

Sunoco MaxNOS (116 Octane) - Sunoco MaxNOS is the fuel of choice for extreme performance applications where “power adders” such as nitrous, superchargers, and turbochargers are utilized.  Sunoco Race Fuels engineers added components to this fuel to be able to withstand ultra high pressure / high temperature combustion chamber conditions.  MaxNOS was tested in a variety of drag racing applications ranging from mega-boost turbocharged small engines to multi-stage nitrous systems on mountain motors.  It’s also a great fuel for supercharged pulling trucks. Sunoco MaxNOS is for off-road and racing use only.

NTR will also be carrying Sunoco Methanol (No Additive) as well as other special fuels throughout the year.  Contact the NTR Office for any Sunoco fuel requests that are not listed here. 

One of the most frequently asked technical questions involves the difference between Motor, Research and R+M/2 Octane Numbers. The next most frequently asked question is why some fuel companies represent their fuels with Motor Octane Numbers, while other companies use Research or R+M/2 Octane Numbers.

To answer these questions, we need to first explain the machines that do the testing. These machines were made in the 1930s and were designed to test for octane numbers from the 0-100 range. Any number above 100 is an extrapolation. Both of these machines are dinosaurs and are not adequate for today's high tech fuels or engines, but they the only means available for testing fuels. These machines are one-cylinder engines that have an adjustable head that can move up or down to increase or lower the compression ratio while the engine is running. The Motor and Research machines are the same in this respect, but they differ in several other characteristics. The following is a comparison of the two machines used for testing octane numbers:
Motor Machine
Research Machine
As the comparison above shows, the Motor Octane machine runs at a higher RPM, hotter temperature and more timing. This machine will put more stress on any fuel and more accurately represents a racing engine. The Research Octane machine will always produce a higher number for the obvious reason that it does not put the same amount of stress on the fuel. This number is used by some fuel companies to trick the racer into thinking he/she is getting a better fuel. The R+M/2 Octane Number is the average of the Research and Motor Octane numbers and is the number displayed with yellow labels on retail level gas pumps.

When comparing fuels for racing purposes make sure to compare Motor Octane Numbers because these are the ones that count in your racing applications.


Listed below are the four basic qualities of fuels. As in everything, there are trade-offs. You can't make a racing fuel that has the best of everything, but you can produce one that will give your engine the most power. The key to getting the best racing gasoline is not necessarily buying the fuel with the highest octane, but getting one that is best suited for your engine.  

1  -  OCTANE
This does nothing more than rate a fuel's ability to resist detonation and/or preignition. Octane is rated in Research Octane Numbers, (RON); Motor Octane Numbers, (MON); and Pump Octane Numbers (R+M/2). Pump Octane Numbers are what you see on the yellow decal at gas stations, representing the average of the fuel's MON and RON. The conditions under which fuels are tested using the RON method are not as demanding, thus the number is normally higher than the MON rating. Don't be fooled by high RON numbers or an average -- MONs are the most relevant ratings for a racing application. Be aware, however, the ability of fuel to resist detonation is a function of more than just octane.

This is the speed at which fuel releases its energy. At high RPMs, there is very little time (real time - not crank rotation) for fuel to release its energy. Peak cylinder pressure should occur around 20 degrees ATDC. If the fuel is still burning after this, it is not contributing to peak cylinder pressure (which is what the rear wheels see).

An expression of the potential energy in the fuel. The energy value is measured in BTUs per pound, not per gallon. The difference is important. The air:fuel ratio is expressed in weight, not volume. The higher energy value will have a positive impact on horsepower at any compression ratio or engine speed.

The cooling effect on fuel is related to the heat of vaporization. The higher a fuel's heat of vaporization, the better its ability to cool the intake mixture. A better cooling effect can generate some horsepower gains in 4-stroke engines, and even bigger gains in 2-stroke engines.