I dont normally chime into this stuff, but there seems to be a lot of misconceptions and misinformation out here. REALLY? THERES A SHOCKER
The 360 divisions are taking over the country and there is a reason why.....cost. 410 heads $9000+....360 heads (modified to the extent of the "gray area") $3900 including ti valves and retainers. Aluminum 410 blocks are $5000 bare with no machining, 360 blocks $2700 race ready. These 2 items alone net a $7400 savings. Down nozzles are also an additonal $2000 per engine so no we are close to 10 grand with all else being equal (LW cranks rods etc.).
The average life of a 410 between rebuilds is 12 races compared to 30 or more for a 360. In a 50 race season that can save about another $10000 per year. If you look at every engine builder in the country you will see an average of $20000 less cost for a top of the line 360 engine from Roush to Gearte to Ott Rider Shaver etc.
Now the power side of things. Once you spin the tires or pull out of the throttle you are not using the power you have so why pay for it. Most people wont believe this but teams are actually taking power out of the motors in an effort to hook up the car. If I drop 70 hp (at 7500 rpm that is actually only about 30ft/lb of torque) and I can keep my foot into it longer the car will go faster. If the tires are not spinning but rather staying hooked, the car will go faster. We have reached a point when the laws of physics are taking control and I dont know of any motor part that can change that. A car only has a certain contact area between the tires and the clay. Rubber has a given amount of frictional cooefficient to provide. Once your corner speed takes you beyond that, more power only makes things worse because once that cooefficient is surpassed you actually need to go way below it for the tire to hook back up. Donny won a lot of races on summertime tracks using a way smaller motor than a 410...as do a lot of people. This is the true beauty between dirt and asphalt racing. It is not always whats under the hood but how much you can apply that power to the track. We dont run dynos around the track so it doesnt really matter what the engine does there and most people never race a motor at the peak dyno settings....they are almost always de-tuned to perform on the track. There are very few hammer down wet tacky tracks that can allow the use of all that is made. Been to a good top fuel dragster race lately....basically if you dont spin the tires or blow up you win. The same is becoming true for 410 sprint cars...they are making more power than they can physically apply to the track so the guy that doesn't spin the tires is running up front which is why the motor making the most power very rarely wins the race anymore. 5-10 years ago yes but not now.
360 divisions have also produced some of the best racing in the country for years now and will be the future. If you look at tracks that are running them as the headline show they did it due to car counts which have returned. The cost is out of control. Years ago when Deweese won 2 track titles in the same year Walt spent about $210000 and won back, including championship payout and sponsor money, $218000. The ROI just isnt there to support this. That would only work in congress.
Now this isn't meant to start a hurricane but rather provide some factual information. Saying 360s will not eventually take over, like they have accross the rest of the country for the main reason of cost, is like sticking to the world-is-flat theory the Columbus was fighting. It is happening to the point that NASCAR engine builders are getting into the business and these are facts that just cant be ingored....I dont know any building a 410 Hmmmmmmm. This is very high level discussion and to get into the nuts and bolts would take days and many cases of beer. Hope it helps clear some of the fog surrounding this topic though.