That would be true if you don't set them up for the combo? If engine one runs to 6500 with 3.73 gear and 5000 stall and engine 2 runs to 7500 with 4.56 gear with a 6000 stall, the outcome will be 7500 with higher numeric gear shall be waiting at the finish line for the 6500 engine to show up.
I was told once by my engine guy, "more bangs per 1/4 will be faster". As in engine firing bangs.
Yes, I don't think it would be that dramatically different though. Put 4.10s in the car with a max of 6500 with a 5000 stall and it'll be extremely close leaning towards the car that is maxing out at 6500. I think that is a poor example of a combo to compare, but if both engines were within the same powerbands(say its across 2000rpms) and they both make the same power in those RPMs they will run the same.
More bangs per 1/4 mile will be faster? By that logic, every honda at the track should whip me down through there.
Example: My friends 383--turned 7.2k 4.56s 5k stall 3600lbs race weight.
My car: 489, turns roughly 5800, 3900 lbs 3800 stall 3.73s and 3900lb race weight. He couldn't beat me. Ever. I actually beat him by a second.
Just for fun example of another friend's car. 327 making roughly 600hp--13:1 compression, ported heads, huge solid roller cam etc.
transbrake, 6000 stall, 4.56s, 2 step, all that great stuff.
He treed me every time and had more RPMs throughout the quartermile, but I always passed him as I stayed right in my powerband longer.
It comes back to making more power over a longer period of time.