Jack Roush discusses possible engine changes: With NASCAR officials focusing on engine changes in the Sprint Cup Series for 2015 that will result in a reduction of horsepower, such a move should involve "a restriction on the intake side," according to Sprint Cup Series team co-owner [#16, #17, #99] Jack Roush. Roush, an owner in the series since 1988, isn’t suggesting the use of restrictor plates similar to those used at Daytona and Talladega. Instead, he said, a reduction of the throttle bore size "without a plate underneath" would accomplish the objective. "(It is) straightforward and it is easily reversible if you decided that the quality of the racing was hurt by it," Roush said. "If they want to take 100 horsepower off … reduce horsepower significantly, the least expensive and most palatable way to do that is with a restriction on the intake side." Today’s Cup engines, limited to 358 cubic inches, produce approximately 850 horsepower. Speeds have increased, in part due to a new rules package and the continued development of the Generation-6 car, now in its second year. While officials with the three auto manufacturers currently involved at the series’ top level, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, have been a part of the discussions, they say it is too early in the process to respond to potential engine changes. "From an owner’s standpoint, NASCAR has got to be mindful of … what it costs," Roush said. "The race teams can only afford to change so many things at a time. With the expanding technology and the engineering costs that everybody has with the pressure for sponsorship and investment in the sport, a dramatic or unnecessary engine change would not be welcome in my world."(see full article at NASCAR.com)(4-20-2014)
France says 'significant' engine changes coming: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that modifications to the engines -- which would likely bring a reduction in horsepower -- are the next step in further enhancing the sport's on-track product, although he was unsure if such changes would be in place for next season. "We're going to make that happen, and that's part of the overall rules packages that we design that hopefully control costs, hopefully make the racing better," France said. "The engine is an integral part of that. We also have to be in step as much as possible with the car manufacturers and where they're going with technology and different things. It all has to come together, and that's the next significant part of the rules package. ... The engine will get a significant change. I'm not going to say (for) '15, but we are certainly sizing that up. It's very important for us to get that right."
According to representatives of NASCAR's three manufacturer partners, who took part in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, a potential reduction in engine horsepower is still in the very early stages. Sprint Cup Series engines generate 850 horsepower, and are built by five manufacturer-specific companies -- TRD and Triad Racing Technologies (Toyota), Roush-Yates Engines (Ford) and Earnhardt Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet). Most of the changes made in recent years have focused on the cars, beginning with the rollout of the more brand-identifiable Generation-6 vehicle for the 2013 season, and an aerodynamic package that was further refined before this year.(NASCAR.com)(4-2-2014)
NASCAR considering reducing horsepower to Cup cars next season UPDATE: NASCAR is planning on making significant engine package changes in 2015 to extend the life of Sprint Cup powerplants and reduce horsepower. And along with engine changes, there likely will be aerodynamic and tire changes for the Cup cars in 2015 as well. That's the word from NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development Robin Pemberton. Pemberton said the sanctioning body has had four meetings so far with representatives from Chevy, Ford and Toyota and race teams about how to implement those changes. No consensus has been reached yet, according to Pemberton, but discussions are ongoing in advance of making the changes for next year. Although Pemberton declined to specify how many horsepower NASCAR is looking to cut, sources familiar with the discussions said the reduction would be in the neighborhood of 75 to 100 horsepower. Currently, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines make about 860-900 horsepower at most tracks. Discussions are still in the early stages, Pemberton said, but given the fact that there are so few engine suppliers now, they will need plenty of lead-time to make changes for next year.
Among the options being discussed are reduction in engine displacement and changes to throttle body size. Sources familiar with the discussions say that Chevy and Toyota are pushing for a reduction to 5.0-liter engines, while the Ford camp is pushing for the use of tapered spacers, such as are used in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series engines. Pemberton said any change in the engine package likely would necessitate other changes as well.
"It's not fully appreciated the fact that we've had the same engine for basically 25 or 30 years and it's at 850 or 860 horsepower, where it used to be 500," Pemberton said. "And we are at the same race tracks where we used to run 160 (miles per hour) we're now qualifying at 190 and running 213 going into the corners. There's been a lot of engineering and gains made across the board. Goodyear ... we have the same tire patch as when we started.(FoxSports)(3-23-2014)
UPDATE: NASCAR has another meeting scheduled in April with Sprint Cup engine builders to determine possible changes to the engine for next year, said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. NASCAR has talked with teams since late last year about engine changes for 2015 that would reduce horsepower. "We're all working together to find the solution,'' Stefanyshyn told Motor Racing Network on Friday at Martinsville Speedway. "We have to make sure that the little guys, the smaller engine builders are OK with this and we don't hurt them financially. It's a balance, and we've probably got six different alternatives we're looking at. We're going to be needing to get to a decision here pretty soon.'' Engine builders expect NASCAR to reduce horsepower by about 100 or so for next year.(Motor Racing Network)(3-29-2014)
Ernie Elliott restructures engine business: Power by Ernie Elliott announced the company has officially restructured and is offering full service leasing programs to NASCAR'S top-3 divisions, ARCA Racing Series, and other motorsport divisions. The company develops and builds high performance Chevrolet and Toyota engines with legendary engine builder Ernie Elliott at the helm. Ernie Elliott's accomplishments include holding the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying record of 212.809mph, 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship, 51 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles, 39 wins, 148-top 5's and 291-top 10's. His engine building expertise has also earned him three ARCA Championships including 37 wins. Located in Dawsonville, GA, the Power by Ernie Elliott facility is a fully equipped engine shop with the latest technology utilized to achieve top results.(Power by Ernie Elliott)(1-17-2014)
Dodge considering engine changes: UPDATE: With the Roush Fenway Racing Fords showing greatly increased pace this year, rival manufacturers are starting to make noise about horsepower. Ford's purpose-built FR9 NASCAR Sprint Cup engine was designed with a lower center of gravity and greatly improved cooling, the latter of which allows Ford teams to run more tape on the nose of their cars. The more tape added, the more front downforce, although too much tape can block the radiator and cause overheating. Sources at Dodge confirmed to SPEED.com that the automaker is looking at revisions to its existing - and still relatively new - P6 engine. NASCAR would need to approve any engine mods, and a Dodge official said they automaker "could have something toward end of season." As for now, the source said, "All talk now is premature."(SPEED)(6-4-2011)
UPDATE: Tony Stewart may believe everyone is "bringing a knife to a gun fight right now" when it comes to competing with Ford engines, but that is not necessarily the view of Chevy officials. "I have seen the (chassis) dyno numbers and we are pleased with them," said Alba Colon, the GM Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup series program manager. "We have seen the numbers. We have discussed the numbers with our teams. I am pleased so far; we just have to keep working on it."(Charlotte Observer)(6-5-2011)
Doug Yates speaks about changes: On Saturday, the sanctioning body requested teams disconnect air hoses to the radiator and air cooler. On Sunday, Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition, said that teams will be required to have an opening maximum size 2.5 inches tall by 20 inches wide on the front grille opening and install a pressure-relief valve on the water system that will be set at 33 psi before they return to Daytona on Wednesday. Doug Yates, head engine builder for Roush Yates Engines, spoke with Ford Racing about the change ramifications for his operation and his lack of surprise if more changes are on the way.
DOUG YATES, HEAD ENGINE BUILDER, ROUSH YATES ENGINES
Q) HOW MUCH WORK IS INVOLVED WITH THESE CHANGES TO GET READY FOR THIS WEEK?
“The Daytona 500 is an historic event, it’s our Super Bowl, and with a new track and new noses on the cars, I think everybody did their best to try to set the rules so when we got there we would have a good, competitive race.
“Obviously, as we ran practice and the Bud Shootout those speeds are too high, which is a big concern. Second, NASCAR doesn’t like the way the guys can push other cars for many laps. So, I think the first objective with these rules changes is it looks like NASCAR is trying to break the cars up and they’re trying to limit how hot we can run these engines. As a result, they’re gonna limit the front-end opening and put a pressure release valve at 33 psi, which is gonna bring down the operating limits of the engine.
"What we’ve done this morning, probably like other shops, is we’ve gone to work on the dynamometer and understanding the system and we’re working to optimize what we can, so when we go back we can have a safe, reliable race. The engines are turning more RPM than we had planned and what we feel comfortable with, and they’re also gonna run hotter, so with this rule change it’s gonna bring down how hot we can run them and it is concerning.”
Q) HOW BIG OF A DEAL IS THIS FOR YOU AND YOUR GROUP?
“It is a very big deal. We’ve worked for a long time, especially on the water systems, to be able to run the temperatures that we do today. What’s concerning about this is it’s mainly a driver-driven decision. If the driver is pushing somebody, he has to pay attention not only to what’s in front of him, but also to his water temperature gauge. He has to know when to get air to the nose, so whenever you put that much emphasis on the driver watching the gauges, you open yourself up to some potential failures just because it’s not easy to do. As an engine builder, this is a big change for a big race, so we’re gonna do a lot of homework today and tomorrow and, hopefully, be prepared when we go back there on Wednesday and Thursday. If we need to do some more research before the 500, then we will.”
ROBIN SAID THEY CAN STILL GO TO THE PLATE AND MAKE A CHANGE, IF NECESSARY. SO IS THIS A WEEK WHERE YOU PLAN FOR ALL POSSIBILITIES?
“Absolutely. I wouldn’t be surprised from the speeds that I’ve seen that we could have a plate change, so we are preparing as if that might come. The guys are working on that right now, and the one thing we can do today is work on the car as far as better jetting and the tune-up because the components are already built and at the track, so we can work on the things around them and try to make the best decisions, or have our notebook full of data so if we need to make a decision based on a plate change, we will.”
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU SAW THE RPM’s BEING TURNED AND THE KIND OF RACING THAT WENT ON IN THE SHOOTOUT?
“First, I was a bit surprised that there weren’t more failures, but it is a short race. We’ll obviously get those parts back and do our post-race analysis like we normally do and are likely to see more distress in those parts, but it’s concerning. For years, NASCAR has wanted to have more gear in the car so the guys have more throttle response, but the engines are really over where normal operating range would be for a plate engine. We’re turning almost as much RPM at Daytona as we turn at Michigan with an engine that’s designed to turn 1,000 RPM less. It’s a little bit of an odd situation, but everybody is in the same boat, and I feel like our guys and our team have done a good job reacting. I was quite pleased with qualifying yesterday. Obviously, we would like to be on the front row, but the Wood Brothers did a really good job with their effort and, for the most part, most of our cars were in the top 20, so I think we’ve made some good strides from Talladega to now.”
Q) ROBIN ALSO SAID THAT EVERYONE HAS DONE A GOOD JOB—FROM THE TRACK TO THE TEAMS AND NASCAR. IS IT A CASE NOW OF JUST CONTINUING TO TWEAK THINGS UNTIL THE RIGHT PACKAGE IS FOUND?
“That’s exactly right. Robin Pemberton and John Darby do a great job and it’s challenging because as competitors we’re looking to build as much speed in the car. Whatever situation we’re given, it’s our job to try to take those rules and win races with it. No matter how much data you have, when everybody got back down there for the race with their best cars and their best efforts, it was faster than we were at the test. The track is beautiful. I think a little bit of the feedback I heard from the fans is that they were really excited about the racing. It came down to the finish line for the win, so it’s different. As a guy that’s been around this sport for a long time, it was unconventional to what I’ve ever seen, but it was actually pretty interesting how two cars could hook up and chase down another two-car combination and pass them. At the end, there were three groups of two racing for the win, so it’s different, but it was actually quite interesting.” (Ford Racing)(2-15-2011)
NASCAR Tweaks rules to limit drafting: NASCAR officials announced two technical changes Sunday evening aimed at preventing the sustained two-car drafts that dominated Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the body issued a bulletin to race teams with the following specifications:
• The maximum size for the air inlet for the cooling system will be 2½ inches tall by 20 inches wide.
• The pressure release valve on the water system will be set at 33 pounds per square inch.
The intent is to set up the cars so they can't push each other in two-car tandems for extended runs without overheating. Teams try to line up drafting partners at Daytona and Talladega so they can overcome the limitations of the restrictor plates used to keep speeds down at those two tracks. "That will bring down the temperatures so the teams can't run at 290 or 300 degrees [without overheating] on the extended push of 30 or 40 laps," Pemberton said. "This will put [the water temperature in the engines] back in the 250-degree range." Several drivers, crew chiefs and team executives expected NASCAR to control the pressure relief valve. Jamie McMurray, who finished second to Kurt Busch in the Shootout, said many cars had valves that allowed the temperature up to 300 degrees before boiling over. That allowed the second car in the two-car draft to push longer without overheating -- some for more than a dozen laps -- under Saturday's cooler outdoor temperatures. The weather is expected to be warmer for Thursday's qualifying races and the Daytona 500.(see full story at ESPN.com)(2-13-2011)
No restrictor plate change for Bud Shootout BUT air hose change: NASCAR will NOT change the restrictor plate size for tonight’s Budweiser Shootout, Cup Series Director John Darby said Saturday morning but NASCAR is making a change in hopes of slowing the cars. Ten drivers hit 200 mph or more _ led by Joey Logano’s lap of 203.087 _ in Friday night’s practice session at Daytona International Speedway. Drivers were aided by cooler evening temperatures, a resurfaced race track and the ability to run several laps in a row stuck in a two-car track, building momentum and speed around the 2.5-mile speedwday.
Here’s what NASCAR will do, according to Darby: “There’s a couple of fresh air hoses that a lot of the teams added _ that are OK, it’s not something that they did outside of us knowing about it _ and we’re just taking them back off,’’ Darby said. “If the cars can heat up a little quicker to where we can limit the amount of laps that they push each other for all the reasons we’ll probably have a little better race out of the deal. At tracks other than Daytona and Talladega you would have a brake duct installed and run air hoses to the brakes. Nobody uses brake cooling here, so in the same real estate, we said, all right, go ahead and put a couple of hoses in here to help to get some extra air to your radiator and oil coolers. We don’t believe it’s needed for a normal, functioning race car on the race track, so we’re going to take it off.’’
Asked about concerns with laps exceeding 200 mph, Darby said: “It’s all relative. The only way they get that fast is to do multiple laps of two-car pushes to where the momentum continues to build. The exact same race cars with no change, no plate change anything else in a conventional drafting pack are currently running about 193 mph. So, that’s what you’ve got to watch and look for.’’(Virginian Pilot)(2-12-2011)
But another Change Typically when speeds cross the 200-mph barrier at Daytona or Talladega, NASCAR goes to a different restrictor plate that causes less air flow to the engines and slows the cars down. NASCAR officials elected not to in this situation but did make a small change. Air hoses that were added to the cars this week will not be allowed. Teams have reached higher speeds by lining up in two-car breakaways in which the rear car pushes the front car. That move quickly causes the rear car to overheat after a few laps, so teams were allowed to add additional air hoses to help cool the engines. Those hoses will be removed, which NASCAR hopes will cause the rear car to back off after a couple of laps. But no one knows for sure how it will work or whether it will limit the two-car breakaway runs. Restrictor-plate changes or other rule adjustments still could come before the Daytona 500 next weekend, depending on what happens in Saturday night's race and how fast the cars go next week in practice and the qualifying races.(ESPN)(2-12-2011)
Robert Yates Racing Engines to be exclusive provider of Spec engines: NASCAR has announced that Robert Yates Racing Engines has been named the exclusive supplier of the NASCAR-Approved Spec Engine. The engine, which was introduced in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2006 as an optional means for managing costs and providing teams with additional opportunities to compete, is also available for use in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. It is also an option for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams at select tracks. The program provides teams with the opportunity to buy the NASCAR-Approved SPEC engine from Robert Yates Racing Engines, a racing engine and parts company owned by Robert Yates and Chris Davy, pre-assembled or as a kit and have their own designated engine builder perform the assembly.(NASCAR)(12-7-2010)
Cars and Engines to R&D Center after Dover: After the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway Sunday, NASCAR took the cars of #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, and #33-Bowyer back to the R&D Center for further inspection. In addition, the engines of #48-Johnson, #31-Burton, #2-Busch, #99-Edwards, and #18-Busch were taken as follow up to dyno tests conducted after the Michigan race.(9-27-2010)
NASCAR plans to take engines after Michigan: UPDATE: NASCAR will confiscate at least 18 Sprint Cup engines following this weekend to run on the dynamometers at their technical center back in Concord, N.C. The engines of the #46 and 66 cars that failed to qualify for the Carfax 400 were taken by officials on Friday. "They want to see where everyone stands in comparison," said Tony Furr, crew chief of the #46 car. Another motor man was told by an official that it would be "the largest lot of engines" NASCAR has ever tested and they expected to be "dynoing engines until after Bristol."(Fox Sports)(8-14-2010)
UPDATE: According to NASCAR, they took 16 engines after the Michigan race to conduct dyno testing: #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart, #29-Harvick, #42-Montoya, #11-Hamlin, #83-Sorenson, #56-Truex, Jr., #47-Ambrose, #66-Riggs, #87-Nemechek, #77-Hornish, #12-Keselowski, #46-Yeley, #99-Edwards, #9-Kahne, #26-Carpentier.(8-14-2010)
New Ford engine to run at Talladega: Ford Racing’s ‘FR9’ engine will take another step toward full implementation this weekend as all cars under the Roush Fenway and Richard Petty Motorsports umbrella will be running the new piece at Talladega Superspeedway. This will mark the first points race in which a majority of Fords in the field will have the ‘FR9’. At Daytona, teams ran it in practice, qualifying and the Gatorade Duels, but only Bill Elliott, Matt Kenseth and Elliott Sadler ran it in the Daytona 500.(Ford Racing)(4-20-2010)
What's up with the Ford FR9 engine? One thing that could help the Roush squad down the road is Ford's new FR9 engine, which is said to have improved cooling that allows the teams to use more tape on the nose. That makes more front downforce and helps the cars turn in the corner. So far, only the part-time Wood Brothers Racing team is using the FR9 in every race. The Roush Fenway Racing cars are phasing it in gradually, with no definitive timetable on when it will be run exclusively. Asked about when the FR9 would be in his car, #16-Greg Biffle said he wasn't sure. "That is a good question, I don't know the answer," Biffle said Friday at PIR. "I know they are working hard at it and it is a logistical nightmare. There are a lot of parts and pieces that need working. You are going to have to have 16 engines a week and have to rebuild every single one of them down to the pistons and rings. There is a supply issue getting all the parts and castings and making sure it is ready for competition. I am surprised more of our guys aren't running it week to week."(SPEEDtv)(4-13-2010)
Jay Dickens Racing Engines Joins with Roush Yates Engines: Jay Dickens Racing Engines announced a recent joining with Roush Yates Performance Group in Mooresville, NC. Dickens has over 25 years of experience in the racing industry and will serve as the Short Track Engine Program Manager for Roush Yates Performance Group. Also making the move to North Carolina are Jay Dickens Racing Engines employees Brad Loden, Bill Lovelady and Seth Stacy.
Jay Dickens has grown from a small, local engine builder into a national powerhouse in just twelve years. He formed Jay Dickens Racing Engines out of Aberdeen Mississippi in 1994, accumulating multiple track championships, series championships, and countless wins throughout his career. Roush Yates Machining is a full service facility that is purpose-designed for machining custom race parts. "The extensive manufacturing capabilities at Roush Yates Machining will allow us to design, test, and build many parts in house" said Dickens. Roush Yates Performance Parts, a subset of Roush Yates that sells new and used parts to consumers and Saturday night racers alike, will continue to offer the same racing and performance parts currently offered by Jay Dickens Racing Engines. Jay Dickens Racing Engines is eager to pursue this tremendous opportunity with the Roush Yates Performance Group. Announcements on the closing of the current shop will be coming soon.(Jay Dickens Racing Engines)(4-3-2010)
Engines taken for inspection: Following Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR announced that the engines of race winner #2-Kurt Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth, #83-Brian Vickers (random) and #55-Michael McDowell (start-and-park) would be taken to the NASCAR R&D center and torn down for observation. Busch and seventh-place finisher Vickers’ chassis will also be taken to the NASCAR R&D center for observation.(Racin' Today)(3-8-2010)
No new Ford engines at ACS: there will be no new Ford FR9's engines being run in the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway this week and they may not run any races until later in the spring.(SPEED's coverage of Happy Hour practice)(2-20-2010)
So..what is up with the 'new' Ford engine? The Wood Brothers [#21 Bill Elliott], who are again running a limited schedule of Sprint Cup events, are to use the new Ford FR9 engine at every race they're in. But Ford execs say they still don't have a firm timetable for the full rollout, though they say they're looking at somewhere around Charlotte in late May. And they say when they do make the rollout, it will be a complete changeover for all the Ford teams. At Daytona, Ford teams will be using the FR9 for qualifying, practice and the Gatorade Duel150-mile qualifiers, but they'll be switching to the established engine for the Daytona 500 itself.(That's allowed at Daytona, without having to give up a qualifying spot.)(MikeMulhern.net)(1-17-2010)
New Ford engine to run at Homestead: Ford will run its new engine next week at Homestead, said Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations. The plan is for #6-David Ragan to run the car at Homestead, Hervey said. It will be the second race for the engine. The restrictor-plate version was run at Talladega with Ragan and #17-Matt Kenseth. This will be the first time the unrestricted version has run in competition.(Roanoke Times)(11-17-2009)
New Ford engine not in full time use until mid-2010: Although Ford is getting its new FR9 engine ready for Sprint Cup competition this weekend, it's unlikely all Ford teams will be using the new engine full time until the middle of the 2010, engine builder Doug Yates said Tuesday. The engine will make its debut this weekend in the restrictor-plate race at Talladega Superspeedway in the Roush Fenway Racing cars of David Ragan and Matt Kenseth. It likely will also be used at a race track where the air running through the engine is unrestricted by the end of the season. But a full rollout, if Roush Yates Engines has the eight full-time teams it expects to have, won't even be done for the start of the 2010 season. One of the reasons the engine is being introduced at Talladega is so that it could be used with confidence next year at the Daytona 500. Yates said their unrestricted engines can generate 900 horsepower; a restricted engine generates about 450 horsepower. Ford officials had predicted earlier this year that the new engine would roll out sometime in the second half of the season, although Talladega is a little later than anticipated. The new engine could impact the handling of the car as it should give it a slightly lower center of gravity. Yates said all the teams that test at the Goodyear tire test Monday and Tuesday at Daytona will have the current engine and not the new engine.(SceneDaily)(10-28-2009)
New Ford Engine to debut at Talladega: After months of anticipation, Ford Racing announced that the FR9 engine will make its debut under the hood of Matt Kenseth’s #17 DeWalt Ford Fusion and David Ragan’s #6 UPS Ford Fusion in next week’s Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. “I’m very excited about the debut of the FR9,” said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “All of us are anxious to see it in competition for the first time. Those of us who have been involved in this project agree that one of the biggest hurdles we’ve faced in making this transition to the FR9 this year has been the fact the current Ford engine is still so competitive, along with the economics of obsoleting the inventory of the current engine and parts. This has been a tough year for us and our teams on the track, especially since we had such a strong 2008, and the priority for everyone this year has been solving the on-track performance, which has slowed down the rollout of the FR9.”
Code-named FR9, this new piece is the first purpose-built NASCAR racing engine to ever come out of Ford Motor Company. Its design has been spearheaded and developed by famed engine builder Doug Yates and Ford Racing engineer David Simon. “This puts us on a level playing field with the rest of the competition and it’s something we’re excited about working on,” said Yates, who has been involved with the project since it began three years ago. “Right out of the box the engine is really impressive power-wise. We feel like it’s going to give us some advantages aerodynamically where, perhaps, we can tape the cars up more and run the engines hotter. The oiling system is designed for a racing engine and, to this day, the current engine has done a great job for many years, but we’ve got to remember when I started 20 years ago the block was already in existence. So a lot of things have changed,” continued Yates. “The demands have changed. The RPM and the power levels have changed tremendously, and to have an opportunity to have something new and move forward makes this an exciting time to be part of Ford.”
Some of those crucial decisions included an all-new platform for FR9 with no carry over components or dimensions from the current production-based 351 engine. Elements such as the induction exhaust, valvetrain, cooling, lubrication and sealing systems have all been improved for greater efficiency and performance. While the restricted version of the engine will debut next week, it has yet to be determined when FR9 will hit the track at an unrestricted venue.(Ford Racing)(10-23-2009)
New Ford engine at Talladega UPDATE: Ford will delay the debut of its new Sprint Cup engine, Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations, said Saturday. The engine was scheduled to have debuted next week at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Instead, Ford will debut the restrictor-plate version of the engine at Talladega in three weeks. As for the non-restrictor-plate engine, it likely will debut at Texas or Homestead.(Virginian Pilot)
AND: Matt Kenseth's crew chief Drew Blickensderfer is expecting to have the new Ford FR9 engine in the #17 Fusion in two weeks at Talladega.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)
UPDATE: Doug Yates confirmed that the new FR9 Ford engine will debut at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks. "We had our sights on Charlotte, to run it here," Yates said. "We just wanted to take our time and make sure everything was right. We're fortunate to have the luxury to do that. We're looking forward to Talladega — but you know how much I love restrictor plate racing anyway."(FoxSports)(10-16-2009)
New Ford engine debut at Charlotte: Ford plans to debut its new engine next month at Charlotte. It will be used by at least one Ford team not in the Chase. Whether all the Ford teams will be using the new engine at the start of next season, though, is a question. "This is more a team decision than a manufacturer's because the budgets are in their hands on how they do it,'' said Brian Wolfe, Ford Director of North American Motorsports. "We always kid internally that the biggest problem the new engine has is the old engine is so good.''(Roanoke Times)(9-14-2009)
NASCAR takes engines to R&D Center: NASCAR has taken the engines of 11 cars in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway to test at its Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. NASCAR periodically takes engines so it can see how much horsepower they produce.
The engines taken were from the Chevy's of #24-Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports), #14-Tony Stewart (Hendrick), #33-Clint Bowyer (Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (ECRT); Toyota's of: #83-Brian Vickers (Toyota Racing Development), #00-David Reutimann (TRD), #11-Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing); Ford's of #99-Carl Edwards (Roush-Yates Engines), #16-Greg Biffle (Roush-Yates) and Dodge's of: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. (Penske Racing), #19-Elliott Sadler (Richard Petty Motorsports).(SceneDaily)(8-16-2009)
Ford to debut new engine at Michigan? UPDATE Ford's long-awaited debut of its new NASCAR engine is now expected to come next Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, but it's not clear which teams may be using it. The engine has a much improved cooling system, which should make for more downforce on the nose, because teams won't have to run so much ductwork.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-10-2009)
UPDATE: It was rumored that Ford will introduce its new engine this weekend at Michigan. Not true, says Brian Wolfe, Ford's director of North American Motorsports. Instead, it will be introduced during the 10-race Chase that begins in September. "If it's this weekend nobody told me," Wolfe said "It's definitely not before the Chase." The plan before the season was to introduce the new engine by now. There were talks about letting the [#21 Ford] Wood Brothers, who are running a partial schedule with Bill Elliott, be the guinea pig.
But that isn't likely now, Wolfe said. The first to use it will be non-Chase drivers at Roush Fenway [likely #6-Ragan, #26-McMurray, #96-Labonte, #98-Menard] or Yates Racing. Makes sense, considering the engine was developed by the Roush-Yates engine program.
Still, don't look for a widespread rollout of the engine. And don't look for it to be used by one of the Chase teams unless the initial results are so extraordinary it is worth the risk.(ESPN Insider)(8-12-2009)
New Ford engine is on the way: Brian Wolfe, the director of Ford Racing Technology, said the new Ford engine will take to the track in anger very soon. Before the Chase begins. The exact timing of rollout will be determined by the teams which will use it. He is promising no miracles for those teams. “We’ve really struggled this year – you know that better than I do – after the first two races. Some bad luck, then probably some missed setups and we got some issues going and we haven’t had the wins. While the engine has tested well and appears to do what Ford wants it to do, teams will have to figure out how it affects other areas of performance. Areas like aerodynamics. Its improved cooling capabilities will allow teams to tamper with front downforce by using less tape on the nose. Some in the Ford camp have balked about using the new engine this year. Those would mostly be teams which appear headed to the Chase. Wolfe said he understands their concerns and will not pressure those teams to use the new engine.(Racin' Today)(7-30-2009)
- Triad Racing Technologies expands: Triad Racing Technologies announced it will be expanding its engine and body parts businesses in High Point, while adding a parts distribution location in Cornelius, NC. Marty Gaunt, Principal at TRT, said Triad will look to increase shop capacity of its engine facility in High Point, including engine development and assembly. Additionally, it will expand the Triad parts business by adding a centrally located distribution location to offer a pick up point closer to the headquarters of many NASCAR teams. Triad Racing Technologies currently builds Toyota engines for teams competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.(Triad Racing Technologies PR)(7-7-2009)
- New Ford engine should be ready by August...but: Ford team owner/engine-builder Doug Yates expects Ford’s new FR9 engine to be ready by August, just in time for the season-ending, 10-race Chase for the Championship playoff. Yates, David Simon and Mose Nowland have been working on it all year, and Yates sees light at the end of the tunnel. Once it’s ready, though, which members of Team Ford Racing will get it? It likely won’t go to Roush Fenway stars #99-Carl Edwards (fifth in points), #16-Greg Biffle (eighth) and #17-Matt Kenseth (10th) because they’ll almost certainly make the 12-driver championship playoff. With so much on the line, there’s some reluctance to run an engine that hasn’t been tested in competition.
Edwards has already said he’d rather wait. “I told them I don’t want it right off the bat,” he said recently. “We’ll see who’s not in the Chase and maybe start testing it that way.” Kenseth takes a “whatever” approach. “I’m under the understanding we probably won’t have it full-time this year,” he said. “I’m not sure, but it doesn’t matter to me. I have a ton of confidence in Doug Yates and the engine guys, and whatever they think is best, I’m good with that.”
The Wood Brothers with #21-Bill Elliott are running a limited schedule, so they might get it first. (Logic dictates that an engine-related DNF for Elliott won’t be as costly as one for a Chase-eligible team). #98-Paul Menard and #96-Bobby Labonte of Yates Racing will focus on making the Chase, as will Roush Fenway drivers #6-David Ragan and #26-Jamie McMurray [vert slim chances for any of those four to make the Chase]. The new piece is the first purpose-built NASCAR engine to come from Ford Motor Company. The three key differences between FR9 and the current engine: the cooling system has been improved to allow teams to use more tape on the grille, thus improving downforce; the valve train has been improved; and the production and assembly of FR9 will be easier than the current model.(Ford Racing)(6-27-2009)
- Spec Engines for NNS/Trucks? Detroit's NASCAR people are talking with NASCAR officials about a new 'spec' engine ('crate' engine) program for the Truck and Nationwide series, which could be supplied by a 'consortium' of engineers from the four NASCAR car makers, Toyota, Ford, Dodge and Chevry. However NASCAR executives have so far shown little interest in such a program. According to one Detroit executive, such a 'spec' engine program could provide competitive Truck and Nationwide engines to a team for perhaps as little as $600,000 for the season.(mikemulhern.net)(6-22-2009)
- New Ford engine? The debut of the new Ford engine could be coming soon. The big question: Who will get it first? When the engine was introduced at the Sprint Cup media tour in January, top Ford officials speculated that the #21-Wood Brothers, running a 12-race schedule, would get it first. The theory was to let them experiment with it before those competing for spots in the Chase used it.
With Roush Fenway Racing's #6-David Ragan and #26-Jamie McMurray out of Chase contention, they have become candidates. So have all three drivers from Yates Racing who aren't competing for a playoff spot. "I told them I don't want it right off the bat," Roush's #99-Carl Edwards recently said. "We'll see who's not in the Chase and maybe start testing it that way." Doug Yates, who helped build the FR9, says the engine won't be ready until August. That could come sooner if Roush believes it could help Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth and #16-Greg Biffle in the Chase.(ESPN Insider)(6-20-2009)
- Pro Motors wins 2009 MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown UPDATE: Darrell Hoffman and Dennis Borem of Pro Motors beat out Mike Kash and Jim Snyder of Roush-Yates for a 3rd straight victory in the 10th MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown Wednesday afternoon. Roush-Yates looked like they were going to win it but they no sooner fired their engine and they had something come lose and gas spilled everywhere. They stopped the competition to clean up the gas and after they restarted it Pro Motors fired their engine up within about 4 seconds. Roush-Yates started their engine but it kept stopping (3 times total). Pro's never stopped. Pro Motor's time was 19.27 and Roush-Yates was 19.44 (they stopped the clock then but again their engine never ran a full minute). Pro Motor's time was the best of the competition. They also announced during the competition that this years winners won't be able to compete in next years competition. The organization itself that can compete but whichever team won those two builders will not be allowed.(5-15-2009)
UPDATE: Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman from Pro Motor Engines made history Wednesday, capturing their record third straight MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown in the closest finish in the 10-year history of the competition. In a fierce neck-and-neck battle, the Pro Motor Engines team built a complete Chevrolet R07 race engine and successfully ran it for one minute in an incredible 19 minutes, 27 seconds, edging the Roush Yates Engines team of Mike Kasch and Jim Snyder by a mere 17 seconds (19 minutes, 44 seconds).
In what was a rematch of the 2008 final, the Roush Yates team seemed to be on their way to victory, completing the build and firing their engine first. However, while it was running during the mandatory one minute, a fuel line disconnected and the engine became silent. Meanwhile, Pro Motor Engines started their engine just as Roush Yates Engines were having their issue. Roush Yates reconnected
the fuel line and re-fired their engine, but it was too late. A total of eight teams competed. Joining Pro Motor Engines and Roush Yates Engines were: Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing Engines, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Triad Racing Technologies. As 2009 MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown champions, Borem and Hoffman took home a cash prize for their efforts and will have their name again engraved on the prestigious Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy.(MAHLE Clevite/Pro Sports Management)(5-16-2009)
- Revised Post-Race Engine Tear-Down Procedures: In a move that should be more cost-saving to the industry and help enhance the inspection process, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will begin conducting its post-race engine tear-down at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. “Along with cost savings, this will provide our officials and teams with the means to analyze the engines in a more controlled setting,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “We have been moving towards doing this in the past, and as the stakes continue to rise in our sport, we believe it’s the most effective way of doing things.”
As part of its post-race inspection, NASCAR typically tears down the engines of the event’s top-two finishers, in addition to a random car. The height and weight measurements, in addition to the shock and gear inspections, will still take place at the track following the race. Post-race inspection of the engines at the R&D Center will remain open for observation as it did at the race track. Should any violations be discovered during the tear-down process, forthcoming penalties will be handled just as they have before through the NASCAR competition department.(NASCAR PR)(4-1-2009)
- Toyota to go back to old oil pump on engines: Toyota Racing Development has reverted to the oil pump used on last year’s engine and will continue the modifications used in last Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas when its teams compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Michael Waltrip Racing [#00,#47,#55], Red Bull Racing [#82,#83] and Robby Gordon [#7] Motorsports use TRD engines. In the last two weeks, TRD has had to replace six engines during the race weekend – two at Auto Club Speedway in southern California and four at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The problem was a lifter or camshaft issue. TRD President Lee White said in a phone interview Wednesday that he believes the problems occur when there is no oil pressure as drivers are entering and exiting the garages during practice. White said the oil pump used last year is better for those situations. The new engine pieces Toyota were using at California and Las Vegas were introduced at Texas last November with no problems for intermediate tracks last year. They consist of a very aggressive camshaft that uses a very lightweight lubricant. They are now using a different lubricant, White said. The data that helped the team locate the potential low-RPM issue came from a test session last year.(SceneDaily)(3-5-2009)
- Changes in gears rules for Vegas in 2010? NASCAR is considering an adjustment on the gear rule for Las Vegas next season to prevent the engine failures that plagued numerous Sprint Cup teams last weekend. Roush Fenway Racing lost three engines on Sunday, equaling the number of engines the team lost all of last season. Doug Yates, who oversees the Roush-Yates engine program, said the situation could have been avoided had there been a more conservative gear ratio that would have reduced rpms that were much higher than expected with the new tire and improved horsepower. He said weather conditions -- only 15% humidity -- also may have contributed to the failures. "With all that stacked against us, we just weren't ready for what we expected," Yates said. "I talked to the NASCAR guys after the race and they said they probably will go back and evaluate the gear ratios. That particular race we were a lot above where we want these engines to be running." Yates said several of the Roush and Yates cars reached 9,800 rpms on the front stretch -- about 400 more than where he and NASCAR would like the reading to be. "NASCAR is addressing that," he said. "They don't want us to, especially in these times, spend more money to make engines turn 10,000 rpms. That's not the intention of the gear rule." Yates agreed with Lee White, the president of Toyota Racing Development, that the engine failures that Ford experienced in the race were different than what Toyota faced in practice and qualifying. Those problems were fixed by using thicker lubricants and making a small mechanical adjustment. But he agreed all teams are pushing limits on the engines, and that these problems likely would have occurred had there not been a ban on testing. "I'm not going to blame not testing or NASCAR," he said. "At the end of the day if we run in those type of conditions again it's our job to make the engines stronger and more durable. I didn't anticipate those type of things." Yates doesn't expect the high rpm rate to be a factor this week at Atlanta because the tires will fall off faster and keep speeds slower. That doesn't mean he's not a bit worried.(ESPN)(3-4-2009)
- Engine problems had different causes: The president of Toyota Racing Development says the engine failures incurred by the three Roush Fenway Racing teams during Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway were unrelated to the problems five Toyota teams experienced on Saturday. "Not in any way related,'' Lee White said on Monday. "We're going to take 100% responsibility for maybe not having all of our ducks in a row with durability testing when we got to the racetrack to be ready for the decisions the teams put the engines through to get ready for qualifying.'' Four teams supplied engines by TRD -- #00-David Reutimann and #47-Marcos Ambrose of Michael Waltrip Racing and #83-Brian Vickers and #82-Scott Speed of Red Bull Racing -- had to switch engines and start at the rear of the field. Pole-sitter and eventual race winner #18-Kyle Busch also started at the back of the field after switching engines, but his was built by Joe Gibbs Racing. White said all seven teams supplied engines by TRD likely will go to Atlanta this week with the same new generation engine but with the conservative package -- a thicker lubricant and small mechanical change that determines how much oil stays around the camshaft -- that reduced horsepower by three to four at Vegas. He blamed the Toyota failures on teams trying to get more horsepower out of the engine for qualifying and practice. Instead of returning to Charlotte, N.C., on Monday he flew to TRD headquarters in California to make sure the issue wasn't a factor moving forward.
Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush on Sunday speculated that the new tire Goodyear introduced led to blown engines by #17-Matt Kenseth, #6-David Ragan and #99-Carl Edwards. Doug Yates, who runs the Roush Yates engine program, wanted to wait until the engines were fully examined before commenting. "I think we misjudged how fast this tire was going to be, and the engine turned more,'' he said. "It's the same spec on the engine that we had all of last year. It wasn't something new or experimental. I had great confidence in it.'' White said he is comfortable moving forward after Sunday in which three Toyotas finished in the top eight -- including two with the more conservative TRD engine -- and eight were in the top 22.(ESPN.com)(3-3-2009)
- Five engine changes...to the back UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch blew a motor in his Toyota during Friday's practice session, changed the engine, then ran a pole-winning lap of 185.995 mph to knock his big brother off the pole. #2-Kurt Busch ran a lap at 185.707 mph. But under NASCAR rules, Kyle Busch will have to drop to the back of the field at the start of Sunday's race. Third-place qualifier Jimmie Johnson will slide onto the front row next to Kurt Busch during the warm-up laps. #00-David Reutimann and #47-Marcos Ambrose qualified fourth and fifth, but also had to change their motors after their laps and will drop to the back of the field. #83-Brian Vickers, who won the pole last week at California but had to forfeit it because of an engine change, and his teammate #82-Scott Speed also switched motors Friday. In all, five Toyota teams switched motors Friday.(AP/ESPN)(2-27-2009)
UPDATE: Lee White, president of Toyota Racing Development, said some of the Sprint Cup Toyota teams have serious concerns about an engine wear issue that has caused problems the last two weeks. White said four Toyota teams were forced to change engines Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway because of the issue with this generation of the motors. Two of the cars making changes are the Red Bull Team Racing entries -- the #82 Camry driven by Scott Speed and the #83 Toyota driven by Brian Vickers. The other two are the #47 Toyota driven by Marcus Ambrose and the #00 Camry driven by David Reutimann. "It's embarrassing," White said. "Whatever conditions we've created ourselves, stupidly, we suspect it's a wear issue between the cam shaft and lubricant. It's either a lack of lubrication, too much lubrication, not enough coating, whatever." The team of pole winner Kyle Busch in the #18 Toyota also changed an engine Friday, but White said that was an unrelated issue. All five cars will move to the back of the field to start the Shelby 427 Sunday.
"This is something the drivers don't notice," White said. "What we see first is a lash widening up on one cylinder or the lifters slowly wearing away. Once that starts, it's hell and gone. You can't stop it." White said the problem first came to light last week before the Cup race at Fontana, Calif. Vickers won the pole at Auto Club Speedway, but was forced to start in the back after the engine problem was discovered. Michael Waltrip had the same issue after qualifying at ACS and changed his engine. Neither driver had a problem during the Auto Club 500. "That clouded my view of the whole situation," White said. "I was confident in my people, but I guess I'm willing to say now we went the wrong direction." White said all the Toyota teams have taken precautions and made changes for Sunday's race. "We're using a little heavier lubrication to not try to squeeze every last horsepower out of them in the race," White said. "The adjustments we've made are four or five horsepower, but that's not insignificant. No driver would give that up willingly. Our goal right now is to give them the best shot to get to the end [of the race]." Joe Gibbs Racing -- the cars of Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano -- is the only Toyota team that builds it's engine in house, using Toyota parts. All other Toyota teams use engines built at TRD in Torrance, Calif. White met with three NASCAR officials Saturday morning -- president Mike Helton, vice president of competition Robin Pemberton and Cup series director John Darby -- to explain the problem.(ESPN)(2-28-2009)
- Engine Rule at Daytona: the engine rule is a little different at Daytona 500 [just like qualifying] then the other 35 races, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session (Feb. 6th) through the Gatorade Duel 150 mile qualifying races (Feb. 12). If a team makes a change before the Duel, then it must start at the rear of the Duel 150 field. After the Duel 150 races, teams can make an engine change before the Happy Hour practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the Daytona 500.(2-11-2009)
- Ford to debut new 'FR9' engine this season: Ford and Roush Yates Engines latest NASCAR-approved engine will debut this season. Code-named "FR9," this new piece is the first purpose-built NASCAR racing engine to ever come out of Ford Motor Company. Its design has been spearheaded and developed by Ford Racing engineer David Simon, and famed engine builder Doug Yates, along with input from legendary Ford Racing engine engineer Mose Nowland. “This is an exciting time for us to say the least, especially with the way our two companies have worked so well together on this project,” said Yates. “I’ve never had the opportunity to work on a NASCAR engine with a clean sheet of paper, but that’s basically what we’ve done and I’ve enjoyed every second. We feel we’ve got a piece that will not only be better than what we’ve got now, but will give us room to grow. With the exception of a few cylinder head changes through the years, we’ve had the same engine since 1991 and have been able to squeeze out every ounce of power and speed possible. What’s got me so excited is we’ve won races and championships with an engine many consider old, and this new piece is definitely a notch above, so we’ve got a lot to look forward to for years to come.” There are three key differences between “FR9” and the current engine. First, the cooling system has been re-worked and will allow teams to optimize the amount of tape they can put on the front grille and improve downforce. Second, the valve train has been improved, and, third, the production and assembly of “FR9” will be much easier than today’s model. Just when “FR9” is ready for competition remains to be seen, but a tentative target date is the second-half of the 2009 season. “We’re not going to rush this engine into competition until we’re 100% sure it’s going to meet our strict standards,” said Yates. “We don’t feel a need to rush because our current engine is still strong and that gives us the luxury to take our time and make sure we do “FR9” right. I know we’ve got a winner here, and I can’t wait to see it on the track.”(Ford Racing)(1-22-2009)
- 2009 Ford Racing NASCAR Engine
· The engine is an all-new, “clean sheet of paper” design.
· There are no carryover parts from the current engine.
· Then engine meets all of the new NASCAR engine rules, most notable being the 4.500” bore spacing (new for Ford since we’ve been running 4.380” since the mid-70s).
· It is a purpose-built racing engine. It does not retain any of the original production 351 dimensions, as the current engine does.
· The engine design was evaluated on a system by system basis.
o Systems that are critical to performance were studied to identify optimums.
o We used a data-driven process meaning if the data didn’t exist to make an educated decision, We tested the part or system until we had the information we needed.
· Multiple engine design iterations were actually built and tested before the final design was chosen.
· Induction and exhaust systems are an evolution of our current ones providing increased performance potential.
· The cooling system is all-new resulting in more efficient cooling of the heads and block.
· The lubrication system is all-new which allows us to meter the oil supply to every part of the engine.
· The block and head structures are all-new resulting in stronger, lighter components.
· Power: The initial power has surpassed our expectations. For an all-new engine, very early in its development, the power has been excellent.
· Durability: There is still a lot of testing to be done, but after thousands of dyno miles, the durability has been perfect so far.
Testing and Development
· Extensive dyno testing has been conducted since early ’08 – thousands of dyno miles have been logged including performance and durability testing.
· The first track test was in November at Rockingham. The engine ran fine without any issues.
Installation in the Cars
· The engine requires new engine mounts and changes to the chassis to accommodate the new mounts.
· We’ve worked with the race teams to identify all of the concerns and design issues. Everything has been sorted out to make the new engine work in the current cars.
· We are planning on a mid-season introduction
- Penske: NASCAR may follow IRL on engines: Roger Penske said Monday the use of smaller race engines might not be just for the IndyCar Series, which expects to announce its powerplant plans later this month. The four-cylinder turbocharged configuration that Indy Racing League officials are considering could end up in NASCAR, too. "I think you'll see that migrate even into NASCAR because that's where we are today," Penske said in a Bloomberg radio interview from the Detroit Auto Show. NASCAR is considering the IRL's lead in the use of alternative fuel, but chief executive officer Brian France recently said no major engine changes are planned.(Indy Star)(1-14-2009)
- Three Roush-Yates engines stolen UPDATE 2: Thieves made a fast getaway after taking three NASCAR racing engines from a well-known race shop in Mooresville. Police say someone broke into the Roush/Yates engine shop and got away with three of the big Ford engines used by the team in the Nationwide and Truck Series. The engines are worth $50,000 each. "These are not everyday engines, these are NASCAR specific engines, you can't put them in a car, plus they are Roush Yates engines, very specific," said Mooresville Police Lt. Joseph Cooke. The engines were taken sometime Monday night from the shop off Mazeppa Road. One of the workers said he knew it was going to be a bad day when he came to work and saw a big hole in the wall. The hole is big enough for thieves to get inside, then open the door. Each of the engines weigh more than 500 pounds. They're kept on rollers and that made it easy for thieves to roll them into a cargo van they happened to steal from another race team. "They stole a Penske rental truck, like a cargo van and used the cargo van to load up the engines and take the engines away." The thieves dumped the van, but made off with the engines. Unless they are in the racing business, they may find them tough to unload. "Those are specialty items you'd have to be in NASCAR or the racing business to use them, you can't just put these engines in your car." If you can help Mooresville Police, call them at 704-664-3311, or South Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-658-9056. If your information leads to an arrest, you be eligible for a reward.(WBTV CBS 3 site)(9-18-2008)
UPDATE: NASCAR team owner Doug Yates said it appears the thieves who broke into the Roush Yates Racing Engines facility in Mooresville, N.C., recently and stole three engines “knows the facility and knows the engines.” The break-in took place Monday at the shop located on Mazeppa Road. The engines, valued at $50,000 each, were built specifically for use in the NASCAR Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series. “We have security on the building,” Yates said. “But the area where they broke in, the motion sensor didn’t pick it up. If they had gone any further in the shop [it would have].” Yates said sheetmetal had been peeled away to allow the thieves to gain access to the shop.(SceneDaily)
UPDATE 2: from the Mooresville NC Police - Case Number #2008004567 Issued: September 17, 2008 Issued by Lt. Cook: On the night of 09/15/08 suspect(s) broke into Roush Yates Engines and took three Ford 358 cubic inches Roush/Yates NASCAR racing engines valued at $50,000.00 each. If anyone has information related to the case or information leading to the recovery of the engines call Mooresville Police Department at 704-664-3311 or The Mooresville South Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-658-9056 for a monetary reward. A photograph of a similar engine is posted below this story.(9-21-2008)
a similar engine Roush-Yates engines that was stolen on 9-17-2008
- New Ford engine? Ford officials have discussed a new engine with NASCAR officials, according to Doug Hervey, North American Operations Manager, Ford Racing Technology. "We've presented our plans to them for a new engine," Hervey said. "We've got prototype engines that we're evaluating right now."(Roanoke Times)(7-27-2008)
PME engine builders Dennis Borem & Darrell Hoffman
- PME repeats as top engine builders: "Mahle Engine Builder Showdown" that took place Tuesday, May 20th at the NASCAR Technical Institiute. Every year, a selection a NASCAR's top engine builders are invited to participate to see who can build, fire up ans run their 357-cubic inch Ford racing engine the fastest. For the second year in a row PME Engines took home the trophy. Last year PME engine builders Dennis Borem & Darrell Hoffman beat out a team of Hendricks engine builders with a time of 16:25. This year PME beat out the Roush/Yates team of Jim Snyder & Mike Kasch and broke their own record with a time of 15:59! PME is owned by Mark Smith and currenty builds engines for 8 truck teams in the Craftsman truck series, including KHI, MRD, TRG, Xpress Motorsports, and Thorsport. About 1500 students and guests were in attendance. At this weekends race in Mansfield the #71 TRG Motorsports team surprised PME with Congradulations decals on their truck and team wearing PME t-shirts. THEN won the race at Mansfield. NASCAR Tech [NTI] also has an open house scheduled for June 21st, more info at uti.edu)(5-25-2008)
- The MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown on Monday and Tuesday: Four teams of a record 23 have made it to the semi-finalists after the first two rounds of the ninth annual MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown held May 5 - 8. Competing in this year's Showdown semi-finals set for Monday at the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) in Mooresville, N.C., are:
1. Trey Davis and Brian Buttrick from Roush Yates Racing Engines versus Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman from Pro Motor Engines
2. Jim Snyder and Mike Kasch from Roush Yates Racing Engines versus Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow from Hendrick Motorsports
The two winning teams will face each other on Tuesday at the Showdown finals, also at NTI. The MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown, presented by MAHLE Clevite Inc., pits top NASCAR engine builders in a race to build and successfully run a Sprint Cup 357-cubic inch Ford engine in the shortest time possible. Through a process of three rounds of preliminary and semi-final eliminations, the competition culminates in a final showdown between the two fastest teams. MAHLE Clevite presents the winning team with the Showdown's grand prize - the prestigious Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy, plus a cash prize of $26,000. The Showdown runner-up team receives $9,000. Overall, the competition awards a total prize package of over $50,000. MAHLE Clevite hosts all preliminary rounds of the MAHLE Engine Builder Showdown at the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI), in Mooresville, NC. The final round of the competition takes place on May 20, also at NTI. More info at engineparts.com and MotorAge. NASCAR Tech [NTI] also has an open house scheduled for June 21st, more info at uti.edu)(5-19-2008)
- Some Engine News: Hendrick Motor Sports had apparently found a way to squeeze more power out of their engines, according to dyno numbers, but actually had to dial back some. Yet, it’s not Hendrick that has Cory DeMarco, front tire changer for Yates Racing. "Toyota has the most power out there right now," DeMarco said during one of the several rain delays the NASCAR Sprint Cup series endured trying to get the Auto Club 500 concluded Sunday night at the newly renamed Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. "Especially now that they have Gibbs [Racing] on board; those guys are doing most of the engine development." DeMarco is pleased with the strength being shown by the Roush-Yates engine program. "The engines are strong," DiMarco said, especially when you look at what Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards were doing Sunday. "From and engineering standpoint, we’re just a little behind last year." DeMarco pointed out that NASCAR has pretty much taken away much opportunity to change anything on the cars.
"It’s all chassis development and suspension parts to get the cars to grip better," he said. "The sport is going where it’s all engineering."(Ford Racing)(2-25-2008)
- Dynos after 150's show Toyota's stronger: Judging from NASCAR’s post-150s chassis-dyno tests, which showed Toyota’s #20-Tony Stewart had at least a 15 horsepower edge at his rear wheels over Chevy’s #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Thursday’s twin races. And Richard Childress’ Chevy engines were about 30 horsepower off the Toyotas, which is some concern in both the Childress camp and with GM officials. NASCAR didn’t post any official numbers, but Stewart’s engine - built by Mark Cronquist, head of Joe Gibbs’ motor shop - pulled around 462 to 464 effective horsepower, according to those familiar with the results. That’s about 15 horsepower more than Earnhardt had and about 30 horsepower more than Chevy’s Kevin Harvick.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-16-2008)
UPDATE: NASCAR tested about 10 different Sprint Cup engines following last Thursday’s Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races. According to several officials from NASCAR, the manufacturers who race in the Sprint Cup Series and race teams, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, all parties involved are satisfied that the engines from Toyota, General Motors, Dodge and Ford are competitive with each other in terms of horsepower. Most of the engines tested varied by less than 10 horsepower, multiple sources told SPEEDTV.com, with all but two of the engines within 7-8 horsepower of each other. And none of the four brands tested had a consistent advantage over the others. Media reports on Saturday that Toyotas had a 30-horsepower advantage over the Chevrolets were, to say the least, erroneous. Had that actually been the case, Chevrolet teams would have been raising a ruckus with NASCAR and complaining bitterly to the media about being at a competitive disadvantage. Nothing of the sort has happened.(SPEED)(2-17-2008)
- Engine problems pile up UPDATE: #88-Earnhardt Jr. lost and engine midway thru the 2nd Wed practice at Daytona International Speedway and the team will change engines, then it was mentioned on SPEED's coverage that all the Hendrick Motorsports cars #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson, Earnhardt and #5-Mears will change engines as there is some sort of lifter problem. #66-Riggs team is changing engines, also uses Hendrick engines and the other teams that run Hendrick engines are checking them out: #09-Marlin, #87-Wallace, #70-Mayfield and #78-Nemechek [not changing engines]. Also #07-Bowyer lost an engine and is changing their engine.
confirmed engine changes: #48-Johnson, #5-Mears, #24-Gordon, #66-Riggs, #96-Yeley, #07-Yeley and #88-Earnhardt Jr. that means these drivers have to fall to the rear of the pack before the drop of the green flag for the Gatorade Duel they are running. #84-Allmendinger's team already changed engines over the past weekend. This does NOT effect where they start the Daytona 500. Team are allowed to change engines between the Duels and the Daytona 500.(2-13-2008)
UPDATE: All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers -- #48-Jimmie Johnson, #24-Jeff Gordon, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #5-Casey Mears -- will start in the back of the field in Thursday's 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500 after their engines were replaced on Wednesday afternoon. Jeff Andrews, HMS's head engine builder, said the problem appears to be related to a batch of lifters. The problem also was discovered in the cars of #78-Joe Nemechek and #87-Kenny Wallace of Furniture Row Racing, and #66-Scott Riggs and #70-Jeremy Mayfield of Haas Racing. All four are powered by HMS engines. But the problem wasn't contained to HMS. Toyota is bringing new engines from California for #44-Dale Jarrett and #84-A.J. Allmendinger. Joe Gibbs Racing is bringing new engines for #20-Tony Stewart and #96-J.J. Yeley. Yeley, who drives for the JGR satellite team Hall of Fame Racing, has replaced two engines since arriving at Daytona. Because the problem appears consistent among both manufacturers officials are speculating it is related to coating on the lifters that could have come from the same vendor. "We took engines back after the Bud Shootout, they look really good, looked great," Andrews said. "So we are looking at a batch issue right now and trying to sort through some things to get the guys in Charlotte pointed in the right direction." Chad Knaus, the crew chief for pole-sitter Johnson, said coating on the cam shaft appears to be getting on the lifters and filtering throughout the engine. "Definitely by Sunday we'll have it all squared away," he said. Johnson, Nemechek and Mears were slated for the first three starting spots of the first qualifying race with Earnhardt fifth before the engine changes. Riggs was eighth, meaning a lot of fast cars will begin the 60-lap event at the rear. Gordon would have started sixth in the second race that will determine the starting lineup behind Johnson and Michael Waltrip, who earned the front row for the 50th running of the 500 on Sunday. There also was an engine change in Clint Bowyer's Richard Childress Racing #07 Chevrolet because of a broken rod. Richie Gilmore, who heads up the program that supplies engines for RCR and Dale Earnhardt Inc., said Bowyer's problem was not related to what the others experienced. But because of those problems Gilmore said he'll look over all three RCR and all four DEI cars before the qualifying races. "Everybody is going to be pulling stuff apart," he said. "It might be a bigger issue."(ESPN.com)
AND Hendrick-built motors were not removed from the CNC/Haas Chevy of Jeremy Mayfield, the two Furniture Row Racing Chevys of Joe Nemechek and Kenny Wallace and the Miccosukee Indian Nation Chevrolet. But later Wednesday, the problem widened to include several Toyotas that also had their engines pulled for potentially similar problems with the lifters. The Toyota Camrys of Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, A.J. Allmendinger and J.J. Yeley all were forced to switch engines.(Yahoo Sports)(2-14-2008)
- Dodge plans to phase in new engine: Dodge officials expect to have a new engine on the track sometime this summer. The new engine should improve water flow and the ability to make power reliably, said Howard Comstock, Dodge's Sprint Cup program manager. Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Penske Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing build their own engines. Petty Enterprises uses Gillett Evernham motors. "We did the initial development in-house at Chrysler and made parts available to the teams," Comstock said. "Now they have got parts, and they can get their engines put together and run them for the first time on their dyno. We will get some additional feedback and make some engineering changes as we go along and make sure that everything is solid before the engine actually sees competition." With Chevrolet and Toyota having introduced new engines last year, Comstock said Dodge has looked at those engines and learned. Ford most likely is coming out with a new engine in 2009.(SceneDaily.com)(1-16-2008)
- Trucks to test spec engine at Martinesville: Bill Davis Racing and Roush Fenway Racing each will test a truck at Martinsville Speedway for NASCAR on Monday. Davis said the teams will use a spec engine as NASCAR explores the possibility of making all the engines the same for the Craftsman Truck series at some point. "On the surface, it really looks good because of the cost reduction," Davis said of a spec engine in the truck series. "The only thing that concerns me, not only my operation but a lot of truck operations are very manufactured-dependent for sponsorship. I'm afraid if the manufacturer doesn't have his engine in there, it's a spec motor, is the attraction still going to be there?" Johnny Benson is scheduled to test for Bill Davis Racing. Travis Kvapil is scheduled to test for Roush Fenway Racing.(Roanoke Times)(6-23-2007)
- Pro Motors wins Engine Builder Showdown: The 2007 MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder Showdown [in May] proved to be one of the most competitive and exciting Showdown since its debut in 2000. A record 19 teams from 10 of the best known NASCAR engine shops registered to take part in the competition. The Engine builder Showdown is a tiered four-round competition for professional engine builders who assemble special performance engines for NASCAR teams. Participating teams - two engine builders per team - vie to build and successfully run a Nextel Cup 357-cubic-inch Ford Engine in the shortest time possible. Winners of the 2007 Showdown, the Pro Motor Engines' team of Dennis Borem and Darrell Hoffman, were runners up in the 2006 Showdown. In the 2007 final round, they broke the all-time Showdown record with an engine-build time of 16 minutes and 25 seconds with no penalties. Borem and Hoffman went head-to-head with Kevin Webber and Scott Vester, of Hendrick Motorsports, who finished in second place with a build time of 17 minutes and 47 seconds with no penalties. More info at www.engineparts.com.(6-18-2007)
- DEI and RCR team up to build engines: One of NASCAR's greatest partnerships - Childress and Earnhardt - has been expanded with the creation of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies. Richard Childress and Teresa Earnhardt announced today that the joint venture partnership will combine the Chevrolet engine departments of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI), with engine development work to begin immediately. Construction of a permanent stand-alone facility located between RCR and
DEI will begin later this summer with completion expected by mid 2008. A specific site has not been announced, although a location has been identified pending zoning approval. Until that facility is complete, all work will be divided between the RCR's engine shop in Welcome, N.C. and DEI's shop in Mooresville, N.C. It is anticipated that all six RCR and DEI cars will run the first common engine at Daytona in July. Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies will develop and build engines for the Chevrolet Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series teams campaigned by the two companies. A long-term goal of the joint venture will include an engine leasing program for teams in NASCAR's top three divisions. The partnership also has long-term plans to diversify and expand beyond NASCAR by providing race engines to teams competing in series such as the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, various off-road and stock car series, sports car series, etc. This is not the first time RCR and DEI have worked together in a technology partnership. RAD, an acronym for the three teams owned by Richard Childress, Andy Petree and Dale Earnhardt, was formed in the late 90's as an aerodynamic consortium between the programs. The partnership was considered wildly successful with the three teams dominating the aerodynamically sensitive restrictor plate tracks Daytona and Talladega for the next few years.(RCR-DEI PR)(5-18-2007)
- Toyota’s teams improve engines: The Toyota teams competing in all-star weekend activities at Lowe’s Motor Speedway won’t have different engines than they’ve had so far this year, but they will have a new combination in their engines aimed at helping them compete better. Lee White, senior vice president for Toyota Racing Development, said Wednesday that the changes are part of Toyota’s efforts at “continual development and improvement of the product we have.” White said results of chassis dynamometer tests following the Cup race at Atlanta earlier this year showed that Toyota has as much top-end horsepower as any other manufacturer’s engine. But at lower RPMs - when cars are trying to get off the turns and back up to full speed for straightaways - the Toyotas were not making as much power as other cars. “We’ve been working a lot of hours, seven days a week, trying to make the power curve look more like that of the people who’re beating us,” White said. The improvements include changes to existing parts and did not require NASCAR approval. “There was no going to NASCAR and saying, ‘Can you give us this or help us out,’” White said.(Thatsracin)(5-17-2007)
- New Chevy engine; subtract Busch and Wimmer, add Raines: Kyle Busch, #5 Cheez-It/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS, was involved in a single-car incident during the morning practice session. Busch, who was uninjured in the incident, was forced to his backup car. As a result, the current Chevrolet SB2 engine will now power Busch's Monte Carlo SS in tomorrow's Samsung 500. He was one of six drivers scheduled to start the Samsung 500 in the newly introduced Chevrolet R07 engine. #20-Tony Stewart, #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-J.J. Yeley, #25-Casey Mears and #96-Tony Raines will start the 334-lap/501-mile race with the R07. #33-Scott Wimmer was scheduled to run the engine but didn't make the race when qualifying was cancelled.(GM Racing PR)(4-15-2007)
- Six teams to run new Chevy engine at Texas: The Chevrolet R07 engine development has progressed to the point where up to six teams are expected to run the engine at this weekend’s race. Cars anticipated to debut the new Chevy engine are: Hendrick Motorsports teammates #25-Casey Mears and #5-Kyle Busch; #20-Tony Stewart and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-J.J. Yeley as well as a fourth Richard Childress Racing entry, #33-Scott Wimmer. After more than 50 years of successful race development of the Chevy small-block engine, GM Racing has developed its first (for NASCAR competition) purpose-built small-block race engine, the R07. The engine will debut Sunday at the Samsung 500 Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. A brief presentation by Director of GM Racing Mark Kent, followed by a Q&A period with Jim Covey, NASCAR engine program manager, is scheduled for Saturday, April 14 at Texas Motor Speedway.(GM Racing PR)(4-12-2007)
- Next race for Chevy engine at Texas UPDATE six teams at Texas: Richard Childress Racing likely won't attempt to run the new Chevrolet engine until next month at Texas. #33-Scott Wimmer failed to qualify using that motor at Atlanta last week. The team plans an endurance test of at least 500 miles on the engine at Kentucky Speedway before Texas.(Roanoke Times)(3-24-2007)
UPDATE: #25-Casey Mears will be one of at least six Chevrolets with the new Chevrolet R07 engine, which was in #33-Scott Wimmer's Richard Childress Racing car that failed to qualify at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month. Mears and Hendrick Motorsports teammate #5-Kyle Busch, along with all three Joe Gibbs Racing [#20-Tony Stewart, #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-J.J. Yeley] cars and Wimmer (in a fourth RCR car) will have the new engine for the race weekend. #24-Jeff Gordon tested the engine during a tire test at Darlington last month, where Gordon ran 500 laps with no issues. The new engine is designed to use more modern parts and be more durable. It also has a different plumbing system. As far as horsepower, it is believed that the potential is for more.(SceneDaily.com)(4-5-2007)
- New Chevy engine tested at Darlington: #24-Jeff Gordon completed 500 miles in one of the new Chevrolet R07 engine last week in a tire test at Darlington Raceway. "The thing looked real nice, very good," Hendrick engine assembly director Jeff Andrews said Sunday. "We were real pleased with the performance of the engine. Jeff said the engine felt real good. It wasn't a marketable difference in power. It was really just a reliability test of parts and castings. The encouraging thing is we've taken something that is virtually brand new and we've come out of the box with it very equal and close to that power-wise." Chevrolet officials had hoped that teams would see RCR use the engine for a full race weekend and put it in their main cars in the next few weeks. That probably won't happen. Wimmer likely will attempt the April 15 race at Texas with the new engine for another race simulation try. RCR engine builder Danny Lawrence speculated that RCR's three fulltime teams could use the engine for the Nextel All-Star Challenge, a non-points event, before using the engine for a points-paying race weekend.(SceneDaily.com)(3-20-2007)
- Engines Dyno'd at Atlanta: NASCAR tested eight cars on the chassis dyno after the race to see if there is a measurable loss in power after a 500-mile race with the recent switch to unleaded fuel. Cars tested were those of winner #48-Jimmie Johnson, #20-Tony Stewart, #17-Matt Kenseth, #99-Carl Edwards, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #2-Kurt Busch, #22-Dave Blaney and #44-Dale Jarrett.(Roanoke Times), two fo each manuafacturer......no results were mentioned.(3-19-2007)
UPDATE: #44-Dale Jarrett's car topped the chart with 799 horsepower through the rear wheels. #17-Matt Kenseth's car was second with 798 horsepower, followed by the #99 (792 hp), #42 (788hp), #20 (787hp), #22 (787hp), #2 (786hp) and finally Sunday's winner, #48-Jimmie Johnson, whose car measured 779hp, but that was after his massive burnout on the frontstretch at AMS.(FoxSports)(3-23-2007)
- Wimmer first to run new Chevy engine: This weekend, Richard Childress Racing will be the first team to utilize Chevrolet's new R07 motor when Scott Wimmer hits the track with the #33 Holiday Inn Chevy on Friday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Per NASCAR regulations, the R07 displaces a maximum of 358 cubic inches. In contrast to the SB2's "mirror port" cylinder heads, the R07's cylinder heads resemble production LS-series small-block cylinder heads with alternating intake and exhaust valves. While production small-block V-8 engines employ electronic fuel injection, the R07 port layout is optimized for the single four-barrel carburetor mandated by NASCAR. The R07's key technical advances over the SB2 include 4.500-inch cylinder bore centers (vs. 4.400 inches in the SB2), a raised camshaft that improves valvetrain dynamics, a new six-bolt head bolt pattern that reduces cylinder bore distortion, and a targeted cooling system that minimizes temperatures at critical locations. A cast camshaft tunnel, integral piston squirter galleries, and overhead oil feed galleries reduce engine assembly time. Relocating the fuel pump to the inboard side of the car and eliminating external oil and coolant lines enhance safety. RCR will be the first team in the Nextel Cup ranks to utilize Chevrolet's new engine combination.(RCR PR)(3-14-2007)
- New GM Engine, not quite ready: GM's new R07 engine may not be ready for prime time. Introduced last fall, the new engine is the first to be designed specifically for racing by GM. It was touted as the being the successor to the production-based engines that had been used by GM in stock car racing since the mid-1950s. In using what is referred to as a "clean sheet of paper" while designing the engine, GM's engineers were confident they had addressed the kinds of issues that plagued previous designs, in turn building a race-ready powerplant. However, the planned rollout of the new engine into Nextel Cup competition, which originally was slated for sometime later this month or in April, has been delayed. When asked to comment on the delay, GM Racing program manager Pat Suhy said that teams were still testing the new engine and were not yet comfortable with giving up their current engine, the very reliable SB2 – which won its first race when Dale Earnhardt took it to victory lane at the season-opening Daytona 500 in 1998. Although the new engine has not seen a lap of real competition, teams are able to simulate the stresses of a race weekend on their shop dynamometers, which are used to measure power and durability of engines. Those tests include running the engines until they are hot, letting them cool down and then heating them up again, which is known as heat cycling. What teams have found hasn't been all that comforting. "We've blown at least one of them up," said one senior team member who asked to remain anonymous. He did stress that failures do occur whenever teams work on something totally new. And, he added, he expects Chevy teams will continue to test the new engine, including on actual race weekends,(Yahoo Sports)(3-11-2007)
- Get Well: Carl Wegner of Wegner Motorsports recently had a heart attack but is doing well and supposedly getting back to work soon, everything at Wegner Motorsports is business as usual. Wegner supplies engines to some Busch and Truck Series teams.(3-6-2006)
- New GM Racing Engine to Power Chevy in Cup in 2007: It's all change for Team Chevy in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
in 2007. In addition to the scheduled introduction of the Impala SS Car of Tomorrow in March, GM Racing is introducing a new small-block V-8 racing engine that was specifically designed for NASCAR competition. The new powerplant - designated R07 - has been approved by NASCAR for competition in 2007. Chevrolet teams are expected to begin the transition from the current SB2 (Small-Block/2nd Generation) engine to the new R07 in March. Work on a successor to the SB2 began shortly after the SB2's introduction in NASCAR competition in 1998. The R07 retains the pushrod/two-valve layout that has been the mainstay of American
motorsports since the introduction of the first-generation GM small-block V-8 in 1955. It is a highly advanced racing engine that meets NASCAR's specifications. Per NASCAR regulations, the R07 displaces a maximum of 358 cubic inches. In contrast to the SB2's "mirror port" cylinder heads, the R07's cylinder heads resemble production LS-series small-block cylinder heads with alternating intake and exhaust valves. While production small-block V-8 engines employ electronic fuel injection, the R07 port layout is optimized for the single four-barrel carburetor mandated by NASCAR. The R07's key technical advances over the SB2 include 4.500-inch cylinder bore centers (vs. 4.400 inches in SB2), a raised camshaft that improves valvetrain dynamics, a new six-bolt head bolt pattern that reduces cylinder bore distortion, and a targeted cooling system that minimizes temperatures at critical locations. A cast camshaft tunnel, integral piston squirter galleries, and overhead oil feed galleries reduce engine assembly time. Relocating the fuel pump to the inboard
side of the car and eliminating external oil and coolant lines enhance safety. Although the R07 is a purpose-built racing engine, it has strong ties to production powerplants. "The concepts and processes that are used to improve the performance of our racing engines is shared with the production engine designers to improve the efficiency of our production engines," said Tom Stephens, group vice president of GM Powertrain.(GM Racing PR)(2-15-2007)
- Engine Rule at Daytona: the engine rule is a little different at Daytona 500 [just like qualifying] then the other 35 races, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session (Feb. 10th) through the Duel 150 mile qualifying races (Feb. 15). If a team makes a change, then it must start at the rear of the Duel 150 field. After the Duel 150 races, teams can make an engine change before the next day's practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the. So far it looks like two teams have changed engines: #22-Blaney, #23-Skinner, and looks like #55-Waltrip may change an engine if the car is returned, so those drivers will fall to the rear of their respective Duel 150's.(from 2004 but as far as I know the rule is the same)(2-13-2007)
- Dyno Testing at Texas: NASCAR had the cars of #49-Mike Bliss, #4-Ward Burton, #22-Dave Blaney, #32-Travis Kvapil and #78-Kenny Wallace [2 Dodge's, 3 Chevy's, no Ford's] tested on the chassis dyno after the race. The device measures horsepower to the rear wheels.(Roanoke Times)(11-6-2006)
- Chevy Engine Approved: NASCAR has finally approved a new Chevrolet engine for the 2007 Cup season, for the first time in eight years. Chevy's venerable SB2 engine is the oldest model on the stock-car tour. Toyota will have a new engine for its 2007 Nextel Cup debut, though it still hasn't been approved. Dodge and Ford were both given opportunities to submit new Nextel Cup engines for 2007, but both withdrew their submissions six weeks ago, for some still questioned reasons.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-7-2006)
- Engine News - Dodge pulls engine plans; Chevy engine approved? Dodge executives have joined Ford in unexpectedly withdrawing plans for a new NASCAR engine for 2007, Dodge's Mike Accavitti, the company's new racing boss, said yesterday.
The moves by Ford and Dodge portend a looming engine-rules debate in the Nextel Cup garage, since Toyota will have a new engine for its tour debut next February. And it is unclear just what is at play in this growing engine debate. Ford's Jack Roush said that NASCAR has changed its 2007 engine plans several times this season, leading to his decision. Chevrolet officials are awaiting word from NASCAR about their own proposed new engine. Chevrolet's current engine design is the oldest on the tour, and NASCAR has rejected GM's last two proposed new engines. Dodge's Accavitti said that it's his understanding that NASCAR has already approved the new Chevrolet engine, though GM officials say they have heard nothing yet. Accavitti said that Dodge plans to come back with another engine-package design next year for 2008.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-18-2006)
- Partners buy into Arrington: Pendergast Partnership LLC has bought 75% of Arrington Manufacturing, according to Joey Arrington, president. The deal was completed Aug. 25, said Alan Armstrong, one of five partners with Pendergast of Rowayton, Conn. Armstrong was at the Arrington plant at the Patriot Centre industrial park on Wednesday. Arrington will remain as chief executive officer, and no changes among the company's 25 employees are planned, Armstrong said. Arrington makes racing engines for Dodge cars in NASCAR's Busch and Craftsman Truck series vehicles, Armstrong said. Armstrong said Pendergast "heard about them (Arrington) and approached them" about the purchase. He would not release financial details of the deal. Joey Arrington previously denied that the company was for sale. "I was mad," he said Wednesday of the denial. "The rumor got started before I was ready to talk about" the impending sale. Arrington also said he believes that "loose lips sink ships," and that was another reason for his response.
Arrington said a press release that will be available today would explain the transaction more completely.(Martinsville Bulletin - one day link)(9-14-2006)
- Toyota submits engine: Toyota has submitted its proposed Nextel Cup engine to NASCAR but is still awaiting a response, Lee White, Toyota Racing Development senior vice president, said Monday. The Toyota teams at the "car of tomorrow" test at Michigan were using truck motors with Cup-approved carburetors. "The engine that we're using here is essentially a hot-rodded truck engine," White said. "It's a truck engine brought up to Cup power specifications. It's not the engine that we will be racing in February in Daytona." White said he presented the block and cylinder head to NASCAR two weeks ago. "It's really a matter of them getting all of the right people in one place ... to look at the parts and talk about what the engineers are seeing and make sure they agree with the box that they've described," White said. "Once that's done, I would expect that we would have final approval. At this point, there's no indication that there is any issue."(SceneDaily.com)(8-22-2006)
- Chevy engine to submit new engine: General Motors officials plan to submit their proposed new Cup engine to NASCAR executives for review in mid-August, ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline. GM hopes for a quick answer from NASCAR so that its teams can get started on the new engine if it's approved.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-26-2006)
- "Sucking Air"? engines at the Daytona 500? It's taken a while for word to leak out, but the big Daytona 500 trick this season - which NASCAR discovered but made no announcement about - concerned engines "sucking air" to gain horsepower. That's the word from a top NASCAR crew chief, who asked not to be named, and it was confirmed by a top car owner, who likewise asked not to be named. "When they did the chassis-dyno tests on the Daytona engines, they found that a number of teams had made huge gains in horsepower, from 18 to 25 more horsepower over the last chassis dyno tests of restrictor-plate engines," the crew chief said. "You couldn't pick up that much horsepower with a restrictor-plate engine if you worked for seven years on it. And those teams picked up that much in just one year? It's because they were sucking air. You wouldn't believe how many teams at Daytona were sucking air."
NASCAR rules are strict about sucking air - getting extra air into the engine cylinders by bypassing the restrictor plates that are designed to limit horsepower by choking down the air - and the penalties can be stiff. However no penalties were levied at Daytona.
One key trick apparently was semi-legal - using a steel gasket instead of an aluminum gasket, and taking advantage of the gap of 10-thousandths-of-an-inch created when engine heat distorts the steel gasket. NASCAR officials realized they had a problem when they discovered that some of Daytona's fastest qualifiers were using engines that couldn't pass NASCAR's post-qualifying manifold leak tests. NASCAR officials were unable to confirm the legality of front-row qualifiers Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon until six hours after qualifying had ended. In response, NASCAR quietly changed some of its rules for Talladega, and some teams that had qualified very fast at Daytona were noticeably slower.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-22-2006)
- New Chevy Engines: One of four proposed new Chevrolet NASCAR Cup engines - which have been under top-secret development by the Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, Childress and DEI camps - has already finished its first dyno run, according to sources, and two more versions are expected to be on the dyno in the next week or so. Chevy execs have been tight-lipped about the project, which is designed in part to meet the Toyota challenge next season. Mark Kent, GM's racing boss, and Pat Suhy, GM's NASCAR field director, would only say the new engine - whichever version is selected to be officially submitted to NASCAR by the Sept. 1 deadline - is on the fast-track. "We hope it's a Toyota-killer.... or that it's at least as good as the Toyota," Kent said. Toyota's Truck V-8 is considered the best-designed engine in NASCAR today, but NASCAR has said it will try to rein in some of the Toyota design aspects in its new Nextel Cup engine. NASCAR officials have spent more than a year articulating some 70 engine parameters in order to create a tighter box for all four manufacturers to meet in their various engine designs. However Toyota engineers have, according to their rivals, been able to. Chevrolet's engine design is the oldest on the Nextel Cup tour, OKed in 1996. A 1999 proposed redesign and a 2003 proposed redesign were both rejected by NASCAR.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-20-2006)
- Engine Dyno's at Texas: NASCAR's engine-chassis dyno was busy last night after the race [at Texas], with officials checking the rear-wheel horsepower of the cars of winner #99-Carl Edwards, #41-Casey Mears (fourth), #48-Jimmie Johnson (fifth), #38-Elliott Sadler (ninth), #2-Rusty Wallace (22nd) and #20-Tony Stewart (sixth). And #29-Kevin Harvick (16th) volunteered to have his engine checked.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-7-2005)
- Engines taken for dyno testing UPDATE: NASCAR took [borrowed?] eight engines from various cars after the race at Talladega on Sunday, including the engine of #42-McMurray.(Speed Channel's NASCAR Victory Lane/Bob Dillner)(10-3-2005)
UPDATE: After the race, NASCAR took the engines from the following cars: #20-Tony Stewart, #25-Brian Vickers, #31-Jeff Burton, #38-Elliott Sadler, #17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Ryan Newman, #42-Jamie McMurray and #9-Kasey Kahne. NASCAR will test the engines on its dyno to evaluate relative horsepower.(Speed Channel)(10-4-2005)
- Dodge fastest at the WInd Tunnel and Dyno's: Dodge teams won NASCAR's wind-tunnel testing of Chicago's top finishers [#19-Jeremy Mayfield per Speed Channel's Bob Dilner], and Jimmie Johnson's Chevy, to everyone's surprise, pulled the weakest numbers, according to NASCAR sources. Dodge's Ernie Elliott won NASCAR's engine dyno testing of Michigan's top finishers, according to other NASCAR sources. NASCAR officials completely disassembled the Michigan engines of six top finishers and weighed every part, including the block, and also weighed the entire engine assembly. Ford's Jack Roush says that NASCAR could make a minimum engine-weight rule. The Ford engine block is much heavier than others, a disadvantage.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)
- NASCAR Takes Engines to Examine UPDATE 2: Speed Channel's Bob Dilner reported on Speed News NASCAR Edition that NASCAR took ten engines from the teams after the race at Michigan. Three Dodge [#12, #9, #41], Four GM [#20, #15, #31, #48], Three Ford [#6, #17, #38]. The engines will be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, NC to determine how even the power, parts, etc are.(and from ThatsRacin.com)(6-20-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR's confiscation of engines from Michigan's top runners was unexpected, but engine men say they don't expect to get those engines back soon and that NASCAR has told them it won't be releasing any horsepower figures from its secret tests in Charlotte.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-25-2005)
UPDATE 2: On the weekend of the Michigan race, NASCAR measured the strength of engines and came away satisfied with the parity of the teams. All three manufacturers were within one horsepower of each other.(Sporting News)(7-12-2005)
- Trouble with Toyota? Honda looking? New Engine plans delayed? UPDATE: There are questions being raised about Toyota's commitment to a Busch series effort next season, and indications of a possible rift between NASCAR and the Japanese car maker about engine issues related to NASCAR's proposed engine of the future. NASCAR's meetings with the sport's four car makers about specifications for the engine of the future, tentatively designed to roll out in 2007, have been takin place since December. The Toyota engine, according to its rivals, has a technical edge in several respects, and the engine of the future project was in part designed to put all four car makers back on equal technical footing. The NASCAR-Toyota debate comes as word breaks that NASCAR and Honda are reported to be in talks for an engine program of some sort, still undefined, but apparently tied in with NASCAR's technical institute in Mooresville.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR's controversial engine of the future suddenly appears all but dead, according to engine builders and car owners, after the latest round of meetings between NASCAR executives and a few Nextel Cup team owners. However, that would lock in the current Toyota and Dodge engine designs as still technically superior to the present Ford and Chevrolet engines. And it would leave Honda - widely expected to make a run into NASCAR racing - with a clean sheet of paper to design its own new NASCAR V-8, which rivals worry would be even better than any engine in the sport right now. NASCAR's engine of the future was to have debuted at California in February 2007. Now it has been pushed back to 2009 or 2010. Add to that, word that NASCAR is apparently working with Honda on an engine development operation for the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville [NC], and it's easy to see why the NASCAR garage here has been in such turmoil the past 48 hours. On the engine front, Ford's Jack Roush says that Toyota has the best engine design in the sport at the moment and Dodge has the second-best. GM officials agree, which is one reason that GM has been promoting NASCAR's proposed new engine. Ford's Roush, however, says that such a new engine would be very expensive, though he has reluctantly hired engine designers for the project.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-6-2005)
- RCR Wins Engine Builder Showdown: Danny Lawrence and Greg Gunnell of Richard Childress Racing walked away with top honors Tuesday night after the final round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown. The winners earned $20,000 and will have their names on the new Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. Dorton was director of engine development at Hendrick Motorsports. He was killed along with nine others in the crash of a team-owned plane that was en route to a race at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 24. A scholarship fund in Dorton's name has also been established, and an eBay charity to raise money for it continues through Friday. For more information about the fund or the auction, go to www.randydorton.com.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-25-2005)
- Crate Engines at Daytona/Talladega for the Busch Series? Detroit executives have proposed to NASCAR that the sanctioning body switch to crate engines at Daytona and Talladega as a cost-cutting measure for the Busch series. Crate engines would be formula engines built to identical standards, IROC-style; they could be mass produced for maybe $8,000 apiece, considerably less than $60,000-plus Daytona/Talladega Busch engines currently used. NASCAR already hands out identical shocks and springs at Daytona and Talladega.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-2-2005)
- Engine Builder Showndown to honor Dorton: This year's final round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown will be about more than speed, precision and bragging rights, it will serve as a platform to remember the life of Randy Dorton, former director of engine development of Hendrick Motorsports. In an effort to pay tribute to one of the best engine builders in NASCAR history and further the Dorton Family's commitment of passing the torch of knowledge on to younger generations, Clevite Engine Parts, the NASCAR Technical Institute and Dianne Dorton are coming together for a very special Final Round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown. This year's final round of competition will be held once again at the prestigious NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC on Tuesday, May 24. The festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. with the start of the silent charity auction featuring incredible NASCAR memorabilia, as well as a VIP reception featuring some of Randy's closest friends in racing. The event will include the announcement of the new Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting those NTI students focusing on engine building. In addition to the silent auction, the night will include a live auction with proceeds going to the Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, and more. This year's final round should prove to be one of the most exciting in Showdown history. Mike Maiwald of Hendrick Motorsports, long time Showdown participant and last year's first runner-up, set two new engine build records this year along with his build partner, Shane Parsnow. During Round One, they set a new build record of 20 minutes and 20 seconds. They then shattered that record during Round Two with a build time of 18 minutes and 54 seconds. The previous record was established in 2002 by long time Showdown participant Danny Lawrence of Richard Childress Racing.
After Round Three, which will be held the evening of Monday, May 23, two of the following four teams will advance to the Showdown's final round.
· Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Engines
· Tom Karas and Kevin Webber of Hendrick Engines
· Mike Lanci and Jesse Hardee of Ernie Elliot Engines
· Danny Lawrence and Greg Gunnell of Richard Childress Racing
This year's Clevite Engine Builder Showdown champion team will be immortalized alongside past Showdown champions on the new Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. The trophy will be presented by Dianne Dorton and Terry Shively, vice president and general manager of Clevite Engine Parts. Anyone who wishes to make a contribution to the Randy Dorton Memorial Scholarship Fund, or donate an item for the Randy Dorton Memorial Showdown charity auction, which will be held in conjunction with the final round of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown, can visit the Randy Dorton Web site at www.randydorton.com.(PR)(4-29-2005)
- Atlanta Dyno Results: Results of NASCAR's most recent chassis dyno testing, at Atlanta, shows a few surprises. Jamie McMurray, who finished 11th, had the strongest engine (Elliott's), with 769 peak horsepower, winner Carl Edwards showed 754 horsepower. Runner-up Jimmie Johnson showed 759 horsepower. Others tested: Elliott Sadler, 764 horsepower; Ryan Newman, 763; Kasey Kahne, 758; Mark Martin, 756; Michael Waltrip, 752; Dave Blaney, 745 and Ken Schrader, 733.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-23-2005)
- Engine of the Future news, 2007? 2008?: Chevrolet engineers are expected to have their first version of NASCAR's proposed "engine of the future" ready for dyno testing by Christmas, according to Detroit sources. And Ford's Robert Yates and Jack Roush have started laying the groundwork for a new engine-development operation that would start work on a Ford version of that engine of the future.
But Roush said Ford couldn't meet a deadline of having such a new engine ready for the 2007 Daytona 500, as NASCAR has proposed. It would have to be 2008 at the earliest, Roush said.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-4-2005)
- Engine of the Future: NASCAR's proposed "engine of the future" for 2007 would be sized down to 325 c.i., about 100 horsepower smaller than the current 358 c.i. design, which has been stock-car racing's staple since 1975. NASCAR's goal is an engine that produces 700 horsepower at the flywheel (about 680 horsepower at the rear wheels). NASCAR has had three major meetings with Detroit car makers over specs for the new engine, which is being stalled by Ford Motor Company. In part of the engine discussions, NASCAR officials are looking for ways to create a secondary in-sport market for old engines. Currently there is no such hand-me-down market for slightly used, or last year's NASCAR equipment.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-21-2005)
- Update on the "engine of the future": NASCAR's "engine of the future" project may have hit another roadblock, according to Ford team owner Jack Roush, who says that fellow engine builder Doug Yates tells him NASCAR's plan would be a disaster for Ford teams. NASCAR will hold another planning meeting with Detroit executives next week to try to put some specific numbers on the 40 engine parameters NASCAR would like to pin down, to keep engine designers in a box. "I don't know what the latest iteration of the 'engine of the future' might be, but when Toyota came in (two years ago), they (NASCAR) gave Toyota more than they meant to," Roush said. "Toyota negotiated very well, and they basically obsoleted every other engine".(Winston Salem Journal)(1-20-2005)
- RCR borrows Hendrick engine AND GM's idea - never made it on the track: [Richard] Childress [teams #07, #29, #31, #33] borrowed an engine from the Rick Hendrick team [#5,#24,#25,#48] for a few laps [at Daytona 500 testing], to see if the problem was engine or aerodynamics. The Hendrick engine provided more speed.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-20-2005)
AND: What appeared to be a simple engine change caused quite a stir in the garage at Daytona. Crew members installed a Hendrick Motorsports engine into the #29 Chevrolet owned by Richard Childress Racing, which has its own engine shop. Childress said the experiment was initiated by General Motors, which supports both teams. Drivers using Hendrick engines have dominated preseason testing, and Childress' teams have struggled. Scott Riggs and Nemechek, using leased Hendrick engines, have been fastest on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The #29, driven this week by Kerry Earnhardt, who is filling in for Kevin Harvick, was 38th fastest Wednesday. The switch was not completed in time for Earnhardt to run a lap with the Hendrick engine.
AND II been told the motor wasn't borrowed but a program that we RCR is working on together with Hendrick to further develop the GM Engine and never made it on the track.(1-20-2005)
- Engine Changes Coming? Unleaded Fuel? NASCAR also began to put out word that it will ask the car factories to begin thinking about a new engine platform for introduction in the next two or three years. It was not stated whether this move indicates a move toward a more "common" engine, much as NASCAR has done with the car bodies since 2002. Even with Ford's having received cylinder heads with equivalent port heights for 2003, there remain significant differences between the engines of the three makes. Dodge, for example, has a shorter crank-to-cam dimension, allowing for shorter stroke and higher rpm. Dodge (and Toyota, in Trucks) has had the only "blueprint" engine introduced to NASCAR. The Ford and Chevrolet engines are loosely based on ancient small-block V8 designs -- Chevy's 350 and Ford's 351 -- having hence evolved over 35 years into what amount to pedigree racing engines. Unleaded fuel appears to be the prime mover, although most say that issue could be resolved on the present platform. NASCAR garage chief John Darby said all issues are on the table, although it appears unlikely NASCAR would move directly to a modern, factory-type injected engine. "We will look at any areas," he said. "Is the compression ratio right? Is the cubic inch right? Do we need eight cylinders or do we need 20?"(Speed Channel)(1-13-2005)
- Engine Contest Starts: RCR will be hosting the first round of the 2005 Clevite Engine Builders Contest this Wednesday, Jan. 5, and Thursday, Jan. 6, at RCR. There will be four builds each day, at noon, 2:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. RCR's Lanny Barnes and Todd Hamm took top honors in last year's final round. They will begin the defense of their title Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Everything kicks off Wednesday at noon when RCR's Ron Liddell and Freddie Turza go up against RCR's Wes Adams and John Goodwin. 2002 runners-up Danny Lawrence and Greg Gunnell step into the ring Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. The six quickest competitors will move on to the second round. No word on if the public is allowed to attend.(RCR PR)(1-5-2005)
- 2005 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown, Dorton honored: Clevite Engine Parts will once again shine the spotlight on NASCAR’s hidden heroes of racing by sponsoring the 2005 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown. This year, Clevite will be making one significant change to the Showdown program. 2004 marked the passing of one of the world’s greatest engine builders — Randy Dorton of Hendrick Motorsports. In memoriam, Clevite has commissioned a new perennial trophy named the Randy Dorton Memorial Trophy. Every year, the winner and his build partner will have their names engraved on the trophy, as well as receive a smaller version to add to their trophy case.
In keeping with previous competitions, 16 of NASCAR’s top engine builders will participate in the first round of the Showdown. The competing engine builders will assemble 357 cubic inch Ford engines – similar in design to those used by NASCAR’s Ford race teams. As with last year, the first round of the Showdown will serve as a qualifying round, with the eight fastest times advancing to Round 2. Engine builders from NASCAR’s top race teams will be vying for the title of Clevite Engine Builder Showdown Champion. In addition to last year's Champion Lanny Barnes of Richard Childress Racing and Runner-Up Mike Maiwald of Hendrick Motorsports (they receive an automatic bid) the field will include the following teams:
Ernie Elliot Engines
Joe Gibbs Racing
Penske Engine Company
Yates/Roush Racing Engines
Round 1 of the 2005 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown will kick off on January 5 and 6 at Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, N.C. Each participating engine builder will receive a commemorative plaque and $300. The eight fastest times will also receive a cash award of $1,000 and will advance to the second round of competition.
Clevite is hosting Round 2 in Daytona during Preseason Thunder, January 19 and 22. The winners of Round 2 will receive cash awards of $1,500 and will proceed to Round 3, which awards $2,000 to each winning engine builder. The location of Round 3 is yet to be determined.
The fourth and final round will be held in May 2005 and will take place at the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) in Mooresvile, N.C. The final round’s first runner-up will receive a cash award of $5,000. The first-place winner will receive a cash award of $20,000 and will be dubbed the 2005 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown 2005 Champion.
Race fans and engine building enthusiasts will be able to check the results of the various rounds by going to the Clevite Engine Parts web site at www.engineparts.com. For the last two years, Showdown fans have also been able to view highlights of the Showdown on the Speed Channel. Since 1990, Clevite Engine Parts has presented the Clevite Engine Builder Challenge Series in which NASCAR’s top engine builders compete to see who can assemble and run an engine the fastest. In 2000, the series developed into a structured and tiered competition with a total prize package worth over $50,000 and has become a huge hit with both engine builders and racing fans across the country.(Speed Channel)(12-19-2004)
- Randy Dorton/Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown: The event began with a moment of silence, but the roar of 600-horsepower engines soon filled the room as Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group employees gathered this week for the third annual Randy Dorton/Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. Sponsored by Dana Corp., the two-day contest teamed Hendrick Motorsports engine builders with Hendrick Automotive Group certified master technicians for head-to-head competition. Twelve pairs were clocked until their respective powerplant established a one-minute run after complete assembly, with the shortest elapsed time taking home first-place honors. Monday's qualifying round set the grid for Tuesday's finals, with the team of Jon Young and Mike Maiwald posting a build of 20 minutes, 52 seconds to tie the event record and earn the victory. Young is a Hendrick certified master tech from Gwinnett Place Honda in Atlanta, while Maiwald, of Hendrick Motorsports, is NASCAR's defending Engine Builder of the Year. For his efforts, Young was presented with an all-expenses-paid trip to the February 2005 events at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Runner-up Vince Bonfiglio, who teamed with Larry Zentmeyer, was also presented with a Daytona vacation package. Bonfiglio represented Hendrick BMW of Charlotte." This is a wonderful event that recognizes the > '> best of the best> '> in our industry," said Jim Perkins, Hendrick Automotive Group CEO. "It gives us the opportunity to bring the two companies together and acknowledge the contributions of our top-level staff." The brainchild of Rick Hendrick and the late Randy Dorton, the Showdown draws from more than 800 Automotive Group technicians, taking the 12 that are deemed most qualified by a one-of-a-kind Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exam created specifically for Hendrick employees. Those 12 are then paired with Hendrick Motorsports engine builders. Hendrick is owner of NASCAR operation Hendrick Motorsports, and chairman of the Hendrick Automotive Group, an organization comprised of 64 car dealerships across the United States, from the Carolinas to California. Dorton, recognized as one of the most gifted engine builders in NASCAR history, won nine championships during his two-decade tenure as head of Hendrick Motorsports' engine department before tragically losing his life Oct. 24. The Showdown was officially renamed in his honor shortly afterward. A silent moment of remembrance opened the competition at the Hendrick Motorsports Museum in Charlotte, and many of the participants wore red -- Dorton' s favorite color -- throughout the two-day experience.(HMS PR)(11-20-2004)
- Engine Builders Combine Forces: Peter Guild, President of Pro-Motor Engines, and Mark Smith, President of Tri-Star Motorsports, announced the merger of their companies. This new alliance will combine the knowledge and technical expertise of two of the top independent engine building staffs in order to better serve the growing demand for quality racing and corporate engine development in the NASCAR, Grand-Am and manufacturer communities. The collaboration will provide the best machinery and resources of both companies under one roof. This partnership will operate as Pro-Motor Engines and conduct business from Pro-Motor’s existing facility in Mooresville. Pro-Motor Engines has a rich history of supplying engines to many of the top NASCAR and road racing teams. Founded in Elk Grove Village, IL in 1975, Pro-Motor moved to North Carolina in 1989 and quickly became one of the most successful independent engine builders, winning 12 NASCAR Winston Cup races including the prestigious Brickyard 400 with Ricky Rudd in 1997. Tri-Star Motorsports has been supplying engines to racing competitors since 1989, achieving success in all levels of NASCAR. Tri-Star has won numerous pole awards in the Cup, Busch & Truck series, including the coveted pole for the 1994 Daytona 500 with rookie driver Loy Allen, Jr. In addition, Tri-Star has recorded 8 Craftsman Truck Series wins and 2 Craftsman Truck Series Championships with IWX Racing in 2002 and 2003.(BGNRacing.com)(10-19-2004)
- Sadler to run one of the new Ford engines at Pocono: Elliott Sadler will have one of Doug Yates' new Ford D-3 engines this weekend, which should make him one of the favorites Sunday, particularly as strong as he ran at Charlotte two weeks ago. "Doug has taken a lot of pride, and all the guys, in that motor, and I think everybody will be pleased," Sadler said. "For the guys that have never had Yates horsepower at Pocono, I think they're going to be very happy." Sadler said that it has not yet been decided which of the other seven Jack Roush and Robert Yates teams will run the new D-3 and which will stay with the established C-model engine. The D-3, Robert Yates says, should be well suited to Pocono because it likes a low gear. Yates said, if he couldn't run one of the new engines at Pocono he might just go fishing this weekend.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-11-2004)
- Ford Engines at Dover: haven't heard for sure, but heard on an XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio interview with #21 crew chief, Ben Leslie says none of the Fords will be using the new Ford cylinder heads at Dover.(6-5-2004)
- Engine Stuff: Garage sources told TFR [Team Ford Racing] that NASCAR is advising the teams and the manufacturers, to start thinking about next generation motors and that they should get concepts ready for discussion sometime in the future. The message was delivered that NASCAR is looking to go to a “small box” (tight tolerance) motor, but no specifics as to what the sanctioning body might be seeking were advanced during the initial conversations. Apparently everything is in play. Even displacement seems to a “work in progress,” according to one Detroit engine designer. This engine builder went on to suggest that now might be the time to tone down the motor’s capability. But that’s a discussion that will spark debate as some engine men, including as Yates, like a smaller cubic inch displacement configuration as an option/ Meanwhile, others believe a smaller carburetor, maybe fuel injection, is a better way to go. These talks look to be very preliminary in nature, with the timing of any changes being a couple of years off, possibly to coincide with Toyota’s expected appearance in the Cup Series in 2007.(Team Ford Racing)(5-30-2004)
- Engine Competition UPDATE: there was some sort of Engine Competition at NASCAR Institute between Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. XM Satellite NASCAR Radio reports that RCR had the fatest time of 19:52, but nothing is official yet barring penalties.(5-26-2004)
UPDATE: Lanny Barnes and Todd Hamm of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) defeated Mike Maiwald and Shane Parsnow of Hendrick Motorsports Tuesday night in the final round of the 2004 Clevite Engine Builder Showdown. The four-round competition, which began in January at Hendrick Motorsports in Charlotte, N.C., and concluded with the final round at the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C., requires each team build an engine from the block up and specifies that it run for one minute. The RCR team turned in a time of 19:52 minutes while the Hendrick team finished in 20.33 minutes. Each team was penalized one minute for a rules infraction (the RCR team cross-threaded an oil pan nut), canceling what would have been a record time for Barnes. RCR has won two of the last three final rounds of the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown. Danny Lawrence, RCR's assistant engine shop manager, won the event in 2002 and was runner-up last year. Barnes defeated Lawrence in the semifinals this year. Lawrence owns the record time for the build, 20:26 minutes, which he established during the 2002 competition. This was Barnes' fourth appearance in the competition and first time in the final. Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR, attended as an analyst for The Speed Channel's coverage of the event, which is scheduled to air July 18 at 8:00pm/et.(RCR PR)(5-26-2004)
- New Ford Engine Heads to debut at All-Star Race: Ford Racing's new engine will make its debut this week in the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The old model is worn out," engine builder/team owner Robert Yates says. "Hopefully, we'll have equal power against the competition in (the Challenge). We can only get 90 percent with the cars, we need the extra 10 percent that the engine can deliver. This is a move to take Ford, Ford engineering and Ford design back where they need to be." Ford was expecting four engines would be available for competition, but which drivers would receive the new power plants had not been determined.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-17-2004)
- Dyno Numbers from Talladega: NASCAR tested six cars on the chassis dyno after the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway: #12-Dodge, #42-Dodge, #24-Chevy, #8-Chevy, #21-Ford and #6-Ford. Reports are that the #21 Ford was at 419 measured bhp and the #8-Chevy at 415 bhp at the rear wheels. No word on the rest of the results.(Speedway Scene Magazine - print May 7th issue)(5-15-2004)
- New Ford Cylinder Head at Lowe's? NASCAR approved a new cylinder head for Ford this season, but it hasn't been used yet. Team Owner Robert Yates said testing has been fruitful and the new engine package should run in next weekend's Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "The engine ran good at Kentucky," Yates said. "We'd like to have 2,000 miles on it. We've had two or three of the engines that first tested at Vegas that weren't something we wanted to have. There's still some issues. We've finally got it to where, 'I like this.' This is going to give us less of a handicap than what we are to do. It's going to be a must-have in the next two weeks. Our 12-year-old engine is about worn out. Hopefully, we'll see it in The Winston next week with a new, modern take."(NASCAR.com)(5-15-2004)
- No New Ford Engine Heads...yet: According to Robert Yates [#38 and #88 Team Owner] the new generation Ford cylinder head will not be used here at the California Speedway. This fact overrides engine designer Doug Yates’ hopes. The new cylinder head is still several weeks awary from being run in competition; and then only in a limited number of cars. But it has been tested several times at Kentucky Speedway for durability; and returned good results.(Ford Racing)(5-1-2004)
- Update on the New Ford Engine Heads UPDATE: Even though the NASCAR Ford Racing teams were granted a new cylinder head at the end of the 2003 season, the piece has not yet made an appearance in a Cup event. Reliability testing is the final hurdle as the engine builders work to ensure that the new piece is as robust as the old one. The old head, with its roots dating back to the very early 1990's, is certainly a proven piece that shows few failures in the casting. It is this reliability that Doug Yates and the Ford engine group are trying to translate into the new part. Slowing the process, however, is the fact that the teams need to race every week, and that alone creates a considerable amount of work with which the engine builders keep up. "Yes we have been working on the new heads. That's what we see as our future," Doug Yates told Team Ford Racing. "To this point we've worked extremely hard on our restrictor plate engines and did well and we've worked extremely hard at getting enough engines in the system to get to the race track with this current engine. That set us back a little bit on the production of our new engine. We know what we need and it's coming soon. The problem right now is that we've got a pretty good package with that engine, we've just got to get the new package tested and race track proven before we jump out there and have problems. The number one goal is to not have any failures." With event points as difficult as they are to come by Yates' approach of maintaining reliability is vital. TFR asked Yates about the option of transient dyno cells, which can torture an engine using real data gathered from a test session to manipulate the throttle and load as it would if a driver was manipulating the pedal in the car. "We don't have a transient dyno," Yates said of his engine shop facilities. "Some of the teams do and that's probably a real advantage. Ford Motor Company actually has one that's at our disposal." Yates then suggested that some ancillary issues could arise out of the use of a transient dyno, issues that could lead a builder on a wild chase. Giving an estimate as to when the new cylinder head might make its first appearance, Yates speculated, "I think Fontana is a pretty good date for when we need to have something on the race track. That's four or five weeks out right now."(in part from Ford Racing)(3-27-2004)
UPDATE - More on Ford cylinder heads: Robert Yates, whose organization fields cars driven by Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler, is eager to run the new Team Ford Racing cylinder heads, but the current port heights don't fit NASCAR regulations. Ford hopes the new engine can make its debut at the May 2 race at California Speedway.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(3-29-2004)
- New Ford Engines/Heads...not until California in May? It was reported during the PRN's Pit Reporters radio show [Jayski is rumored to be on a future show] that the new Ford heads would not run until the race at California Speedway on May 2nd.
UPDATE:.......And Roush thanked fellow engine man Robert Yates for helping pump up his engines, by perhaps as much as 40 horsepower. "We've had a chance to put together the best elements of both programs, and we're about 80 percent of having everything together," Roush said. "There was more improvement by marrying these two programs than in the new cylinder heads. I think we'll have the new cylinder heads ready for the California race (May 2), possibly by Texas (April 7)."(Winston Salem Journal)(3-8-2004)
- Roush/Yates Engine Woes Update: Reigning series champion #17-Matt Kenseth said Roush Racing has determined what caused the engine failures in teammates #6-Mark Martin and #99-Jeff Burton last weekend in Daytona and is confident the problem is corrected. Kenseth said each engine had something different wrong with it.(Fayetteville Observer), however, was not specific on what that something was.(2-22-2004)
- 6 Cars to thr Dyno: NASCAR put six cars on the chassis dynamoeter, which measures rear-wheel horsepower, following Sunday's race. Those tested were the cars of #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #20-Tony Stewart, #22-Scott Wimmer, #29-Kevin Harvick, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #88-Dale Jarrett.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-15-2004)
- Numbers from the Dyno after the Twins: NASCAR's chassis dyno runs after Thursday's 125-mile qualifying races showed the gap between the winners and the others to be sizable. Elliott Sadler's Ford engine pulled 422 horsepower at the rear wheels, a bit more than the Chevy motors of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Tony Stewart's motor was at 409.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-14-2004)
- More on the 'common' engine: NASCAR is expected to release specs for its proposed "engine of the future" sometime later this year, partly in response to Toyota, partly to get all the manufacturers on the same timetable for new engine parts, and eliminate some griping. Engine men are approaching the situation warily.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-13-2004)
- Engine Rule at Daytona: the engine rule is a little different at Daytona 500 [just like qualifying] then the other 35 races, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session (Feb. 7th) through the twin-125 mile qualifying races (Feb. 12). If a team makes a change, then it must start at the rear of the twin 125 field. After the twin 125 races, teams can make an engine change before the next day's practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the. So far #19-Mayfield is the only one to change an engine, so he will fall to the rear of whatever twin 125 he runs in.(2-8-2004)
- Template Engine? Expect to see a common-template engine from NASCAR before the end of this season, Hendrick Motorsports head engineer Randy Dorton says. Plans that could lead to common engines in Nextel Cup for 2005 are being discussed.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(1-26-2004)
- Toyota Unveils Tundra Racing V8 at SEMA Show: The SEMA Show unveiling of the Tundra Racing V8 for the Toyota Tundra race truck represents one of the most critical steps in Toyota's journey to NASCAR's victory lane. It follows a historic press conference at the 2003 Chicago Auto Show where Toyota first rolled out a race-prepared Tundra pickup to formally announce its plans to begin participation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The normally aspirated, Tundra Racing V8 engine was designed entirely in America by Toyota Racing Development. TRD's technical capabilities came to the forefront as they designed and produced "from a clean sheet of paper," an overhead valve racing engine in a remarkably short period of time. The engine design focused on high quality, performance, lightweight, reliability, and ease of manufacture. Measuring 358 cubic inches of displacement, the V8 is capable of producing up to 650 horsepower. The cast aluminum cylinder head and cast iron cylinder block both use a computer-optimized cooling system. The engine is also equipped with forged aluminum pistons, forged steel connecting rods, and a high strength billet steel crankshaft. Its fuel pump and exhaust were each developed by TRD. The engine's Craftsman Series debut will take place at historic Daytona International Speedway in February 2004 where it will be represented by at least six American-built Tundra race trucks. Team affiliations will be determined soon [see my Truck Series site for what I have heard, including drivers]. TRD will design, develop, and build the Craftsman Truck Tundra V8 to NASCAR specifications in its Costa Mesa, Calif., facility.(Motorsports Forum)(11-9-2003)
- Ford Heads Approved UPDATE: NASCAR has approved new engine cylinder heads for Fords for the 2004 season, giving the car builder its first major motor adjustment in a decade. The technology has changed over the years, and now it's more like they're letting Ford catch up in certain areas where they were restricted," said Ford team owner Len Wood. The change should increase Ford's horsepower potential significantly.(Greensville News)(11-7-2003)
UPDATE: Many Ford engine builders are walking around the North Carolina Motor Speedway garage with smiles on their faces. The remarkable attitude at the end of the long hard fought season is thanks to seven words spoken by NASCAR Winston Cup director John Darby — "The Ford cylinder head has been approved." It's been a long time since Ford was granted a new cylinder head, with the last approval for a new piece coming in 1992. Since then a lot has happened under the hood in the sport, including the GM camp getting the SB2 cylinder several years ago and Dodge designing the purpose built P7 for their Winston Cup program in 2000. The Dodge and Chevrolet engine cylinder heads have shared a common critical dimension in port height with the Ford engine giving up ground in this area since the introduction of the SB2. This lack of port height real estate limits power development and has made life tough for Ford engine builders as they coaxed an incremental horsepower or two from an 11 year old piece.(see full story at the Ford Racing site)
AND NASCAR has OKed a new cylinder head with a raised intake port that Ford has been requesting for four years. And Chevy teams weren't really complaining that much. According to sources, NASCAR rejected a manifold that Ford had wanted paired with the cylinder heads, but Roush insisted that no such manifold had been requested.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-8-2003)
- Ford Engine Updates: Ford has been working very diligently with NASCAR to try to improve their engine program. That's going to consist of a new cylinder head, and they've also requested a new block. NASCAR has not approved either one yet.(FoxSports). This is all I know about the Ford Heads.(10-27-2003)
- Toyota Engine Heads disallowed? Toyota's new engine-cylinder heads have been disallowed by NASCAR, throwing that camp into turmoil. The new heads, according to one engine man, are worth 50 extra horsepower.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-13-2003)
- Why Chevy Engine Not Approved? Doug Duchardt, GM's new racing boss, said that NASCAR's decision not to legalize the new R-99 engine for truck racing next season will put Chevrolet teams at a disadvantage to newcomer Toyota. 'We want to be on an equal footing when we race against Toyota, and the thing we're most disappointed in is we think we'll be put at a technical disadvantage off the bat, and we're not comfortable with that and don't like it,' Duchardt said. Duchardt said he doesn't know why NASCAR is barring the R-99, an engine under development since 1999. 'They were comfortable where we were with the dimensions. But it was never officially approved for competition. Jack Roush said we were, but he doesn't make that decision.' GM resubmitted the R-99 a few weeks ago, in machine-cast versions, to give NASCAR the opportunity to OK it if Toyota's V-8 blows away the competition. Duchardt denied the report that NASCAR's decision to kill the R-99 engine was made when GM wouldn't agree to supply the engines to all truck teams next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-11-2003)
- New Ford Engine: Ford officials said they have talked to NASCAR about submitting a new engine. "We're heading towards submitting a piece of hardware by the deadline, which we're shooting for a September-October time frame," said Greg Specht, North American Operations Manager, Ford Racing Technology. "It's going to be nothing radical and, frankly, nothing they haven't seen before, but it's going to give our engine builders some new ground to work on and to catch up with our competitors."(Roanoke Times)(8-4-2003)
- Why No Fuel Injection In NASCAR? Steve Peterson, NASCAR's technical director for Winston Cup, said one of the main reasons NASCAR hasn't switched to a fuel-injection engine is the belief that it would be harder to control rules violations. "Fuel injection can be very difficult to police once it gets beyond the basic computer controls and programming," Peterson said. "Computer code must be downloaded, analyzed and verified, and it will always be suspect. Fuel injection is a real opportunity to tune the system and attempt to add in driver aids and devices beyond the technology limits." But other racing series are using fuel-injected engines without any problems. Making the switch would mean many NASCAR inspectors would need to be retrained, as would many of the mechanics who work in the sport. Even if NASCAR stays with the push-rod, carburetor engines indefinitely, the way the engines are produced could undergo changes. Most teams build their own engines from components supplied by the manufacturers. Some smaller teams lease engines from a team that builds motors. Toyota might want to do it the way it has in other racing series – build engines in house and supply them to teams through a sale or lease agreement. That could eliminate a lot of jobs in NASCAR, but it also could reduce the costs of team owners.(Dallas Morning News)(6-28-2003)
- More Engine stuff: Ssome in the NASCAR GM camp at MIS were already bracing for the barbs that'll likely be coming their way after it's officially announced that Ford's Cosworth engine group will help Chevrolet overcome their horsepower deficit the IRL series. GM, which has been looking at the back ends of the Toyota and Honda entries all season in IRL events, should announce.mid-week that Cosworth will be the answer to GM's power problems in that series. One positive spin could be for the GM folks to look it is American forces joining with the English for the second time this year to keep America safe from oversees oppression --- or perhaps the gearing up for the reality of the 2006 Cup season.(6-17-2003)
- Toyota Engine Heads Approved UPDATE: So three weeks ago, when NASCAR gave a thumbs up for Toyota's new 358 cylinder heads for next year's Truck tour, NASCAR also approved a brand new General Motors engine [R99], block and all - first for next year's Truck tour and then for the Winston Cup tour when Toyota jumps in. And NASCAR has told Ford to get cracking and come up with some new engine stuff, too. The deadline to have something approved is Aug. 1.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2003)
UPDATE: Been told that NASCAR does not have a final submission from GM on the R99 and that all that been seen from Toyota, as of Pocono, was the rapid prototype pieces and that they've got to give NASCAR aluminum heads and steel block.before the piece is "approved".(6-15-2003)
- New Chevy Engine: NASCAR tentatively approved the new R99 engine General Motors wants to use in the Craftsman Truck Series next year. The R99 is expected to generate more horsepower than the current SB2 engine, but GM is more focused on durability. The R99 has larger camshafts and more bore spacing that is similar to the engine Dodge uses now and that Toyota will run in 2004. If the R99 performs well, GM will push to use it in Winston Cup races in 2005, but NASCAR isn't likely to grant approval before Toyota joins the Cup series.(Sporting News)(6-9-2003)
- Roush Engine Problem? Overly aggressive engine tuning and oil starvation: Immediately following Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which saw four of the six teams using Roush Racing engines fall from the race, Jack Roush summoned his team of top level engineers in Livonia, Mich. and set out for Concord, N.C. on a mission — search out, identify and remedy the causes that forced the cars from the race. Roush was relieved when the engine teardown revealed that only overly aggressive engine tuning and oil starvation triggered the engine failures. "The good news is that none of the very substantial horsepower gains that we have been making caused any of our problems. The bad news is that the tuning mistake was my own. Now I know how Rick Hendrick's engine guy felt after Talladega last fall," said Roush. "I hurt pistons on the No. 6, No. 21,and No. 97 by tuning for fuel economy that just wasn't attainable for Atlanta and the No. 99's problem derived from a new oil pan that resulted in oil starvation," continued Roush. Roush says he is very pleased with the progress made by his engine department during the past year. "Our 10 wins in 2002, including wins at horsepower tracks like Atlanta, Homestead, Charlotte and Texas, and our strong start in 2003 demonstrates the strength in our engine program." (more at Ford Racing)(3-12-2003)
- In Search of the Perfect Piston: A Western Carolina University senior is helping a NASCAR team in its search for the perfect piston. Preston McCrary's senior project aims to use tools at the school's Center for Rapid Prototyping to measure pistons for the Andy Petree Racing team to within two one-thousandths of a millimeter. McCrary said knowing the specific geometry of each piston could give the racing a team a competitive advantage within the tightly-ruled world of NASCAR. McCrary's partner, Greg Siler of Salisbury, also a manufacturing engineering technology major, said he sees the potential to create a "perfect piston" by comparing pistons from exceptional racing engines to normal production pistons. The chief engineer for the Flat Rock-based racing team, Jon Dysinger, was tightlipped about what the team plans to do with the students' research. "It will be interesting to see what these guys are able to come up with," Dysinger said. Even Western Carolina assistant professor Richard Temple, who negotiated the project with Andy Petree Racing, said he is not allowed to talk about the specifics of McCrary and Siler's research. Christian Fittipaldi is driving part-time for the Petree racing team in 2003. Representing Petree in the No. 33 car, Fittipaldi finished 35th in last month's Daytona 500. McCrary admits he's not much of a racing fan. A 1990 graduate of Hendersonville High School, his studies at Western Carolina were interrupted by a stint in the Army, where he was a turbo mechanic, and time working as a diesel mechanic and for Weaverville's water treatment plant. He hopes to go on to graduate school or land a manufacturing job.(Charlotte Observer/AP)(3-4-2003)
- GM says no way for new engine: Doug Duchardt, GM's NASCAR field manager, dismissed Robert Yates' proposal that NASCAR consider a new engine for the stock-car tour within the next five years, saying it's just a publicity move for Ford's new 4.2-liter double overhead cam engine, used in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Duchardt said that an engine like that, when prepped for NASCAR racing, "would produce 1,000 horsepower." And Duchardt says that the proposal to move toward fuel injection instead of carburetion probably won't fly.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-3-2003)
- Fuel Injection in NASCAR? Whatever Detroit is selling on the NASCAR tour this season, it's certainly not cars, and it's certainly not engines. NASCAR's common-template creation has almost nothing in common with anything on the street. Every piece of a Winston Cup car now is specially made. And when was the last time anyone bought a [New] passenger car with a 358-c.i. engine with a carburetor? Nevertheless, Detroit's presence in NASCAR is huge. And if the men in the suits in the suites of America's car capital are really paying attention to what's going on down here, and not simply laying out new full-page ads celebrating victory in USA Today, then Detroit's presence may soon be getting bigger. Why? Toyota.
So is that why Ford's Robert Yates is suddenly so interested in pushing NASCAR to approve a new, exotic race engine? Yates, the legendary engine builder and #38/88 car owner, is talking about NASCAR's need for a new-generation engine. The two current designs used on the Winston Cup tour are based on the 1955 Chevrolet V-8 small block and the 1969 Ford 351 small block. What Yates has been working on would be radical departure from those carburetor motors: A four-valve, double-overhead cam 4.6 liter. One of his motors just ran in the 24 Hours of Daytona, and, Yates said, "These things would do fine right here today," referring to the Winston Cup tour. "They make all the horsepower we need or more, at considerably less cost. And it's been enlightening for me to work on them," Yates said. "We felt proud in the 1960s and early 1970s that some of our technology went back to the manufacturers. But since then we've really sort of disconnected. There's not much stock about our engines. I feel like we're just working on dinosaurs. There is a lot of technology we use on the engines today, and I don't want anybody to think we're running with 1955 technology. But I just think we can accomplish the same thing with something that's built by the manufacturer. That's when the price comes down. Despite the expected dubious reaction from NASCAR executives to such an exotic piece, Yates said, "It would actually give them better control over what's going on." Yates said he talked with NASCAR officials last month during the 24 Hours, and he says he felt he sold Gary Nelson, NASCAR's director of competition, on part of the concept. Yates suggests that NASCAR might consider approving the engine for the tour's four restrictor- plate races, "because that's an engine program of its own. It would be a good place to introduce this engine.(Full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(2-20-2003)
- Plate Problems? Some Winston Cup crew chiefs are critical of NASCAR's new system for pre-race selection of the crucial carburetor restrictor plates. Ever since NASCAR went to the air-choking plates to cut speeds at the tour's two biggest tracks some 15 years ago, drivers and crews have at times questioned just how fair that selection process might be, with rumors frequently rampant about a particular driver getting just the right plate. That issue is once again being raised in the garage, with the lack of randomness of the selection at particular issue.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-17-2003)
- Common Engines? Expect NASCAR to explore the use of common engines. The manufacturers initially had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the common template approach, and they could react the same way to the possibility of common engines. But that certainly would make Toyota's entrance to Winston Cup easier.(Sporting News)(2-5-2003)
- Engine Rules at Daytona: The number of engines a team will be allowed to use will be limited at Daytona next month, said John Darby, Winston Cup series director. Last season, the series' one-engine rule began after last year's Daytona 500. This year, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session (Feb. 8) through the twin-125 mile qualifying races (Feb. 13). If a team makes a change, then it must start at the rear of the field "at the minimum," Darby said. After the twin 125 races, teams can make an engine change before the next day's practice session. After that, they risk a similar penalty for changing engines.(News and Record)(1-18-2003)
- Engine stuff UPDATE 3: the word is that Dodge's Ray Evernham may be supplementing his own in-house engine operation by signing up for a Penske engine leasing program with Penske's engine man Larry Wallace..(Winston Salem Journal)(8-24-2002)
UPDATE: Larry Wallace may be taking over command of the engine program for Ray Evernham's three teams, according to Detroit sources. Wallace has been the Ford engine builder for years for Rusty Wallace (no relation), but his contract with the Roger Penske team is reported to be up at the end of this season.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-25-2002)
UPDATE 2: hearing Larry Wallace has left Penske Racing, no word....yet...on where he many go...Evernham?(12-19-2002)
UPDATE 2: Sources say Larry Wallace, who until recently was chief builder for Penske South, has been approached by Toyota, although that could not be confirmed.(Speed Channel)(1-11-2003)
- Engine Rules Clarified: NASCAR officials handed out a technical bulletin this weekend that clarified issues with the one-engine rule. The rule had stated that when a team changed engines during a race weekend, it had to start at the rear of the field if it qualified for the race. Now, if a driver wrecks during the practice session before qualifying and has to go to a backup car, the team can change engines and is not forced to start at the rear of the field if it makes the race. If a car blows its engine during practice before qualifying, the old rule remains - the resulting engine change forces the team to start at the rear of the field if it qualifies for the race. If a driver wrecks during or anytime after qualifying and has to go to a backup car, the team is not penalized for the engine change. In those situations, the team would start at the rear of the field for using a different car than was used in qualifying.(Roanoke Times)(4-29-2002)
- One Engine Rule for 2002 UPDATE 3: starting in the 2002 season, Cup teams must use the same engine to qualify and race, NASCAR announced Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. In the event the engine used to qualify the car does not start the race, then at the desretion of the Winston Cup Series director, the starting position will be relinquished and the car will drop to the rear of the field prior to the start of the race. According to NASCAR, certain events during the 2002 season may require ammendments to this rule, such as the Gatorade Twin 125-mile qualifying races and the Coca-Cola 600, due its length.(NASCAR.com)(10-14-2001)
UPDATE: NASCAR has decided to allow teams to change engines following qualifying Feb. 9 for the Daytona 500. Beginning this season, teams are required to use the same engine for qualifying and the race. The move for Daytona was made because of the 125-mile qualifying races held prior to the race.(That's Racin')(1-8-2002)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR's one-engine rule makes its debut this weekend [at Rockingham]. Teams must use the same engine to qualify, practice and race. If a team must replace an engine before the race, its driver is dropped to the back of the field at the start.(Sporting News)(2-19-2002)
UPDATE 3: The single-engine rule requires Cup teams to use the same engine in practice, qualifying and the race itself on a given weekend. Any team suffering an engine failure AFTER qualifying will be forced to go to the back of the field for the start of the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(2-22-2002)
BEEN ASKED: can a team change an engine prior to qualifying or during the first practice on Friday? Have seen conflicting columns on what the rule really says - some say the rule takes effect AFTER qualifying and some say one engine for ALL practices, qualifying and the race. So not sure what happens if a team loses an engine in the early practice, sure we will find out soon enough.(2-22-2002)
AND about changing parts...NASCAR’s rule doesn’t prohibit teams from replacing parts on the engine, such as valve springs, intake manifolds, lifters, rocker arms, cam shafts, etc. Heads nor the engine block CANNOT be changed.(2-24-2002)
More One Engine News UPDATE 4: NASCAR yesterday tightened its one-engine rule, requiring teams to get NASCAR approval for any engine change. Some teams have been practicing with one engine, then changing for qualifying.(Winston Salem Journal). Previously, teams could use a different engine for the first practice session but couldn't change engines once the car was qualified unless gaining approval from NASCAR.(News and Record)(3-17-2002)
UPDATE 5: On Saturday, NASCAR said it was amending his single engine rule to include possible reduction in owner and driver points to teams that change engines.(Augusta Chronicle)(3-18-2002)
- More One Engine News UPDATE: NASCAR yesterday tightened its one-engine rule, requiring teams to get NASCAR approval for any engine change. Some teams have been practicing with one engine, then changing for qualifying.(Winston Salem Journal). Previously, teams could use a different engine for the first practice session but couldn't change engines once the car was qualified unless gaining approval from NASCAR.(News and Record)(3-17-2002)
UPDATE: On Saturday, NASCAR said it was amending his single engine rule to include possible reduction in owner and driver points to teams that change engines.(Augusta Chronicle)(3-18-2002)
- Engine rules help for the Coca Cola 600? NASCAR may make an exception to the one-engine rule for the Coca-Cola 600, which is preceded by three days of practice.(Charleton Post and Courier)(3-17-2002)
- Practice Engines at Atlanta? Roller Cams coming? UPDATE One Engine Rule here to stay, no practice engines: Ganassi Racing's engine builder Tony Santanicola mentions "We might get a practice motor at Atlanta (if NASCAR relents), but we're going to get one for sure at places like Pocono and the 600 at Charlotte. I don't know about Michigan and Atlanta yet. But I put in my two cents for practice motors at those two tracks. They need to give us practice motors." AND Next year's engines may have a new twist, roller cams, an endurance concept used in the BGN for several years.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-27-2002)
UPDATE - One Engine Rule here to stay: NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said it was unlikely that Winston Cup teams would receive any practice engines at larger tracks this season, except for the possibility of one being used for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May. NASCAR instituted a "one engine" rule this season, which took effect last weekend at Rockingham. Teams use one engine all weekend and if they change engines before the race, they must start the race from the rear of the field. "Charlotte may be the only race we use them at," Hunter said. "We heard some talk from the teams going into Rockingham, but this week, we haven't heard any requests. "I think the rule was tested at Rockingham and (Las Vegas) will be a good test. These guys aren't building motors to blow up. Any of the motors we lost at Rockingham weren't a result of longevity or miles."(ThatsRacin.com)(3-2-2002)
- One Engine Rule for 2002: starting in the 2002 season, Cup teams must use the same engine to qualify and race, NASCAR announced Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. In the event the engine used to qualify the car does not start the race, then at the desretion of the Winston Cup Series director, the starting position will be relinquished and the car will drop to the rear of the field prior to the start of the race. According to NASCAR, certain events during the 2002 season may require ammendments to this rule, such as the Gatorade Twin 125-mile qualifying races and the Coca-Cola 600, due its length.(NASCAR.com)(10-14-2001)