Post Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:53 pm

NASCAR considering reducing horsepower to Cup cars next seas

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)
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