NASCAR Looking To Curb Sprint Cup Car Horsepower

NASCAR Looking To Curb Sprint Cup Car Horsepower

by April 3, 2014 0 comments

 Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

NASCAR is considering making future reductions to the amount of horsepower produced by the engines in the Sprint Cup Series.

Massive aerodynamic changes were implemented with the introduction of NASCAR’s sixth-generation Sprint Cup vehicle into competition last year; now it appears that engine changes are on the way as well. NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition, Robin Pemberton, revealed at Auto Club Speedway that NASCAR was looking into curbing the amount of horsepower that the Sprint Cup cars’ 5.8-liter engines produce.

“It’s as much getting more use out of the engines as it is reducing horsepower. They kind of feed of of each other,” Pemberton said. “There’s no guarantee horsepower may or may not do anything for the quality of racing, but it will allow us to do other things.”

Pemberton also revealed that NASCAR was working closely with the car manufacturers that are represented in the sport on the proposed changes. Both Chevrolet and Toyota proposed that NASCAR go down from a 5.8-liter engine to a 5.0-liter engine while Ford suggested the use of tapered spacers, such as the ones used in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. There has been no confirmation yet on whether any of these suggestions will be a part of NASCAR’s changes.

After an appearance on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France divulged more details of the proposed engine changes.

“We’re going to make that happen, and that’s part of the overall rules packages that we design that hopefully control costs, hopefully making 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.”

An engine that is currently used in the Sprint Cup Series produces 850 horsepower. With proposed reductions of up to 15-percent of the current power, teams may be running engines that produce roughly around 720 horsepower. Of course, we could very well see reductions of between 50-100 horsepower instead.

This proposal won’t just provide a major change for race teams’ engine departments, but for their accounting departments as well. Running less horsepower will be less taxing for an engine, and with less power being exerted by the power-plants, teams will be able to better preserve their engines for re-use in the future. Running less powerful engines will also allow the cars to run on less fuel, saving the sport and not just the teams money as well.

As to whether or not we’ll see the new engine packages out by next season, France did not explicitly state that the debut for the new proposed rules would be implemented by then.

“I’m not going to say (for) ’15, but we are certainly sizing it up,” he continued. “It’s very important for us to get that right.”


Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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