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NASCAR engine changes detailed

March 4th, 2009

In a post at the Petty Racing site, “SpacemanSpiff” described why Petty Racing is not using the new Mopar NASCAR engine, as Penske is.

Several factors are involved. First, it appears that development was curtained by GEM for a time due to doubts about Dodge’s continued NASCAR involvement and Gillette’s commitment to Dodge.


The new engine, R6P8, is the sixth generation R-block and eighth generation polyspherical head; it is very different from the previous generation, and requires a major redesign to the car. The engine is also 100 pounds lighter, so the weight distribution in the cars needs to change, requiring more development time and making it inappropriate, again, to attempt to put the new engines into cars designed for the existing ones.

NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, according to this source, is less forgiving regarding handling and weight distribution, and there is a ban on testing at NASCAR tracks, which makes the situation more difficult. Penske did run the engine last year in some races, but apparently does not share their information with other Dodge teams.

The R5 was a left-bank-leading engine, while the R6 is a right-bank-leading engine, due to NASCAR’s many specifications; the distributor moved to the front of the engine, and many parts were designed for an integral cable-driven fuel pump drive (electric pumps not being allowed). The R5 was retrofitted to allow this, but the R6 was designed for it. The R6 also has a shorter block, despite slightly wider bore spacing, and has a narrower head casting; some external oil lines were replaced by internal passages. There is now more coolant flow through the engine, and it can be directed by engine builders as needed via orifices (as can oil flow; there is room for oil restrictors as well). This engine therefore has more consistent horsepower for longer periods.

LINK:http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2009/03/nascar-engine-changes-detailed/
 

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Crew chief gives insight to Sprint Cup season

Crew chief gives insight to Sprint Cup season

Posted Wednesday, Mar 4, 2009, 4:37 pm in Company Motorsports

Pat Tryson, crew chief of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, held a press conference yesterday to discuss his team’s performance at Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas and how the season is shaping up after three races. Here are a few of the questions Tryson took and his answers:

Q: Daytona, California and Las Vegas are all in the books and the No. 2 Miller Lite of Kurt Busch is sitting seventh in NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver point standings. How would you assess the season so far?
A:All things considered, we feel pretty fortunate to be seventh in points. We got caught up in the wreck at Daytona and still manage to pull a top 10 out. We had a great race in California and it looked like we were going to have a great race at Las Vegas. We just had a little engine problem, a little setback, but made the most out of our day and survived in the points. Finishing the race helped us a bunch because we gained a bunch of spots where we could have lost a lot of points.”

Q: You’ve been at a restrictor-plate race, a mile-and-a-half track and a 2-mile track; how would you evaluate the consistency of your race car?
A: I think the Dodge Charger has been really good this year. It seems like the new nose has helped us a little bit … giving (the car) a little better balance. We need to be better yet, but at least we’re competitive and having a shot at it (a win) right now. If we keep working on our setups and getting our cars a little better, hopefully we’ll be able to dominate some of these races.

Q: What do you expect to see in Atlanta? This seems to be a track that is hard on engines?
A: I think everybody will probably be backing their stuff down a little bit. Atlanta is hard on engines. We run 500 miles instead of 400. It may be the same trend again this weekend. We didn’t have testing, so guys might be pushing the limits a little harder than they normally would. So we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Q: Kurt (Busch) said in Las Vegas that the anxiety is a little higher because of the lack of testing. Do you agree with that?
A: I think the anxiety is higher because you don’t know where you stand. At least in the past when you’ve gone testing you have a pretty good idea … everybody was at the test so you had a pretty good idea. The anxiety is higher because you haven’t been testing and you’re really not sure where you stand. All of us (teams) have put in the work during the winter … some of us have gotten better, some of us haven’t. It (non-testing rule) leveled the playing field, but some of us have gotten better because we’ve worked harder on our stuff this winter to get caught up. If you look at it for the most part, the cars that were running good at the end of last year are running good again. We got caught up a little bit, but we have to get better yet. We’re still working hard.

Q: Can you describe what it’s like to sit atop the pit box and the intensity of your job?
A: I think the biggest thing is that you have to make split-second decisions in regards to pit road things. It’s easy to sit back after a race and say, ‘Oh yeah, that was the right decision or that was the wrong decision.’ Most of the times coming down pit road, we only have a few seconds to decide what we’re going to do as far as tires and gas. There’s not a lot of time and it’s not an easy decision to live with, but it’s a lot of fun. Most of all the work goes on during the week and Sundays are just the fun part.
 
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