Friday, October 23, 2009

Not so fast, Ford

This should be an exciting time in NASCAR. Ford is debuting a new engine for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama in a couple of weeks and it should be the buzz of the motor sports world.
But to be totally honest, there’s not much to be excited about.
It’s not going to make the cars any faster, not going to increase acceleration or handling or speed.
The new FR9 engine is going to make the Ford cars more reliable. That’s great… for a car pool.
Doug Yates is one of the people leading the development of the new Ford engine. He said the new engine will put the Ford teams on a level playing field with the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.
“Right out of the box the engine is really impressive power-wise,” Yates said. “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.”
Aerodynamics are extremely important for stock cars, especially right now when about the only advantage a Cup team can find is in its aerodynamic package. At a track like Talladega, where drafting has become more vital than speed and horsepower, aerodynamics are pretty much all that matters for the top drivers and teams.
But aerodynamics are not the only advantage the new Ford engines will bring, according to Yates.
“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,” Yates said. “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.”
A brand new oil system – that’ll get all the kids excited about NASCAR.
In a release, and in Ford's defense, the oil system isn't the only improvement in the new Fords engines. Elements such as the induction exhaust, valvetrain, cooling, lubrication and sealing systems have all been improved for greater efficiency and performance, according to a release from Ford. Still, not much there to get too excited about from a fan's or spectator's perspective.
Yates is right about one thing: A lot has changed in the past 20 years. Cars have become incredibly advanced and technologically sophisticated, stock cars even more so.
It seems that NASCAR has not kept up with the changes in technologically, at least in the stock cars. The Car of Tomorrow has some incredible safety features and is on the cutting edge of aerodynamic development, but it has created for some lackluster racing in the past couple of years.
New engines are great for NASCAR and its teams, but wake me when they make one without a carburetor.

Photo: Ford and Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth (17) will have new engine to race at Talladega Superspeedway on Nov. 1. David Ragan, Kenseth's teammate at Roush, will also be racing the new FR9 Ford engine. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


  1. I cannot believe you think having 'Fuel Injection" would be a reason to get excited and having a need in NASCAR!
    I am a "car fan" not a "driver fan" and would like cars to be more like the one they sale!

    But if they go to 'Fuel Injection that will open the door to 'high tech" cheating and Nascar controling the winners!
    Look if you make a case for fuel injection then why dont you question why all are running rear wheel drives?I mean the Dodge Charger is the only rear drive in the bunch!
    Ford needs a new engine I mean Chevy got the SB2 after Gordon and Earhardts domination in the ninties and then was awarded the RO7 after Total Domination of Daytona, Talledaga, and point titles laps led in 2007! So after 20 years and a few head design changes I think Ford deserves it!

  2. You want to make it exciting again, get rid of the cheaters from "Hendricks" and maybe it will be exciting to watch!! This would also address the dwindling fan base and spectators at most if not all the races!! You people may think the fans are all stupid but why do you think they would want to spend their hard earned money to see a Hendricks car win week in and week out??? I know the sellouts will say what do you mean, Nascar doesn't "HELP" Hendricks out in any way but let's take a moment to look at the facts......competition cautions are thrown 99 percent of the time to help one or the other marquee Hendick cars stay on the lead lap, if a Hendrick car is not within shouing distance of the leader they throw a "complimentary caution flag" to bunch up the field so they can make the "nessesary adjustments {ie NOS turned on} to overtake the lead and win the race!! You say no way, well let's look back at one race in particular, the 07' indy race....Johnson blows a tire on pit road and they imediately throw the complimentary caution, they repair his damaged car and he wins the race?? Now, I'm not stupid, there has never been a car that was "damaged" at indy ever win that race and it shouldn'd have happened then either but it did. And let's look at this years Indy....let's see Montoya was running away with the race and it was his to lose but wait, he's caught speeding on pit road and Johnson wins the race?? Now, I've heard all the reports that show he did speed on pit road but why in the hell would he have had to speed when he was "THE CAR TO BEAT" all day?? And the answer is as simple as the nose on your face, it helped JJ win the race and that's all that matters to Hendrick-car!!! They are supposed to show on TV everytime a caution comes out the reason it was thrown but have you noticed they're not showing it now that the chase is on and with good reason, because there is no reason except to help out the Hendrick cars as it always does!! Let's go one step further, back when Kyle Busch was still with Hendrick he was at one point 7 laps down at Watkins Glenn and somehow made them all up? Never in the history of Nascar has this happened nor will it again unless of coarse one of the Hendrick cars are Multiple laps down....oh, but wait, it did just recently happen at a race several months ago, I can't remember the exact race right now but with under 50 laps to go JJ was several laps down and hadn't been running up front at all that day but somewhere out of the clear blue sky, with 20 to go he's back on the lead lap and finished 11th I believe and there's no way on God's green earth he could have made up 2 laps that late in the race and finish that highly was possible if you examine the 1st 150 laps, but damn if it didn't....thanks to the complimentary caution flags thrown just for JJ!!! So, you want to improve the racing and get fan support back up, you better look into the scam Nascar is allowing out there and calling it racing because until they do, this is the fans reaction to the bullshit that Nascar has been allowing on the track!!!! Period!!!!