Friday, April 04, 2014

Earnhardt Says No Need To Debate Engine Changes... Yet

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., said today that while he has an opinion on NASCAR’s proposed horsepower changes for 2015, he understands that the process of coming to a consensus will be a complicated one.
“No matter how the horsepower is, I think we will have competitive racing,” said Earnhardt today at Texas Motor Speedway. “I think the racing is competitive, any way you slice it. I can enjoy a race where a guy laps the field, just as much as I can enjoy one where they are side-by-side across the finish line. There is something to be appreciated about both ways of winning. 
“I like the idea of going to a smaller motor and allowing us to engineer through that package, instead of choking down what we currently have with a plate. I think choking the motor down with a plate is the easiest way to go and the laziest way to go.   
“When you go to a smaller engine, you preserve some throttle response,” said Earnhardt, the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point leader. “You preserve some reaction in the gas pedal and give the driver a few more tools to be able to use out on the race track. When you put a plate on those cars, you take tons of throttle response out of the car and setting up a pass -- particularly on a track that is worn out like (Texas) -- is a little more challenging.
 “I hope they will go the way I want to go,” said Earnhardt. “(But) whatever way they end up going, whatever decision they end up making, there is not a wrong decision. There is an okay one and a better one, in my opinion. 
“They are going to do it,” he said. “The reduction in power is coming, whether you like it or not. As an individual, I choose to get on the side of being productive in that discussion, instead of saying, `we don’t need to do it’ and trying to fight it. Let’s make sure that when it does happen, we do it the right way and give ourselves something to grow into; something that is productive for many years to come. 

“It’s coming either way, whether we like it or not. You can have both sides arguing for however long you want, but it’s going to happen. So we might as well start thinking about how we want it to happen and trying to have discussions on making sure we make the best choice we can for the sport.” 


  1. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Instead of limiting horsepower, why not just limit the rpms the motor turns. It would be easy to do with electronic fuel injection, and NASCAR already controls the gear ratios. This would put a limit on top speed, and still leave the horsepower.

    1. Anonymous9:51 PM

      limiting top end rpm's would also cause the engine to lay down when it hit that rpm limit, much like a plate engine when they run out of rpm. and by limiting rpm in this manner you take away a tool from the crew chiefs and engine builders in how they are able to regulate their rpm's through gearing etc. Jeff in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

  2. Going to a smaller engine didn't work when the Busch Series went to V6s; they were I think around 266 CID vs. 358 V8s. I always cringe when I hear a driver talk about throttle response as Junior does here, because what I've always noticed is when NASCAR restricts horsepower, either through the restrictor plate or the implementation of the tapered spacer, the reduction in throttle response never seems to hurt passing - the races where the cars have the most throttle response have consistently produced the lowest incidence of passing, where the plate races have the most lead changes of any race.

    NASCAR has needed to restrict the horsepower sport-wide for over two decades; it remains absurd that it's taken this long for the sanctioning body to become serious about it - if in fact it does.

  3. Little Daley Dunner needs an engine that runs under water.