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New Ford NASCAR Engine hits the track... UPDATE Ford will run its new FR9 engine again next week at Homestead, said Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations. The plan is for #6-David Ragan to run the car at Homestead, Hervey said. It will be the second race for the engine. The restrictor-plate version was run at Talladega with Ragan and #17-Matt Kenseth. This will be the first time the unrestricted version has run in competition. Roanoke Times

10/23/09 New Ford Engine to debut at Talladega: After months of anticipation, Ford Racing announced that the FR9 engine will make its debut under the hood of Matt Kenseth's #17 DeWalt Ford Fusion and David Ragan's #6 UPS Ford Fusion in next week's Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. "I'm very excited about the debut of the FR9," said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North America Motorsports. "All of us are anxious to see it in competition for the first time. Those of us who have been involved in this project agree that one of the biggest hurdles we've faced in making this transition to the FR9 this year has been the fact the current Ford engine is still so competitive, along with the economics of obsoleting the inventory of the current engine and parts. This has been a tough year for us and our teams on the track, especially since we had such a strong 2008, and the priority for everyone this year has been solving the on-track performance, which has slowed down the rollout of the FR9."

Code-named FR9, this new piece is the first purpose-built NASCAR racing engine to ever come out of Ford Motor Company. Its design has been spearheaded and developed by famed engine builder Doug Yates and Ford Racing engineer David Simon. "This puts us on a level playing field with the rest of the competition and it's something we're excited about working on," said Yates, who has been involved with the project since it began three years ago. "Right out of the box the engine is really impressive power-wise. 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. 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," continued Yates. "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."

Some of those crucial decisions included an all-new platform for FR9 with no carry over components or dimensions from the current production-based 351 engine. Elements such as the induction exhaust, valve train, cooling, lubrication and sealing systems have all been improved for greater efficiency and performance. While the restricted version of the engine will debut next week, it has yet to be determined when FR9 will hit the track at an unrestricted venue. Ford Racing PR
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