Doug Yates speaks about changes On Saturday, the sanctioning body requested teams disconnect air hoses to the radiator and air cooler. On Sunday, Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's Vice President of Competition, said that teams will be required to have an opening maximum size 2.5 inches tall by 20 inches wide on the front grille opening and install a pressure-relief valve on the water system that will be set at 33 psi before they return to Daytona on Wednesday. Doug Yates, head engine builder for Roush Yates Engines, spoke with Ford Racing about the change ramifications for his operation and his lack of surprise if more changes are on the way.
DOUG YATES, HEAD ENGINE BUILDER, ROUSH YATES ENGINES
Q) HOW MUCH WORK IS INVOLVED WITH THESE CHANGES TO GET READY FOR THIS WEEK? "The Daytona 500 is an historic event, it's our Super Bowl, and with a new track and new noses on the cars, I think everybody did their best to try to set the rules so when we got there we would have a good, competitive race.
"Obviously, as we ran practice and the Bud Shootout those speeds are too high, which is a big concern. Second, NASCAR doesn't like the way the guys can push other cars for many laps. So, I think the first objective with these rules changes is it looks like NASCAR is trying to break the cars up and they're trying to limit how hot we can run these engines. As a result, they're gonna limit the front-end opening and put a pressure release valve at 33 psi, which is gonna bring down the operating limits of the engine.
"What we've done this morning, probably like other shops, is we've gone to work on the dynamometer and understanding the system and we're working to optimize what we can, so when we go back we can have a safe, reliable race. The engines are turning more RPM than we had planned and what we feel comfortable with, and they're also gonna run hotter, so with this rule change its gonna bring down how hot we can run them and it is concerning."
ROBIN SAID THEY CAN STILL GO TO THE PLATE AND MAKE A CHANGE, IF NECESSARY. SO IS THIS A WEEK WHERE YOU PLAN FOR ALL POSSIBILITIES?
"Absolutely. I wouldn't be surprised from the speeds that I've seen that we could have a plate change, so we are preparing as if that might come. The guys are working on that right now, and the one thing we can do today is work on the car as far as better jetting and the tune-up because the components are already built and at the track, so we can work on the things around them and try to make the best decisions, or have our notebook full of data so if we need to make a decision based on a plate change, we will."
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