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New Ford NASCAR engine? UPDATE #3 It was rumored that Ford will introduce its new engine this weekend at Michigan. Not true, says Brian Wolfe, Ford's director of North American Motorsports. Instead, it will be introduced during the 10-race Chase that begins in September. "If it's this weekend nobody told me," Wolfe said "It's definitely not before the Chase." The plan before the season was to introduce the new engine by now. There were talks about letting the [#21 Ford] Wood Brothers, who are running a partial schedule with Bill Elliott, be the guinea pig. But that isn't likely now, Wolfe said. The first to use it will be non-Chase drivers at Roush Fenway or Yates Racing. Makes sense, considering the engine was developed by the Roush-Yates engine program. Still, don't look for a widespread rollout of the engine. And don't look for it to be used by one of the Chase teams unless the initial results are so extraordinary it is worth the risk. ESPN Insider

08/10/09 Ford's long-awaited debut of its new NASCAR engine is now expected to come next Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, but it's not clear which teams may be using it. The engine has a much improved cooling system, which should make for more downforce on the nose, because teams won't have to run so much ductwork. MikeMulhern.net

07/30/09 Brian Wolfe, the director of Ford Racing Technology, said the new Ford engine will take to the track in anger very soon. Before the Chase begins. The exact timing of rollout will be determined by the teams which will use it. He is promising no miracles for those teams. "We've really struggled this year - you know that better than I do - after the first two races. Some bad luck, then probably some missed setups and we got some issues going and we haven't had the wins. While the engine has tested well and appears to do what Ford wants it to do, teams will have to figure out how it affects other areas of performance. Areas like aerodynamics. Its improved cooling capabilities will allow teams to tamper with front downforce by using less tape on the nose. Some in the Ford camp have balked about using the new engine this year. Those would mostly be teams which appear headed to the Chase. Wolfe said he understands their concerns and will not pressure those teams to use the new engine. Racin' Today

06/20/09 The debut of the new Ford engine could be coming soon. The big question: Who will get it first? When the engine was introduced at the Sprint Cup media tour in January, top Ford officials speculated that the Wood Brothers, running a 12-race schedule, would get it first. The theory was to let them experiment with it before those competing for spots in the Chase used it. With Roush Fenway Racing's #6-David Ragan and Jamie McMurray out of Chase contention, they have become candidates. So have all three drivers from Yates Racing who aren't competing for a playoff spot. "I told them I don't want it right off the bat," Roush's Carl Edwards recently said. "We'll see who's not in the Chase and maybe start testing it that way." Doug Yates, who helped build the FR9, says the engine won't be ready until August. That could come sooner if Roush believes it could help Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle in the Chase. ESPN Insider
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