Behind the scene fights over NASCAR engines

NASCAR officials wrestle with Toyota executives over changes in engine design that NASCAR would like Toyota to make in Toyota's NASCAR V-8, which is currently run on the Truck tour (but of very similar design to a Nextel Cup-legal motor).

"The Toyota people have gotten very 'bowed up' over that," according to one top NASCAR team manager familiar with the talks.

The Toyota Truck engine has been a bone of contention among rivals this season, particularly after Toyota's impressive summer winning streak. Ford's Jack Roush says that the Toyota engine is superior to the other three makes. Chevrolet's Richie Gilmore, who runs Dale Earnhardt Inc., says that one key aspect of the Toyota engine is its light weight, "160 pounds less than the others." That's because of both design and metallurgy.

Rather than spend large sums to match the Toyota NASCAR designs, Ford, Dodge and GM are pushing NASCAR to force Toyota to change its engine instead, which Toyota is naturally resisting, apparently very vigorously. [Editor's Note; Welcome to NASCAR Toyota……as Honda quietly readies its NASCAR assault.]

That controversy over the Toyota engine may have been a major reason for Toyota's decision to abandon plans to field teams on the Busch tour in 2006.

Two years ago General Motors proposed a new NASCAR engine that would meet the Toyota challenge, but NASCAR officials, after initially approving the design, abruptly killed it, without explanation.

Over the winter, NASCAR officials began a series of meetings with top stock-car racing engine men to lay out a blueprint for a brand-new, NASCAR-type V-8, with goals including small cubic-inch displacement and 100 less horsepower.

That project was an attempt to get Toyota "back in the box," by bringing engines under tighter specs. However NASCAR abruptly killed that program in June, again without explanation. Then last month, as Toyota went on its winning streak, NASCAR found itself under pressure again to rein in Toyota. Now GM engine men have scheduled a major meeting within the next few days on the engine issue. Winston Salem-Journal

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :