NASCAR defers fuel injection to 2012 season

NASCAR's competition update held Friday at Daytona International Speedway as part of Preseason Thunder testing touched on a lot of topics but produced only one hard news item — no fuel injection in a 2011 Sprint Cup points race.

In several news briefings since late last season, NASCAR officials had talked about moving toward a possible mid-season 2011 introduction of the system, which would replace the carburetors that have been used in Cup racing since its 1949 inception, despite having virtually no application in modern production vehicles.

"We're working through our fuel injection program right now [and] we've made some great strides in the last 60 days or so," NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said. "We don't anticipate any points races this year — or races — with fuel injection.

"It'll be a year dedicated to fine-tuning and getting the process down, whether it be inspection or the team side of it, with building engines. That's going along quite well."

The head of Ford's factory-backed engine program, Doug Yates of Roush Yates Engines, put the perfect perspective on the decision from the manufacturers' and teams' point of view before NASCAR managing director of competition John Darby, who concurrently is serving as Cup Series director, re-confirmed the decision.

"Let's say, for sure the second race of 2012 [for a tentative debut]," Darby said. "And with how fast we progress and how fast we can get going, we'll look at Speedweeks 2012."

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