NASCAR stick to smaller fuel cell decision

UPDATE Drivers say that they don't need the smaller, 14-gallon fuel cell for the races later this month at Lowe's Motor Speedway. NASCAR mandated the smaller fuel cell instead of the regular 22-gallon cell because of concerns about tires on the new surface. A smaller fuel cell will lead to more pit stops and more chances to change tires. This week's test showed the tires are durable enough that they should last what would be a regular fuel run with the larger fuel cell. John Darby, Nextel Cup series director, said more information is needed before deciding to change back to the larger fuel cell. "Until you go through that 600 miles, you don't know what's going to happen," Darby said. Darby said that next year, the fuel cells will be 17 gallons. Roanoke Times

05/06/06 So far, at least, NASCAR isn't backing off its decision to do use a 14-gallon fuel cell at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the races there later this month, despite lobbying from the drivers. In discussions about that lobbying at the Charlotte earlier this week, however, Nextel Cup Series director John Darby said Cup cars will use 17-gallon cells at all tracks in 2007. That cell has been developed for the "car of tomorrow" project, which will be phased in beginning next season.

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