NASCAR team owner Jack Roush talks possible Cup engine changes

3 Comments

With NASCAR indicating that it will make engine modifications for the Sprint Cup Series sometime in the future – which could involve a reduction in horsepower – one of the series’ most prominent team owners has an idea on how the sanctioning body should do it.

Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing, told NASCAR.com that the modifications should include “a restriction on the intake side” that doesn’t involve restrictor plates, such as a reduction of the throttle bore size.

“[It is] straightforward and it is easily reversible if you decided that the quality of the racing was hurt by it,” Roush said. “If they want to take 100 horsepower off, reduce horsepower significantly, the least expensive and most palatable way to do that is with a restriction on the intake side.”

Roush also hoped that NASCAR would take the costs incurred upon the teams into account as they go about making the changes, saying that his and other teams can only afford to change so much at a time.

However, Roush feels like the sanctioning body could ultimately wind up simply reducing the RPM on the engine and add a requirement that engines must be used for two races apiece.

“By reducing the RPM, you reduce the power available for the car without changing its restriction or changing its displacement,” he said. “By making the requirement that an engine be run twice before it was subject to rebuild, we would have that opportunity to reduce costs to the teams.”

NASCAR CEO Brian France first indicated earlier this month that engine changes would come sometime within the next two seasons.

Shortly afterwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr. declared that a horsepower drop was inevitable and also, his hope that the engine would be smaller to preserve throttle response from the cockpit.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480 mph), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.