NASCAR’s electronic fuel injection system was supposed to modernize the sport’s fleet of race cars, but the switch from carburetors hasn’t come without some glitches.
Several teams have had problems with circuit breakers shutting down the car. For Robby Gordon, it cost him a chance to race in last week’s race at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
Gordon wasn’t able to get his Dodge started for practice. Since NASCAR has a rule that a car must have at least one practice lap to attempt a qualifying lap, Gordon was sent home without ever running a lap.
Others who’ve experienced problems with EFI include: Tony Stewart, A.J. Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski and Gordon at Daytona.
Since electronic injections are so new, some drivers believe NASCAR should share information gathered by all teams to reduce the chance of failures.
“Well, I would embrace the idea of some of the data, meaning maybe they let us see the throttle trace and the breaking or something like that,” Greg Biffle said. “As far as letting all the teams have an open notebook on all the engine data that is probably going a little too far in my opinion.
“These guys spend hours and hours and lots and lots of time and effort, and that is part of competition, to get their mouse trap better than everybody else’s. When you make all that public then that work is in vain. You almost ask yourself what is the purpose in trying at that point if everybody else is going to get it, then we will just copy everybody else.”
Others believe any information learned in testing should be kept in house.
“I’d rather not have that. It would benefit to be able to see that, but, I think it is a slippery slope,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “With the fuel injection it brings in the ability this year to be able to see data that we’ve never been able to see before. I think we should ease into how we use that date, and how NASCAR allows us to use that data kind of slowly not to upset the culture of the sport, or how things have worked in the past.
“I think if we take this new door that has been opened to us and abuse it; it might not be good for the sport. I think it’s better for competition for everybody to have a few secrets.”
Curiosity grew after Stewart easily drove away from the field at Las Vegas two weeks ago in the final re-start. His throttle response was so much better it led most to believe his team has created an advantage with EFI.
NASCAR director of competition John Darby said his group will share basic EFI information during the next month. How much information is being determined.
Blind eye in the sky
Spotters have a difficult job finding enough room for their driver on the race track, and sometimes the holes fill up as quickly as they open.
In last Sunday’s race at Bristol, Tenn., Kasey Kahne heard “clear” as he sped off the fourth turn. As he moved over, he was struck by Regan Smith’s car to trigger a six-car pileup that also included Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Marcos Ambrose.
“I’m under Regan Smith as slow as he was I knew when my spotter cleared me in the center I would be clear on exit,” Kahne said. “He said ‘all clear, good to go’. So when I get to the exit I knew Regan (Smith) was slow and then he was back there. I listened too much to my spotter I guess.”
Kahne’s move to Hendrick Motorsports was supposed to be the new super team in NASCAR. But he’s off to a horrible start with three crashes in four starts. He’s 32nd in the Sprint Cup Series standings heading into Sunday’s AAA 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California.
“I hate it for everybody it’s really disappointing and discouraging to have as fast of race cars as I have and not have nothing to show for,” he said.
Bank of America makes withdraw from NASCAR
Financially-strapped Bank of America is dropping its support of track sponsorships.
BOA is pulling back its sponsorship at nine tracks, including five International Speedway Corp. properties and four Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks.
The bank, however, will continue to sponsor the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 13 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.