DARLINGTON, S.C. - It's been three races since NASCAR instituted the rule requiring teams to use only one engine per race weekend. For Doug Yates, engine builder for the No. 28 Havoline Taurus, the challenge has been to maintain the traditional ...
DARLINGTON, S.C. - It's been three races since NASCAR instituted the rule requiring teams to use only one engine per race weekend. For Doug Yates, engine builder for the No. 28 Havoline Taurus, the challenge has been to maintain the traditional Yates horsepower advantage while providing the durability to make it to the checkered flag.
"Every week has been a test," said Yates. "Atlanta was the hardest we've had because it's traditionally hard on engines and it was a 500 mile race. We're all trying to find out how hard we can push it; there's a fine line there."
For crew chief Michael "Fatback" McSwain, the rule has meant another thing for him to watch during a race weekend.
"We've had to really monitor the number of laps we put on these engines," said McSwain. "Last year if we wanted to try something, we could do it knowing that it was a practice or qualifying engine in the car. Now, we just need to focus on getting the car good and try not to waste any laps."
While the rule has forced teams to alter their weekend routine, Yates is happy with the first three weeks under the guidelines.
"I think I'd like to see NASCAR keep it the way it is," Yates said. "We've made a rule, so let's try and ride it out a little bit. When you show up, you've got what you've got, and you've got to make the best of it. Right now we're starting to see some guys make better of it than others."
With a series leading three consecutive top-10 finishes at Darlington, the team looks forward to Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 Sunday. After struggling early this season, Darlington is a welcome sight for driver Ricky Rudd.
"Darlington has always been one my better tracks," said Ricky Rudd. "It's a track where patience is so important. I've always like challenging tracks and Darlington is certainly that. Hopefully, this will be the race that gets us back on track and up to the front of the pack."