NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
R
Daytona Clash
09 Feb
Next event in
13 days
R
Daytona 500
14 Feb
Next event in
18 days
R
Daytona GP
21 Feb
Next event in
25 days
R
Homestead
28 Feb
Next event in
32 days
R
Las Vegas
07 Mar
Next event in
39 days
R
Phoenix
14 Mar
Next event in
46 days
R
Atlanta
21 Mar
Next event in
53 days
R
Bristol
28 Mar
Next event in
60 days
R
Martinsville
10 Apr
Next event in
73 days
R
Richmond
18 Apr
Next event in
81 days
R
Talladega
25 Apr
Next event in
88 days
R
02 May
Next event in
95 days
R
Darlington
09 May
Next event in
102 days
R
16 May
Next event in
109 days
23 May
Next event in
116 days
R
Charlotte
30 May
Next event in
123 days
R
06 Jun
Next event in
130 days
R
13 Jun
Next event in
137 days
R
Nashville
20 Jun
Next event in
144 days
R
Pocono I
26 Jun
Next event in
150 days
R
Pocono II
27 Jun
Next event in
151 days
R
Road America
04 Jul
Next event in
158 days
R
Atlanta II
11 Jul
Next event in
165 days
R
New Hampshire
18 Jul
Next event in
172 days
R
Watkins Glen
08 Aug
Next event in
193 days
R
Indianapolis
15 Aug
Next event in
200 days
R
Michigan
22 Aug
Next event in
207 days
R
Daytona II
28 Aug
Next event in
213 days
R
Darlington II
05 Sep
Next event in
221 days
R
Richmond II
11 Sep
Next event in
227 days
R
Bristol II
18 Sep
Next event in
234 days
R
Las Vegas II
26 Sep
Next event in
242 days
R
Talladega II
03 Oct
Next event in
249 days
R
Charlotte II
10 Oct
Next event in
256 days
R
Texas II
17 Oct
Next event in
263 days
R
Kansas II
24 Oct
Next event in
270 days
R
Martinsville II
31 Oct
Next event in
277 days
R
Phoenix
07 Nov
Next event in
284 days

Honda “would jump at chance” to enter NASCAR if it “makes sense”

shares
comments
Honda “would jump at chance” to enter NASCAR if it “makes sense”
By:

Automotive giant Honda is monitoring NASCAR’s future rules plan for its next generation of cars and engines, but says it would only join the premier stock car racing series’ ranks when it “makes sense” to do so from a budgetary perspective.

American Honda’s current top-line motorsport programs are engine supply in the IndyCar Series, and a dual program – via its luxury and performance brand Acura – in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series.

During the IMSA finale at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans, Motorsport.com asked Art St. Cyr – who was Honda Performance Development president until April, and is now VP and business head of Auto Operations for American Honda – for his corporate view of NASCAR racing.

“We always keep an eye on it,” said St. Cyr. “We look at it peripherally, right now. But it is something that interests us. Given the opportunity, we’d jump at the chance to do that as soon as it makes sense for us.”

Read Also:

St. Cyr added that the scale of NASCAR’s challenge and reach is both an attraction and a deterrent in terms of the effort required. That would likely mean switching its attentions solely to NASCAR at the expense of its other motorsport activities.

“From an engineering exercise, I’d love to do it,” he said. “But it’s a question of cost versus benefit, and – honestly – bandwidth. Because NASCAR is a huge undertaking, with 38 races and a lot of cars and engines to build each year, so it becomes a capacity issue.

“We can do IndyCar and IMSA and those types of things, or we can do NASCAR. And that’s not just cost-wise, that’s overall capability. We do all of our development, all of our engine builds, out of our HPD office at Santa Clarita. It has physical walls, and there’s only so much throughput that can happen inside them.

“To do NASCAR, say you need four cars. I don’t know but I’d imagine it’s maybe 20 engines per car so you’re looking at minimum of 80 engines [per season]. That’s a lot of engines you gotta crank through.”

Read Also:

New NASCAR chassis rules in 2021 will be followed by an updated powertrain in either 2022 or ’23, both moves aimed at slashing costs and attracting new manufacturers to join Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. Some form of engine hybridization is also expected to be a part of the new powertrains, to make them more road-relevant to manufacturers.

St. Cyr said he was encouraged by NASCAR’s Gen-7 plan to reduce costs, coupled with the bold leadership shown by its chairman and CEO Jim France that he’s also experienced first hand in IMSA. But he maintained that budget spend of Honda’s racing programs would always play a key role in terms of its return on investment.

“It’s a reality of racing these days, to figure out how to do it cost effectively,” he said. “It’s not the unlimited budgets we’ve had before. You have to make sense of what you’re doing. For us, we race to develop our manpower, our human capital, to bring that into our road cars – that’s what we do; Honda has always done audacious things when it comes to racing! 

“There’s a famous quote from Mr Honda that says: ‘If we don’t race, then there is no Honda.’ That’s pretty self-explanatory. But we do need to realize where we need to race and what makes the most sense for us.”

Read Also:

Honda’s team links in both IMSA (Team Penske) and IndyCar (Chip Ganassi Racing) both have race-winning NASCAR operations. One buffer to Honda entering NASCAR’s ranks, however, is its lack of a large pickup truck in its automotive range, as NASCAR has traditionally expected manufacturers to supply cars to teams in all of its top three tiers – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.

St Cyr added: “Traditionally, the reason to be in NASCAR is to show your trucks – and we don’t really have a full-size truck to compete with the manufacturers that are in there right now.” 

UPDATE: Here's how 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button responded to our story on Wednesday evening...

 
Motorsport.com’s fantasy Honda NASCAR Cup future concept

Motorsport.com’s fantasy Honda NASCAR Cup future concept

Photo by: Camille De Bastiani

Truex finds himself in "new territory" at Homestead this year

Previous article

Truex finds himself in "new territory" at Homestead this year

Next article

Chevrolet unveils revised Camaro ZL1 for Cup Series

Chevrolet unveils revised Camaro ZL1 for Cup Series
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Author Charles Bradley