Kansas: Post race new Dodge engine interview

NEW DODGE R6P8 ENGINE MAKES DEBUT IN NO. 2 MILLER LITE DODGE Handling A Problem For Busch Throughout Race; Finishes 30th Mike Delahanty -- Senior Manager, Dodge Motorsports The Dodge R6P8 engine made its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut ...

Handling A Problem For Busch Throughout Race; Finishes 30th

Mike Delahanty -- Senior Manager, Dodge Motorsports

The Dodge R6P8 engine made its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Has it been a normal evolution process?

"Our teams started working with the new engine early in the calendar year (2008). It started with engines on the dynamometer followed by mid-week testing with the engines in actual racecars. This weekend marks the first time that a Dodge team (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger from Penske Racing) has rolled it out for Sprint Cup competition. It's the normal evolution, not just an engine, of any type of new part or technology we introduce into the sport.

How long has the engine been used in cars for mid-week testing?

"Penske Racing has actually been running the engine in cars in mid-week testing for several months. They have done the development, the durability testing and are now confident the new R6 is ready for racetrack competition on Sunday.

What is the status of the progress by other teams with the R6P8 engine?

"Our other teams are following a parallel course with Penske. They have the R6 engines in the development phase building power and also out in the mid-week test vehicles running durability laps. It's not clear yet how soon the other teams will roll the new engine out in competition. As we've said in the past, it's quiet. That's a good sign. It will be a period time before the engine is fully phased in because of the number of engines required. Another factor, the R5 (current engine) is a proven durable piece. The new motor is good. The current motor is still good too."

What is your assessment of the debut of the new engine?

"We are pleased with the initial on-track performance of the new engine. This is another step in the development process toward full implementation during the 2009 season, well ahead of the 2010 mandate from NASCAR."

Kurt Busch -- No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger

Was it a handling issue today and how did the new engine perform?

"It was just a tough day all around -- loose, tight, loose, tight. We were so loose there with 30 to go that I slapped the wall twice in three laps. Our handling issue didn't give us a chance to evaluate the performance of the new engine. We will get a better opportunity at tracks like Phoenix and Martinsville."

Mike Nelson -- Vice President of Operations (Penske Racing)

Has the development of the R68P engine progressed the way you expected?

"It has. We're excited about what we have today and appreciative of all the work Dodge has put in with us. It's gone pretty smoothly so far. We're looking for a lot of success with the R6."

Are you on schedule with the development?

"Coming into the season, we didn't know what we would be facing. We're pretty much on schedule we feel like. We're just trying to get it in as many races as we can by the end of the season to be ready for next year.

Why Kansas, is it a good track to debut the R6P8?

"This is a 400-mile race, it's a good place for us to start running the new engine. We'll have it in the racecar at Phoenix. That will be a good short-track experience. We have Atlanta and Charlotte, a lot of different tracks coming up. We'll see how it goes and keep moving forward. It depends on where we are at with it and how things go, but we would like to continue to run it the rest of the season."

What about the performance of the current engine (R5)?

"We have really strong engines (R5) right now with Dodge. We honestly think we can do better with the R6, but right now I don't think we're hurting on that end (engine performance). We're very optimistic about the opportunities with the R6."

What's your assessment of the first race for the R6 engine?

"We're happy to get our first race with the new engine under our belt. That was a good thing, a positive. It's a good thing for Dodge and Penske Racing.

Pat Tryson -- Crew Chief (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)

Can you make an assessment about the performance?

"It seems to be an improvement and we expect it to be a good thing for us in the long run. It's not earth shattering by any means, but we didn't' expect it to be. This is probably not the best place to tell. In order to get your car running good here, you don't have a lot of rear grip so it's hard to drive off. I think we'll see as we go along what advantages the engine will provide."

What tracks coming up could provide more performance data?

"Phoenix could probably tell you a little more about it as far as the low end at Martinsville. I think those are two places that will tell us more."

What are your thoughts about today's race?

"We had runs where we were good and runs where we were bad. It was one of those days. We got a full race on the engine; we just didn't have the car working the way we needed to get a better evaluation."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch
Teams Team Penske