Ford officials were informed earlier this week that NASCAR had approved its request for a new cylinder head beginning with the 2004 season. Greg Specht, Doug Yates and Jack Roush commented on how this new head, which is the first for Ford since...
Ford officials were informed earlier this week that NASCAR had approved its request for a new cylinder head beginning with the 2004 season. Greg Specht, Doug Yates and Jack Roush commented on how this new head, which is the first for Ford since 1992, will benefit Ford teams.
GREG SPECHT , Manager of North American Racing Operations, Ford Racing Technology
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU HEARD NASCAR APPROVED THE CYLINDER HEAD? "Relief. I was very relieved because we needed something and I felt this was a very reasonable request. I was concerned that we didn't get it sooner, but relieved when we did finally get it approved."
WHAT WILL THIS ALLOW THE TEAMS TO DO NOW? "It will allow us to have better performance in the lower RPM ranges and I think that's where we've struggled. It's going to be a better feel for the driver now coming out of the corner and getting on the throttle. There will be plenty of power there to help them get back out of the turn and get going down the straightaway."
IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE THERE WAS A CHANGE LIKE THIS? "Yeah, 1992 was when we had the current head approved and that was based on the 351-Cleveland production engine. It's a credit to our engine builders that they were able to keep it as competitive for as long as they did, but it was time to move on. Other manufacturers had been given more real estate to work with and now we have the same real estate as the other manufacturers, so our engine builders will now have those same opportunities."
JACK ROUSH , Car Owner - Roush Racing Tauruses
"I'm really optimistic about next year. We've got the geometry that should let us be competitive in the cylinder head area. We don't have the reverse left and right cylinders with the two exhaust valves being the middle of the head, which the Chevrolet and the Dodge have, but we don't have a submission for that. We haven't done that engineering yet, so NASCAR has given us a measure that should put us in the area for next year, and then they're open to a proposal in 15 months or so, which is about the time it takes for us to do the rest of the engine that we need. NASCAR cooperated with us to look at our problem and they ultimately accepted our point of view and gave us a consideration for next year. I'm very optimistic about what we'll be able to do with the engine in the near term."
DOUG YATES , Engine Builder - Robert Yates Racing
"I started doing this in 1990 and I've worked on the same cylinder head and block the whole time. Eventually, I think the reason why we haven't gotten a new one is because the Ford camp has done a good job with what they had. But now the times are changing with technology and there are more good engine guys through the garage, so it was time for us to get something new. Basically what we asked for and what we got was the same real estate as the Chevrolet and Dodge and, hopefully, Toyota. Now it's just up to us to go back this winter and burn the midnight oil to try and make something out of it. The thing that we really need along with that is they gave us a head, so now we've got to go back and make a manifold to work with that cylinder head. Obviously, the same manifolds we have now don't work with that head, so we've got our work cut out for us."
IS THIS LIKE AN ENGINE BUILDERS DREAM - TO HAVE SOMETHING NEW TO WORK WITH? "It's refreshing that we've got some new real estate to work with. It opens up some doors and I think it's gonna change our engine combination quite a bit, so we've got a lot of work to do to take advantage of it. It's not as easy as just bolting it on, so we've got a lot of work to do this winter. We're really excited about it."