The Nextel: This Week in Ford Racing

This Week in Ford Racing May 18, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series The new Ford cylinder head is slated to be in five Tauruses this weekend for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup All-Star Challenge. Engine builder Doug Yates said that Elliott...

This Week in Ford Racing
May 18, 2004

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

The new Ford cylinder head is slated to be in five Tauruses this weekend for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup All-Star Challenge. Engine builder Doug Yates said that Elliott Sadler ran the new configuration at Richmond on Saturday night, a race in which he finished 12th and remained in 10th-place in the point standings.

While the new engine now appears ready for action, Yates said a full fleet won't be available until July at either Chicago, Loudon or Pocono. He explained how the system would work in the meantime during a phone interview on Tuesday morning.

DOUG YATES , Head Engine Builder - Roush-Yates Engines

"We raced it last week in the 38 car and the plan for this weekend is to have it in five cars based on our first five guys in points. So the 17, 97, 38, 88 and the 6 will have it this weekend and then from there we'll evaluate it and start getting it ready to go full-time in the second half of the year."

THIS IS PROBABLY GOOD TIMING TO RUN IT IN A BUNCH OF CARS SINCE IT'S A NON-POINTS RACE, RIGHT?

"Correct. Being that it's a non-points event gives us a chance to get our feet wet with it. Obviously, we just got the engine Elliott ran on Saturday night yesterday and we're evaluating it, so it's a little early to say if everything is perfect. But early indications are that everything went well. The engine performed pretty well and even though we've got some things to work on, we're pretty happy with it. Prior to that we tested it a couple of times on the race track and it seems like it's definitely a step in the right direction."

SO THE TOP FORDS IN THE POINT STANDINGS WILL HAVE THE CHOICE EVERY WEEKEND ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY WANT TO USE THE NEW CONFIGURATION?

"Yeah, that's correct. Myself, Robert and Jack sat down and talked about it and we felt the fair way, at least for this weekend, is to get as many engines ready as we could get and give the guys the option in order of where they are in points today to run it. Going forward, the reason why we ran it in the 38 Saturday night was that Elliott had done the testing for us and he was willing to take the chance on the engine. But the system we're trying to use is points based because there's got to be some way to make this deal work and be fair."

SINCE DAYTONA THERE HAVE BEEN QUESTIONS ABOUT WHEN THIS NEW CYLINDER HEAD WOULD BE READY AND YOU'VE HAD TO GIVE PROJECTIONS. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE TIME IT HAS TAKEN TO GET ON TRACK?

"With the merge of the two companies together to form this new engine business and at the same time trying to develop the new engine, I'm pretty happy with the progress. It's been a huge task just to get to the race track every week and I think that's gone pretty well, but now the development on this new engine piece is coming along pretty good and it's gonna help our teams in the second half of the year."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Elliott Sadler