New engine, body programs announced

NEW ENGINE, BODY PROGRAMS ANNOUNCED FOR NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 27, 2006) - Officials of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Tuesday announced a multi-faceted new program for the NASCAR ...

NEW ENGINE, BODY PROGRAMS ANNOUNCED FOR NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 27, 2006) - Officials of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Tuesday announced a multi-faceted new program for the NASCAR Grand National Division, which includes the East Series and the West Series.

A new spec engine will be available for teams in those divisions, beginning on Aug. 1; the new engine is expected to save teams considerable amounts of money while delivering stellar performance.

The new spec engine is available through Provident Auto Supply, a North Carolina-based performance parts distributor owned by former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship crew chief Gary Nelson, who also worked with NASCAR as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Director, Vice President of Competition and Vice President of Research and Development.

In addition to the spec engine, a composite body for Grand National cars is also now available for use in the Grand National Division. Composite bodies are currently available from Summit Racing, BSR Products and Eshleman Racing.

The combination of the spec engine, composite body and the option of running either 105- or 110-inch wheel bases, comprise a wide variety of cost-saving initiatives for the Grand National Division, which will serve as a developmental series for up-and-coming future stars of NASCAR.

The sanctioning organization also plans to reduce its minimum driving age to 16 for the Grand National and Modified tours beginning in 2007.

"We're taking these steps with the Grand National Division to reduce the cost of racing at these levels," said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. "The combination of the spec engine, composite body and a choice of what wheelbase to use, either 105 or 110, should provide great competition for teams that eventually want to work their way into NASCAR's three national series, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series."

Teams will be able to run the spec engine and composite bodies this year. Spec engine kits can be ordered through Provident and assembled by independent engine builders.

"We want to phase the spec engines into these tours," said Pemberton. "We've done a lot of testing with the engines in the past few months and these motors are going to be very competitive and very durable."

The cost is going to be well below what teams are currently spending on engines. Composite bodies should also trim costs from the budgets of Grand National racers.

NASCAR has already announced it will discontinue its Elite Division at the end of this season.

The 2007 schedules for both the West and East Series will be announced later this year.

"We're going to spend a lot of time developing these two series," said Pemberton. "With the competitive environment getting tougher all the time, we must have a series to develop young talent."

Richard Buck, based at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C., will lead NASCAR's competition efforts with these tours while Director of Administration George Silbermann and Senior Manager of Events and Operations Bob Duvall will oversee scheduling and administration. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Buck, Silbermann or Duvall.

The NASCAR Grand National Division has been the starting point for the careers of many NASCAR stars on both the east and west coasts. Ricky Craven, Ryan Moore, Martin Truex Jr. and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion crew chief Greg Zipadelli began their careers in the East Series, while Brendan Gaughan, David Gilliland, Kevin Harvick and Ron Hornaday Jr. are products of the West Series.

The two series meet annually for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, an invitational event featuring the top 15 drivers in each series. This year's Toyota All-Star Showdown is scheduled for Oct. 20-21 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ricky Craven , Brendan Gaughan , Martin Truex Jr. , David Gilliland , Ryan Moore