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Question of the Day
It wouldn’t be odd to walk into the garage on a race weekend and see Roush under the hood, fiddling with a carburetor.
After winning pole position for the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards joked that one of the keys to the team’s great start to the season is that “Jack hasn’t been doing much carburetor tuning.”
“They’re working me closer to the door,” Roush said. “The more this technology expands, the less there is for a dinosaur like me to do. I’m just a comedian right now.”
After clinging to carburetors for decades after they were regularly found in passenger cars, NASCAR finally is making the switch to fuel injection.
It was a major change for teams and their engine builders, making right now an exciting time for guys like engine builders. Doug Yates, the CEO of Roush Yates Engines, said he has more data than ever to analyze and can make far more adjustments to affect the engines’ performance.
The transition mostly has flown under the radar during Daytona Speedweeks so far _ a good sign that there aren’t any major issues.
“It’s out there, and it’s quiet,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. “Knock on wood, but it just goes to show you how hard everybody’s working.”
“There are tools in the toolbox that we are not using with this system, for obvious reasons,” Pemberton said. “And that is to keep the drivers driving and the crew chiefs working on their setups.”
Pemberton expects teams to try to get away with something at some point. There has been speculation that allowing electronic fuel injection could open the door for a team to come up with a hidden traction control system, giving them an illegal advantage.
“That’s what everybody says,” Pemberton said. “But the truth be known, that’s probably not your biggest problem. The biggest problem is the one you don’t know about, right?”
By Michael P. Orsi
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