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NASCAR officials now have electronic devices that plug into teams’ computer systems to make they aren’t altering their software. And if a team gets caught messing with its fuel injection system, Pemberton says the penalty will be harsh.

“It’ll be a top of the line penalty,” Pemberton said.

Driver Jeff Burton said fans probably won’t notice the change.

“From a performance standpoint, I am not sure there is going to be a major difference,” Burton said. “I think fuel mileage should increase a little bit; performance should increase a little bit, probably not enough for the fans to really be able to tell.”

Burton said using fuel injection will help the automotive industry, making it more likely that technology tested on the track eventually will make its way into passenger cars. But Burton acknowledges it has been a burden to the teams.

“Teams have had to spend a lot of money, put a lot of resources to it, not just in money, so yes it is tough,” Burton said. “It also comes at a time where the economy is down, so it is not at the best time. Nonetheless, it is something that had to happen.”

The idea of switching to fuel injection wasn’t universally accepted right away. Last year, driver Brad Keselowski was fined by NASCAR officials for criticizing the move, saying the technology being introduced still lags far behind street cars and “does nothing for the sport except cost the team owners money.”

Asked about his comments last week, Keselowski kept quiet.

“I said as much as I needed to say,” Keselowski said. “As much as I could afford to say.”

The transition also was an issue for driver Robby Gordon, who owns his own team. Gordon said the switch to fuel injection made his old intake manifolds obsolete, forcing him to buy new ones. Gordon thinks the old manifolds could have been modified to work with the new system.

That complaint aside, Gordon thinks the introduction of fuel injection is good for NASCAR. And he isn’t worried that NASCAR will have a hard time policing cheaters.

“I’m not worried about it,” Gordon said. “These guys that tune these engines, they know how to adjust the power band to make the power come on at certain things and make the drivability (better). I’m sure you’re thinking traction control and all that, which is the first thing that everybody thinks. But these engine builders are pretty clever. And you don’t have to have traction control.”