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Jan 09, 2014 - 06:30 PM
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2014 Daytona Pre-Season Thunder Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Doug Yates
Posted by: ASkyler on Jan 09, 2014 - 06:21 PM
2014 Daytona Pre-Season Thunder Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Doug Yates

Doug Yates took time while waiting for testing at Daytona to begin, to discuss how the new NASCAR rules package affect engine preparation and also how the change to the Fusion grille helps with his goal of making the fastest, most reliable NASCAR engine in the series.

DOUG YATES, ROUSH YATES ENGINES -- WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO FIND OUT AT THIS TEST? IS IT ALL ABOUT HOW THE ENGINE ADJUSTS TO THE NEW RULES PACKAGE? "I think what you learn at every Daytona test is how you stack up to your competition. The number one reason to come here is to find out where you are at. To give the car guys a chance to test their part of it. The engine piece for Daytona is pretty straightforward. You need power in a certain range, a pretty narrow range, and you go work on the dyno and can get that. There are tweaks we will do here to make sure everything with the insulation and air box and drive line components are right, but for an engine guy you want to see how you stack up and then from that what you do is you go home and you figure out where you are at and how much you need to gain. It is not hard to understand that because if you are off two-and-a-half horsepower that equals one-tenth of a second. That is either in power, drag or drive line efficiency. Or something in the car like the brakes are dragging or something like that. Really it is more about shaking the cobwebs off, getting back in the groove, getting back into the routine and seeing how you stack up as an organization."


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FROM AN ENGINE PERSPECTIVE, HOW DOES THE CHANGE TO FLUSH THE LOWER INLET OUT HELP YOU? "It absolutely helps. Anytime you have to adjust your strategy based on potentially getting trash on the grille and consistently getting trash on the grille, it makes the engine builder job extremely hard. We work to running at this oil temp and this water temp for this long and we go test and build our engine around that. When on top of that you have debris getting on the grille it throws a curve. You run into things where you are trying to build margin into the engine and you may not need to and then you compromise performance. I am excited about the change because it is a move in the right direction to let us get the debris off the grille and move forward and hopefully that makes life nicer this year."

CAN YOU QUANTIFY HOW MANY TIMES GETTING DEBRIS STUCK ON THAT GRILLE WAS AN ISSUE AND MAY HAVE AFFECTED THE ENGINE LAST YEAR? "I think it was stated yesterday where Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards at Michigan last year, it put those guys in a tough spot. It put them in a position of needing a teammate to back up to get something off a grille and both of them are trying to win the race. That is something we need to avoid. You will have that and you may have that a couple times during the year but you don’t need to have it a dozen times during the year. I don’t know the exact number but it felt like more times than not that we had debris and were fighting to keep the engine cool or at the spot it was supposed to be operating. That was a challenge. It never cost us a win, but it was something we were challenged with several times."

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