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01/21 2016

NASCAR Engine Spec Program On Schedule For Trucks In May   Chris Knight

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Trucks on Track - Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Trucks on Track – Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, NC – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director Elton Sawyer confirmed with members of the media during the Charlotte International Speedway Media Tour that the new Delta spec engine for the series is still on schedule for debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway this May.

“Everything looks good for a Charlotte debut,” Sawyer said. “We’ve gotten great response from the industry and the teams. We look forward to seeing it on the track in Charlotte.”

The primary goal for the Delta Engine program is keeping all NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams financially viable by providing lower cost engine options for lease. Although, lease pricing will ultimately be determined by volume.

With the new lease program, it’s expected a team could average a savings of over $15,000 by agreeing to a yearly lease compared to a weekly lease. A typical rebuild for the proposed engine is expected after five races.

“You can participate — or you don’t have to,” Sawyer said. “It is an option for the teams but hopefully it will bring in some new growth. Teams that were not going to run all the races, this will give them an opportunity with a much-limited budget to run some races with us.”

CATCHFENCE.com has learned that the proposed engine builder is totally independent of NASCAR, ISC or any affiliated companies. Compared to the current motor, the maximum RPMs is expected to reduce from 8200 to 7600 with an expected peek of horsepower from a range of 640 to 660 with the current OEM engine topped out at 650 HP.

Sources tells CATCHFENCE.com that over $250,000 has been invested in the development of the engine, which includes design, dyno, prototyping, track testing, among other items. NASCAR will also own the intellectual property associated with the design.

Parts for the engine design will be selected by the engine builder without consideration of NASCAR partners or any type of sponsorships. The parts selected for the Delta Engine program reflect the best value, durability and qualify for the teams.

“With any new project in development, you’re going to have some issues,” Sawyer added. “Collectively, the stakeholders that were involved in the process, we worked through it and feel good about the engine going forwards.”

From a team angle, organizations with factory support are leery about adopting a crate engine considering the dynamics of the current situation. And rightfully so.

Kyle Busch Motorsports, the reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship team has no immediate plans to change its engine program according to its owner Kyle Busch.

“I feel like the manufacturers want to see their engines in the vehicles and not just be a body,” says Busch, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and truck series owner. “I’m all for whatever the manufacturers want to go for. I do feel like it’s going to put more burden on KBM to be able to have to pay for the engine bill, although the engine bill will be half of what it currently is. We do have engine support from Toyota right now for our current programs. If we do move to the Delta Engine program then Toyota takes away that support from us. That’s a cost that will be added back to our program.”

Toyota Racing Development president Dave Wilson says his Tundra teams will bow out of the Delta Engine program. Wilson also insisted that while the series remains close to his heart, the company would have to rethink its involvement if it’s forced to embrace the program.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations with NASCAR as a manufacturer,” said Wilson. “We acknowledge it. We respect their decision to go in that direction but we’re going to continue to participate in the truck series with our Toyota Tundra engine.

“One of the questions is will it be embraced? And there has been an optional engine that has been approved for use in the truck series over the last couple of years. It’s been that K&N spec engine deal and it never really took off. Whether this formula takes off or not remains to be seen but Toyota will participate with Toyota engines and that will not change.”

Sawyer was vocal that the OEMS were involved in the approval of the Delta Engine and were even offered an opportunity to showcase a resolution to the cost. When they couldn’t – they offered their support to the new program.

“They were very much involved in the decision making there,” Sawyer said. “They understand we had a fundamental issue there with the cost of engines in the truck series. They didn’t have a better solution so they supported this one.”

Busch, however, does realize along with many other of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owners that if the Delta Engine program is successful – the benefits may outweigh the reward of receiving manufacturer support.

Time will only tell.