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It’s time for the Ford FR9 engine to prove its worth

By admin | May 20, 2010

By Richard Allen

After a great deal off fanfare and much waiting, it is finally time for Ford’s first race specific engine, the FR9, to show what it can do once and for all.

In this weekend’s Sprint All Star Race activities the new power plant will be put to use by every Ford team supplied by the Roush Yates Engines consortium. That will include the four Roush Fenway Racing cars and the four Richard Petty Motorsports cars along with those cars fielded by Front Row Motorsports.

The engine has been used only sparingly since its initial debut in 2009 at Talladega.

“We’re going to run the engines in all the cars at Charlotte for the All-Star weekend,” Jack Roush said at Dover International Speedway. “By Michigan, I don’t know that we will have the engine in all the Ford cars from that point forward, but we will at least have half a dozen engines in the 10 or so Fords that we build engines for.

“From that point on, depending on the durability and depending on the confidence, depending on the supply of parts, we’ll have that available to us.”

Ford teams are obviously lacking in some area, whether it be in horsepower or somewhere else. The ‘Blue Oval’ won only three times last year and is the only manufacturer to have not won a points paying race in 2010.

Only two Ford drivers, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne, are assured of a place in this year’s Sprint All Star Race. One of them won last year in a Dodge to make himself eligible and the other has not been to victory lane since the second race of the 2009 season. One other driver, Jamie McMurray, did win in a Ford last year but he now drives a Chevrolet.

Even though Ford appears to be running ahead of the corporate pack in Detroit, the manufacturer has fallen behind on the track. The teams running for Ford have to be hoping the new engine will pull them closer to the front. After all, a little more power never hurts in racing.

If a lack of zip under the hood is the cause of the Ford team’s struggles then the engine may well provide the boost they need. However, as the old racing saying goes, “It don’t matter how much power you have if you can’t make it turn”. So, if there are other issues holding the RFR and RPM boys back this engine may prove to be expensive window dressing.

This is a do or die time for Ford teams as the NASCAR season enters its second half run to the Chase for the Championship. Right now, there are three RFR campaigners inside the top-12 of the standings. It will be up to the FR9 to help them hold station and for another Ford driver to join them.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “It’s time for the Ford FR9 engine to prove its worth”

  1. Russ Edwards Says:
    May 21st, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Nobody cares. People realize this is just decals, has nothing to do with Fords, or Chevy. Nascar got wht it wanted, refocused attention from brands to drivers. So now, once you’ve gotten tired of the vanilla drivers, whats left?

    All little late to start pretending the brands matter.

  2. SRQ Mike Says:
    May 21st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Roush and other Ford teams and Ford Motor Co do not have the funding to do what needs to be done. They brought in a partner, John Henry, to focus on the business aspect including funding, sponsors, blah, blah. Fenway is not producing, and the accountants have insisted on spending cuts. So, engineering is underfunded compared to other teams and the underfunded Ford teams cannot keep the racers edge.

  3. Charles Says:
    May 21st, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Nascar needs to go back and foster the competition between the brand of cars!!!!!! and ‘EVEN IT UP’ constantly instead of it being little more than a 3 hour Chevy Commerical!

    While the cars are more alike with the COT, the one constant no matter or how they want to deny it is Nascars favortism with Chevy!!!! More brands and cars more alike in Nascar, the results are more onesided than ever in Chevys favor! So something is making a difference!!!!!!!

    What Nascar did really was appease the Chevy Fans at the expense of Ford, Dodge , thus most Car Fans have left this IROC type sport for other hobbys!

    Some might think Car Fans are a dying bread and now fans are Driver Fans, but the brand of car still counts no matter on how they would like you to think! lets see would all the Dale Jr or Sr for matter still like him if he switch to say a Ford????? some might but most would like him to stay with Chevy!

    Car Fans were what made Nascar, its even in its name, turning it to IROC Series will surely be its downfall!

    If you dont believe there are still Car Fans, go to Charlotte Auto Fair, or Carlisle Events, Barrett Jackson and see where Nascar is losing a big former market!!!!

  4. The Bear Says:
    May 21st, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    SRQ;Thanks for your comments being an ‘insider’ and all that goes along with it! You know “NOTHING” about the inside’s of NASCAR’s doings or FORD’s for that matter.Ford has almost doubled engineering support for the Ford teams.Charles,I do agree NASCAR shows favoritism to the G.M. teams, but I myself do believe the FORDS will be there come chase time.Three of the top twelve, with no wins says something. (doesn’t it?}

  5. dale882008 Says:
    May 22nd, 2010 at 1:34 am

    it seems like they favor toyota they been doing really well in the what five years they have been in nascar gibbs has more wins this year then any chevy teamit aint nascar its ford dodge dont have but 3 cars on the track they have won blame it on the blue oval it sucks rather be pushed in a chevy then ride a ford!

  6. genepool69 Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 5:40 am

    I work for Ford powertrain division and I can tell you Ford Nascar engines stink. Nascar is the most corrupted sport in racing. Never in the history of nascar has more deals been cut. It’s a great time to be involved with Toyota Nascar’s cash cow. People in this country have absolutely NO loyalty to anything that even tries to claim being “American”. Toyota can crap on the seats and Americans will say, “Well placed, nice addition” If it’s a domestic brand “choking here” it’s simply crap on the seats. I think Ford should do the right thing and leave Nascar for a few years. It’s time to do some wheeling dealing of it own and come back like Dodge did. Brian France will kiss Toyota’s rear end until the money runs out. On a side note, Carl Edwards should fire his entire pit crew in the Nationwide series they’ve lost more places and races for him than any team I’ve ever seen. WAKE UP Edwards you mental midget, doesn’t going backwards feel weird to you ?