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« Great runs by Gilliland, Labonte go unnoticed | Main | Bayne going for Sprint Cup would not have made sense »

FR9 providing Ford with an advantage

By admin | February 21, 2011

By Richard Allen

In 2009 Ford Motor Company in association with Roush Yates Engines began to phase in a new power plant for their NASCAR teams known as the FR9. By the next season the engine was pretty much in full time use in the Sprint Cup Series. After a few inevitable growing pains, it looks as if Ford teams are now reaping the benefits of their work.

In the 2009 season, Ford won only two races and those were the first two events of the year. Matt Kenseth took both the season opening race in Daytona and the following event in California. From that point, Ford would not win another race until August 1, 2010 when Greg Biffle won in Pocono. Since then, however, things have turned around for the ‘Blue Oval’ contingent.

Biffle again came home first in Kansas late last season. Then, Carl Edwards visited victory lane in each of the final two weekends of 2010 at Phoenix and Homestead.

According to reports out of the Ford camp, the FR9 provides a bit more horsepower than its predecessor, but perhaps more importantly, it has a lower center of gravity than the old motor. This allows the teams to redistribute the weight throughout the front of the car which can in turn aids the car’s handling ability.

Drivers and crews seemed to struggle with getting the right front end geometry for a while but recent results indicate they have found their way.

This past week at the Daytona International Speedway offered a view into another potential advantage the FR9 has afforded its teams. The engine’s cooling system appeared to play very much of a key role in the victory of young Trevor Bayne driving for Wood Brothers Racing.

Due to the somewhat strange 2X2 formation racing that took place on Daytona’s newly paved surface, water and oil temperatures being kept in check proved to be a critical factor for success.

According to Doug Yates, head of Roush Yates Engines, his people have worked very hard to gain an advantage in terms of the motor’s cooling system

“If you go back through all of our press releases, the cooling system is one of the biggest things that we focused on,” Yates declared.  “Right now, if you can push somebody longer or have a couple horsepower, you’re gonna choose to push somebody longer today, so I think that was a good choice and it was by design.  We didn’t know that this day would come and we’d be racing two-by-two, but I think the design group and Ford did a good job in working on that part of the engine.”

Fords placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the ‘Great American Race’ due in large part to the advances made by Yates’ engineers at RYE. And obviously, with now three points paying Sprint Cup wins in a row, the new engine is making a difference for its teams.

For my story on east Tennessean Trevor Bayne’s Daytona 500 win please visit TennesseeRacer.com http://tennesseeracer.com/?p=1415

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Topics: Articles |

7 Responses to “FR9 providing Ford with an advantage”

  1. Charles Says:
    February 22nd, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Rich

    Dont start the matra about the engine! I had predicted this would start!

    You know Chevy has had two engines since 1997 SB2 and RO7! And with all the point titles and wins no one in the press ever ever mentions their advantage! They get a pass!!!!!
    Ever hear anyone say like last year McMurrary won the Daytona 500 with a Chevy and it had a advantage??
    No its ‘ECR’ or the “Hendrick Horsepower” and somehow they “delete” the “Chevy” side of it!

    So when another brand starts to win, they take away from the team and driver and start explaining away the advantage like this new engine Takes away from the team and driver and to the casual fan makes him think he won by that!

    Did anyone see Hendrick Chevy Engines have issues?l!!!!They get a pass when they dominate, no one in the press says anything about their engine advantage, but just let another brand start winning then the press seems to turn into engine specialist!

    And then worse of all, here comes the rule changes!!!!
    As Dale Sr famously early in his career when he thought somebody was treated with favotism he said and quote
    “SAME FOR EVERYONE” and this should be as well!

  2. cecil Says:
    February 22nd, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Now be nice, you all know Roush is takeing the credit for every thing Ford as every done.

  3. Joe W. Says:
    February 22nd, 2011 at 8:34 am

    This is an advantage that the Ford teams have EARNED!! It wasn’t given to them by Nascar like some other makes have received. They worked hard on this engine and took a lot of heat (pun intended) to get this engine up and running. All along they said one of the advantages was that it would cool better than the old engine. I had to laugh when I heard them say toyota was complaining that Ford had an advantage. Give me a break. Nascar gave them everything. They have never built a push rod V8. Ford EARNED this advantage the old fasion way. They WORKED for it!!

  4. ddsbstrb Says:
    February 22nd, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Joe W…spot-on! We all know that Bill Davis stole Dodge technology, to get that “import” engine up and running. What was it that many said? That “import/foreign” V8 was nothing but a Dodge with the fuel pump on the other side?

    Check back a few years, and you will see that Daimler-Chrysler won a pretty hefty law suit against Bill Davis, when their “technology” appeared over at TuRD.

    Ford Racing surely has earned it, just as they have in NHRA, with that new, Ford Racing Boss 500, run by Team Force, Bob Tasca and Wilkerson.

    Isn’t it funny how those “foreign/import” funny cars/top fueler’s run basically 54 Chrysler’s. I guess they are just too overwhelmed to even “steal” that technology.

  5. DOUG PRICE Says:
    February 22nd, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I AGREE 100% WITH CHARLES. SURE FORDS FINISHED 1,2,3, BUT HOW MANY GOOD CARS BLEW OR CRASHED OUT. CHEVY RAN UP FRONT ALL DAY, THEY JUST DIDNT FINISH THAT WAY. IN THE PAST 10YRS HOW MANY TIMES HAS CHEVY WON THE DAYTONA 500 AND THE TITLE AS WELL NOT TO WORRY, A FEW MORE WINS BY FORD AND NASCAR WILL MAKE A RULE CHANGE, EXPECIALLY IF CHILDRESS AND HENDRICK START CRYING TO NASCAR.

  6. Joe W. Says:
    February 22nd, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Well Doug, Ford lost a few cars to crashes too. And Trevor in the 21 was upfront most of the day too. So are you a Chevy fan bragging because you get preferential treatment? Or are you just an observer here? Just curious.

  7. Russell Coleman Says:
    June 6th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    This is the same old Chevy crap. The Ford teams have an advantage wah wah wah. Tony Stewart oh everyone is bringing a knife to a gun fight because the Ford teams have more power. God they make me sick. I have lost all respect for Tony Stewarts crybabay a$$ Ford is just getting competitive again. When Johnson wins up everything in sight the Ford teams congratulate them and say we are working hard on our stuff and we are going to get up there soon. Chevy has had 4 new engines over the 30 years ford had 1. Ford has worked there buts off to get where they are now. When Ford wins 5 championships in a row like Chevy then they might have something to complain about. Maybe they will have some honor like the Ford teams have.and tell them congratulations and we are going to work hard and get you next season.