New Dodge Engine Debuts
September 29, 2008 | 4:22 P.M. EST
"Our teams started working with the new engine early in the calendar year (2008)," said Mike Delahanty, Senior Manager, Dodge Motorsports. "It started with engines on the dynamometer followed by mid-week testing with the engines in actual racecars. This weekend marks the first time that a Dodge team (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger from Penske Racing) has rolled it out for Sprint Cup competition. It’s the normal evolution, not just an engine, of any type of new part or technology we introduce into the sport."
While teh race conditions in Kansas were new for the powerplant, the midweek testing program the manufacturer has overseen began earlier in the year.
“Penske Racing has actually been running the engine in cars in mid-week testing for several months," Delahanty said. "They have done the development, the durability testing and are now confident the new R6 is ready for racetrack competition on Sunday."
While Penske debuted the engine, Dodge expects its other teams to follow suit shortly.
"Our other teams are following a parallel course with Penske," said Delahanty. "They have the R6 engines in the development phase building power and also out in the mid-week test vehicles running durability laps. It’s not clear yet how soon the other teams will roll the new engine out in competition."
"As we’ve said in the past, it’s quiet. That’s a good sign. It will be a period time before the engine is fully phased in because of the number of engines required. Another factor, the R5 (current engine) is a proven durable piece. The new motor is good. The current motor is still good too.”
The Penske organization is pleased with its devlopment and the process of working on the new engine.
"We’re excited about what we have today and appreciative of all the work Dodge has put in with us," said Mike Nelson, Vice President of Operations for Penske Racing. "It’s gone pretty smoothly so far. We’re looking for a lot of success with the R6.”
"Coming into the season, we didn’t know what we would be facing. We’re pretty much on schedule we feel like. We’re just trying to get it in as many races as we can by the end of the season to be ready for next year."