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Ford Performance NASCAR: Media Availability (Doug Yates and Mark Rushbrook)

DOUG YATES, Roush Yates Engines — AS NASCAR CHANGES AND EVOLVES, OBVIOUSLY HYBRID ENGINES ARE STARTING TO ENTER THE CONVERSATION. HOW WILL THAT CHANGE WHAT YOU DO AND HOW YOU DO IT AND HOW YOU ADAPT TO THAT CHANGING LANDSCAPE?

“That is a great question and a lot of unknowns. I know that is really important for Ford Motor Company and all of the OEMs involved to continue to use NASCAR as a platform to accelerate the advancements and the technology and to use those on the racetrack. So, Ford Motor Company, led by Jim Farley, is making a lot of great moves right now. They have a lot of new vehicles out, some EVs, and I know Hybrid is part of their platform and we want to make sure we get that to NASCAR. We work closely with Ford weekly with Mark Rushbrook and his team, but mostly with our teams, so I think at that point we’ll be more of an integration, making sure that the engine setup properly in conjunction with the eclectic motor, how we use that, how we employ that strategy, but I think it’s still really early days, but it is on the horizon. I talked to Jim France this weekend about it at the race and he’s very excited about it as well, so stay tuned and I hope to have more answers for you in the near future.”

WHAT DOES WINNING TWO OUT OF THREE RACES AT DAYTONA SAY ABOUT FORD’S ENGINE PROGRAM WHEN IT COMES TO SUPERSPEEDWAY RACES?

“We take a lot of pride in racing at Daytona. It is our Super Bowl and we had a great Speedweeks. We had a really good shot with Ryan Blaney on Tuesday night and came up just a little bit short, but seeing Aric Almirola and Stewart-Haas win on Thursday night in the 150 showed their strength, and then with Austin, I love listening to Austin talk. He’s such an intelligent young man. He knows racing very well and I love listening to him and he’s doing a great job, so to win on Saturday and then had a great race on Sunday. He had a really fast car and got a little bit behind, but we take a lot of pride in racing at Daytona and that really started with my dad, Robert Yates. Watching him win in 1982 with Bobby Allison is something I’ll never forget. Winning Richard Petty’s 200th win at Daytona is something I take a lot of pride in and we’re trying to carry that on into the future and together with Jack Roush, my partner, here at Roush Yates Racing Engines that was our sixth Daytona 500 win. That’s something I take a lot of pride in. This one was really special with Michael McDowell and Front Row winning, and in total with my dad’s team and Roush Yates we’ve won nine Daytona 500s and I don’t take any of them for granted. They’re all hard to come by and it’s really just sinking in, but we take a lot of pride in it, and it used to be back in the day in the 90s that you could go down there with a really dominant car. Everybody built their own engines. Everybody built their own car, so they were a little bit more unique and a little bit different and you’d go down there and have advantages and win the race. Today, the cars are so close and that’s why you see these packs so close and one of the keys to winning this is the teamwork that the Ford drivers and Ford Motor Company puts behind this. I know that Edsel Ford and Mark Rushbrook and Trevor Worthington had a call with all the drivers on Sunday and said, ‘Hey, play nice,’ and really the way the race played out is teamwork got us in a position to where we put some of the young guys in the back. Denny Hamlin was really fast and we put ourselves in a position to win the race. I was up on top of the stands with Mark Rushbrook and his team and watching them go into three I said, ‘Man, we’ve been close.’ A couple years ago Aric Almirola was leading into three and didn’t make it out. Last year with Ryan Newman almost making it to the start-finish line to win, so I was so nervous. It was cold, but I was pretty nervous and when it happened we could see it all — the cars collecting speed and here comes Brad and Michael with a big run and it didn’t work out for Joey or Brad, but fortunately Michael was there and won the race. He’s been there a lot, so he’s well deserving, but speedway racing means a lot to me and my family and everybody at Roush Yates.”

WINNING AT THE SPEEDWAYS WAS IMPORTANT TO YOUR DAD. DO YOU HAVE A SEPARATE DEPARTMENT THAT WORKS ON YOUR SPEEDWAY ENGINES?

“We have a dedicated department that focuses just on Daytona and Talladega and they do a great job. Back in the day it all started with my dad. He loved racing at Daytona and Talladega and that started with Bobby Allison and we had Davey Allison, but what we would do back then is after the season was over we’d have about three months to go to Daytona and get ready for that race. We would literally, and I’m not kidding, we would take the clocks off the wall and we would lock ourselves in for months at a time until we came out with some advantages and loaded the truck to go to Daytona. That obviously stuck with me and when you go to Daytona that is our most important race, in my opinion. They’re all important. Obviously, Phoenix is important to win the championship, but if we take a lot of pride in that, if we work for every single horsepower, every single thing we can do to give our teams what they need to go down there and win that race, so to be able to do that is something that’s very special. Absolutely. We take a lot of pride. We put a lot of special parts. We don’t leave anything here at the shop when we load up to go to Daytona, I can promise you that.”

HOW BIG OF A CONCERN IS THE DIRT AND MUD GETTING ON THE ROAD COURSE OVER A 70-LAP RACE?

“That’s a great question. The one thing we don’t talk a lot about at road course, these are 750 horsepower engines, we have a rev limiter, a hard limit of 9700 rpm. The guys can run it out in each gear, first, second, third up to 9500 rpm is where our rev limiter is set. Everybody has a different strategy, so the engines see a lot more abuse at road races than they do any other track. The same type of engine at Martinsville turns about 9000 rpm, but you’re in fourth gear the whole time. So that, coupled with overheating, could be a problem for the valvetrain, so you want to make sure you’re running the proper operating temperatures that we call out. Every organization, every engine builder has different operating ranges for their engines, but the main concern there is getting mud over the grille or grass on the grille and then operating at a high rpm, which could lead to problems. When I saw that the other night it’s like, ‘We’ve got to make sure we do a good job and are diligent’ because these are still long races. Obviously, track position is important. You have to be there at the end and we’ll be working with our teams to make sure we do that.”

DO YOU KNOW YET WHAT HORSEPOWER WILL BE FOR COTA? HOW MUCH HAVE YOU TALKED ABOUT IT?

“That’s a tapered 750 race just like all the road courses and short tracks.”

HOW MUCH SUPPORT DOES FRONT ROW GET FROM YOU AND THEIR ALLIANCE WITH ROUSH FENWAY?

“That’s a great question. This is entering into our 11th year with Front Row Motorsports, so it’s kind of an overnight success story winning the Daytona 500. Bob Jenkins, the team owner, loves racing. He’s a great Christian man. He called me Monday morning and said, ‘First we won Talladega together, we ran first and second there and that was awesome. And then we won Pocono, but I’ve always wanted one of those Harley J. Earl trophies,’ so he realized a dream come true and that’s what NASCAR needs. NASCAR needs teams like Front Row that just continue to grind it out and continue to try and improve their program every year, try to up their game a little bit every single season. I know that’s what Bob and his general manager, Jerry Freeze, have tried to do, but they’ve had a budget and they have to run within their means. They have to live within their means and they’ve done that and they’re still here, so I think they deserve a lot of credit for being here, being part of this sport and continuing to move along. This is definitely a huge win. It’s a huge win for any team, but I think this will hopefully propel them to the next level and people will start to realize that these guys have won three Cup races and been in contention. Michael McDowell is a great race car driver. We won the Rolex in 2012 with Michael. He started out in road racing and is a very accomplished road racer, so to finally see him get that win and get that confidence and to be there at the end of that race and finally see it through is something that’s special for him as well as Bob Jenkins and his team. I’m just super happy for those guys. It’s a great story for Front Row and a great story for NASCAR.”

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF NASCAR AND POWER PLANTS?

“My dad took a hiatus, so in 1986 he actually moved to Greenville, South Carolina. He got out of NASCAR for a year and he worked on Ethanol. He built engines and did testing and went to Washington, D.C., so he was in that loop. I’ll never forget that year, though. We were sitting there watching the Daytona 500 and he didn’t have a car in it and it was really tough for him, so although he enjoyed his fuel research and his engine research he did miss the Daytona 500, but my dad always looked ahead. He always told me, ‘Don’t look backwards. Accept challenges. Embrace change and continue to look ahead.’ I think that’s what NASCAR is doing. Like I said, Jim France is very proactive. He wants the sport to be relevant. I know all the OEMs want the sport to be relevant. They want what we race on the track to relate to what they’re building in the future, so there are a lot of changes. Everybody knows our world is changing so fast and NASCAR is trying to do the same thing with the NEXT Gen car with hybridization and at some point in the future even full EVs. I think we have a long ways to go with battery life and the other things, but the reason why we’re here today is OEMs wanted to go racing. It was a platform for their companies and we need to keep that going, so as long as Roush Yates and Ford Motor Company are still connected, I want to still be involved in that, whatever that may be. Obviously, I love internal combustion engines and the pushrod V8 is a beautiful sounding engine when they come across, especially 40 cars deep, but we want to embrace that change and be there for the future and we’ll see what comes about, but it’s moving pretty fast.”

HOW GREAT WAS IT TO SEE B.J. MCLEOD AND MATT TIFFT’S NEW TEAM RUN UP FRONT AT DAYTONA?

“First of all, we’re just really happy to be partnered with Matt and B.J. They’re two really good guys. Obviously, we were involved with Matt when he was driving the Front Row cars, so we know him pretty well from that season and B.J. is a really good guy. Hopefully, everybody gets an opportunity to meet and hang out with B.J. He really gets it. He understands the sport. He knows what it takes to do this and I’m excited about being partnered with him and to see that car running well. I spent a lot of time watching him during the race and that first race out you’re always a little bit nervous. We had a lot of cars in the race and we were definitely paying attention to him, so hopefully they’ll have a great season and learn, develop and continue to invest in the future. That’s what we need right now is more guys like that to come along and be a part of our sport.”

FROM A RELEVANCY STANDPOINT, WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE NASCAR IS GOING TO BRING IN WITH NEXT GEN AS FAR AS TRYING TO KEEP IT CURRENT TO WHAT WE’RE ACTUALLY SEEING ON THE STREETS?

“I think the first thing that’s gonna happen is the NEXT Gen platform gives everybody a good start. It also sets us up to where we can have electrification. The car was built with that in mind, so the transaxle, we’re not gonna have a gearbox and a rear deal like we do today, it will have a transaxle and that will be set up where an electric motor can be mounted there and where we can regenerate energy from braking and feed it back to the powertrain I think the next steps are probably NASCAR needs to, we need to get to one power level and then to have additional power of up to 100 to 150 horsepower that can be put back into the driveline for that regeneration. So I think Hybrids are the first thing we may see. That could be great for racing at the high braking tracks like Martinsville and road courses. Obviously, the question is, ‘What do when we’re at Daytona and we don’t use the brakes a lot and what does that mean?’ So there are a lot of questions, but I know that Jim France and John Probst and their team are really thinking. This is top of mind and they’re working very closely with Mark Rushbrook and his guys and the GM guys and the Toyota guys, but they definitely have their sights on relevancy and I think the new car is gonna be great for that as well as powertrains in the future.”

MARK RUSHBROOK, Global Director, Ford Motorsports — WHERE DO YOU SEE FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS GOING THE NEXT FEW YEARS AS A COMPANY?

“They have been a great partner for the eight years for me in motorsports for Ford and working with all of our teams, we have enjoyed Front Row from the beginning and that experience. What we really appreciate about them is their plan to move forward. I don’t think Bob or Jerry have ever tried to take the team to the very top of the sport overnight. They know it takes a long time, work ethic and commitment. They have had a plan every year to take a good step forward and improve different part of the program and they have continued doing that through the seven or eight years. I think with the Next Gen car coming next year and what that allows the team to be able to do, it may be fewer resources and the playing field being a little bit more level, I think they will continue growing and will thrive in that environment. They have a great working relationship and partnership with Roush Fenway to leverage some of those resources and work together to help both teams. We look forward to that relationship continuing and seeing them keep making those steps forward. It is certainly paying off as you saw Sunday in the Daytona 500.”

HOW DO YOU THINK HAILIE DEEGAN DID AT DAYTONA?

“That is a big race. She only ran one truck race last year to get her feet wet in trucks and now we have her set up for the full season in trucks. It is definitely a learning opportunity. She ran up front near the early part of the race and got some great experience from that. Unfortunately she got caught up with some of the trucks reacting to dust in front of her that put her in that situation which was unfortunate. This is definitely a development year for her and we expect that she will get stronger as we go through the year. There are a lot of good resources helping her with coaching and feedback during the race, after the race and preparing for each race. We are looking forward to seeing her continue that growth.”

STEVE PHELPS SAID LAST WEEK THAT HE DOESN’T FORESEE ANOTHER OEM JOINING NASCAR WITHOUT HYBRID TECHNOLOGY BEING IN THE SPORT. DO YOU AGREE AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT PACKAGE WOULD LOOK LIKE?

“I can’t comment I guess as far as what other manufacturers might join or why. I certainly would agree that with the Next Gen architecture making the whole platform more relevant with the vehicle architecture and the opportunity for hybrid and ability to but an electric motor driving that rear transaxle and have a hybrid car, that is more relevant for a lot of manufacturers as all of us are shifting to hybrid and full electric at a very rapid pace. I think with hybrid included it will certainly make it more relevant and create that opportunity or interest from other manufacturers to join the sport. I would love for more to join. We are in racing to race and to win the race and win the championships by competing against the best manufacturers in the world. We love competing against Chevrolet and Toyota but we would love for more to come into the sport and join us.”

WITH THE NEW PLANS UNVIELED IN FORMULA 1 RECENTLY, HAVE ANY DISCUSSIONS TAKEN PLACE REGARDING FORD POTENTIALLY COME IN 2025?

“As you know, we are always looking at all different forms of motorsports to make sure we are in the best series to help us accomplish our pillars, winning races and championships that matter but also relevancy and the opportunity for tech transfer is important for us. We do still struggle with the relevancy of an open wheel series. Especially the return for the costs involved. We do keep communication open with all the series’ but nothing to announce on that front.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT TEAMS LIKE FRONT ROW CAN BE COMPETITIVE WITHOUT BEING ON THE LEVEL OF SHR OR TEAM PENSKE, NOT ONLY FROM AN OEM PERSPECTIVE BUT NASCAR AS A WHOLE?

“I think the more competitive teams we have in the sport of NASCAR the better. It is better racing the more different teams or drivers that are winning and getting into victory lane. For us, we have very much taken a multi team approach as we go racing. There are certainly differences between the teams and our relationship with them. At this point we have 13 Fords that are racing for the full season. We want our cars winning. We want our cars in the top-five and top-10. When there are 13 Fords, they can’t all be in the top-10 by definition. By having that depth then the way the racing works out the cars can work together and teams can work together and you put yourself in an opportunity like that. That is what we saw play out with our One Ford approach on SUnday. Unfortunately we lost seven cars in the first wreck on lap 13, which was pretty hard to see. But we still had seven cars left at that point, good cars. They were able to work together and put themselves in a position to be there for that opportunity. With Front Row and Roush Fenway, they put a lot of effort into the superspeedway program. That has been the focus to create an opportunity in a situation like that. Michael and Drew did a great job of execution and putting themselves into that right position and earning the win through their effort in the race and before the race to prepare for it.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON AUSTIN CINDRIC’S DEBUT AS A CUP DRIVER AND HIS GROWTH IN GENERAL THESE LAST COUPLE YEARS? “We love Austin and the relationship and how he has developed in the years we have known him from racing in IMSA with a GT350RC and then a Mustang GT4 and through Trucks and Xfinity and now with this opportunity in Cup. I think he has shown all of us what he is capable of last year in the Xfinity Series with the wins he had and getting the championship and just the confidence. He knows that he can win on any track. He has the team and car behind him and the confidence to go and do that and to bring the team along with him and raise everybody to a higher level. Honestly, to see him in the Cup race, we are excited to see him in several Cup races this year and into next year but to see what he was already able to do in his first Cup race in the biggest race of the year is a great testament to who he is and his ability to step up to the level of everybody that he is racing against. He did a great job on Sunday. We are really proud of him and what he does for our company.”

WHAT DOES FORD’S REGIMINE FOR YOUNG DRIVERS LOOK LIKE RIGHT NOW? DOES THE SCHEDULE SHIFT ALTER HOW YOU ULTIMATELY DECIDE ON WHICH DRIVERS TO BRING INTO THE PROGRAM?

“We think it is the right thing for the sport to mix up the schedule and go to different tracks and to put on exciting races for the fans. What we see with the schedule for 2021 at the Cup level and Xfinity and Truck we think is the right thing for the sport. It is going to put on some great races with great excitement. You are right, it did definitely play into that we didn’t necessarily expect that Cup was going to go to as many road courses as it is, we just felt that in IMSA with sports car racing and road course racing we believed that any time a drivers gets in a car at a track they are going to learn something. We had that opportunity with the GT250RC and the GT4’s. That is paying off with the young drivers at this point. We need to continue that and work in the rules of what NASCAR allows and use those cars and resources that we have to continue developing our drivers that we already have in the pipeline and certainly look to leverage that we bring more drivers into the development program.”

THIS IS ANOTHER YEAR OF LIMITED PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING ON TOP OF RESTRICTED TESTING. HOW DOES FORD GET THE YOUNG DRIVERS UP TO SPEED ON SOME OF THESE TRACKS WHERE THEIR REPS ARE COMPARATIVELY SMALLER?

“There are things we can do with cars on different tracks. Our two simulators have proven to be very accurate on all the race tracks, especially on the road courses. With our experience with the Ford GT program where we have raced at many of these tracks and used our simulator successfully for COTA and Road America and now we are able to take those lessons learned from that program a few years ago to make sure we have a good track representation and grip representation to be able to help our teams at all levels, the experienced Cup drivers as well as the less experienced drivers in Xfinity and Truck to be successful going to those new tracks. The ones that scare me the most are the dirt track. That is the hardest one to simulate properly in the simulator. We are still working on that.”

LOOKING AHEAD, DO YOU ANTICIPATE FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS GETTING MORE SUPPORT FROM FORD TO AID ITS PLAYOFF EFFORT?

“Yeah, absolutely. That is a big deal. Not just winning the Daytona 500 but the fact that it puts Michael McDowell and Front Row into the playoffs. That is a big focus for us, to get as many Fords in the playoffs as we can but also help them advance through every round and getting as many as we can into the championship four as well. We will be focusing on that as we get to the playoffs to make sure every car we get in the playoffs has the best change to perform well and keep moving through the rounds of the playoffs.”

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MICHAEL MCDOWELL STORY?

“I don’t know that I do. He is just a great person as everybody knows. Inside the race car and outside the race car. He has had the work ethic for the time we have worked with him when he drove a Ford for Levine Family Racing and the time he has been in the Front Row car with us. It has been a great relationship. I don’t know that I have any stories.”

DOES YOUR 410 ENGINE PROGRAM PROVIDE YOU ANYTHING YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU TO THESE DIRT RACES?

“We have a great relationship and experience with Tony Stewart and Donny Schatz and the racing that we do with them and the 410 but the struggle with the dirt for Bristol is what dirt they have brought in. What grip it is going to be. How it is going to change through the race. How to represent that grip in our simulator which we can’t get because of the difference in the chassis and tires with the sprint cars. That isn’t going to help us with what we need to do for Bristol. I think all the manufacturers and teams are in that same situation and that is part of the challenge of the sport and challenging our engineers to come up with solutions for a new problem and to be able to have the best representation and to use our simulator in this new environment to help us be successful.”

ARE YOU SURPRISED TOYOTA IS JUMPING INTO THE RING WITH A 410 ENGINE?

“No, I am not surprised. They are racers and love to go racing and see the benefits of using racing for innovation and technical learning and the marketing elements of it as well. It is a great place for us to learn and to get marketing benefits of it and it is no different for Toyota.”

HOW HAVE YOU SEEN MICHAEL MCDOWELL’S TALENT GROW OVER THE YEARS IN DRIVING A STOCK CAR?

“I think that going back to one of the races, it was two or three years ago, which was right at the time that we started working with Roush Fenway and Front Row to improve the superspeedway cars for Front Row. I think part of what was happening then was it put Michael in a position where he was racing at the front where he might not have been there as much on a superspeedway track. I remember one of the things he said when he was talking with Joey and Brad and some of the other drivers after one of the races, Michael said to me, ‘Hey, these guys are thinking about things and processing things that I don’t have time to think about or process. Everything is in slow motion for them but real time speed for me.’ I think with that experience now with Michael getting more time at the front like he did and working with our other Ford drivers, it is starting to slow down for him so that he is not as reactionary and things aren’t happening as fast for him. He now has that experience that it is moving in slow motion for him and he is able to understand. I talked to him earlier today and he was telling me exactly what was going through his head in the last pit stop and as the laps were winding down and then going into the last lap. He knew exactly what was going on and he knew to anticipate what Joey was going to do and what Brad was going to do and what he was going to do when that played out. That is exactly what happened and he put himself in the right position and took full advantage of that opportunity.”

HOW BIG IS IT TO HAVE MICHAEL PAIRED UP WITH DREW BLICKENSDERFER WHO HAS PAST SUCCESS WITH FORD?

“We are proud to have Drew a part of the Ford family and the success he brings. He is very familiar with us as a company and our technical tools and analytical reports that we have and being able to extract everything out of that to help Micahel prepare for the race and the use of the tools during the race and communication with the other teams and us. He is a critical part. Drivers ultimately get it done on the track but they don’t get it done without a great crew chief like Drew and that partnership that Michael and Drew have has definitely gelled and they work well together and well with us. We are happy to have Drew and his experience with us.”

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THIS KIND OF SUCCESS AMID THIS PANDEMIC AND THIS ERA OF SOCIAL DISTANCING?

“I think it makes a statement about our tools and our company’s commitment to have the best analytical tools not just for developing oru road cars but for racing and to make those tools even better in racing and to make our road cars even better. Those analytic reports I was talking about and our simulation and tire model and the actual simulator experience and making it as accurate as possible. The simulator worked out as being a good relative tool to make things better or worse or directional but now without practice or qualifying it is critical that they are accurate as an absolute not just as a relative directional thing. That has pushed our tools to a higher level to make them even better and successful and at the same time Covid has pushed the mainstream team and their development efforts on our road cars to the point where they are as reliant on our simulator in North Carolina and it use in the development of the Mustang Mach-E to make that an even better car and finish off development of that vehicle during the Covid era and successfully be able to get it into production and start delivering it. We are pushing it on all levels in the company and we will keep pushing because we can always get better. We want to win every single race. You want to win the championship. That is our approach going forward.”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME LIKE I AM IN FIFTH GRADE WHAT YOU GET OUT OF THE WHEEL FORCE TRANSDUCER TEST WITH THE NEXT GEN CAR THAT IS COMING UP?

“I am only in the third grade so this might be hard to step up to that level. No, the wheel force transducer car and how it has been used in the sport on the current car has been incredibly important to help characterize the tires and loads they are building into the suspension system. I think with this all new car it is even more important. We have learned a lot through the testing with NASCAR of their car and what we have learned from our drivers and being able to put our drivers into the simulator to do some correlation that way. Once we have the WFT car on track and the ability to be get accurate loads, we will have even better correlation for the simulator experience, tire models that we will know even more what is going on and take that to the next step so that when our teams get their cars and start testing at the end of the year they will hopefully be, through the use of the simulation and analytical tools, even further along and make those tests even better.”

FROM WHAT YOU SAW ON SUNDAY, DOES IT HELP YOUR ARGUMENT AT ALL, IF YOU EVEN HAVE TO MAKE ANY, REGARDING THE NUMBER OF TEAMS YOU SUPPORT?

“Especially on superspeedway races like that, numbers help. As I said earlier, when we lost seven cars in that first wreck but we still had seven cars that were capable of running at the front and winning. Numbers are definitely important. As you said, Toyota has fewer cars but they still had great cars there at the end of the race but fewer of them and maybe not as much opportunity from that. It is important for us, our strategy and approach, as a family company as we go racing as a family to have our teams there and working together and the numbers to work together.”

IF OEM’S GO ALL ELECTRIC IN THE FUTURE, DOES IT FORCE NASCAR TO MOVE PAST HYBRID AND GO TO AN ALL ELECTRIC RACE CAR?

“I don’t know that it necessarily does. We have three national series in NASCAR with Truck, Xfinity and Truck and even with ARCA that not every series — they don’t need every series to be ICE or hybrid or electric. That is certainly an opportunity for NASCAR with such great depth that there could be some discussion or consideration of leaving some of those ICE and switching some to Hybrid and maybe introducing Electric at the right time. As Doug was talking about earlier and as we see every day. Our world in total is changing faster and faster every day. The acceleration on that, the automotive world is changing with the shift to hybrid and full electric. We have a Mustang Mach-E shipping today. We have a full electric F-150 going into production next year and more coming beyond that as well as our competition has full electric cars coming beyond that. I think that is part of the discussion within the sport of NASCAR. Yes, we are an entertainment sport and have to put on great races. Everybody understands that. But it also needs to be relevant not just to us as manufacturers but also to fans and customers and I always try to think to that far point into the future. So 15 years from now if everybody is driving full electric cars, are we still going to be racing ICE cars? No, we won’t. But when do we make that transition to hybrid and full electric needs to be something that the sport is planning for. It isn’t going to happen tomorrow but there needs to be a plan and vision so we are ready for it because it is coming quickly.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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