CONCORD, N.C. — Hendrick Motorsports was among the teams involved in Monday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Cars turned upwards of 400 miles during a test of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) at the 1.5-mile speedway.
Both NASCAR officials and drivers were optimistic about the continued development of the system. Plans call for the full implementation of EFI in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2012 season.
“The entire NASCAR community has worked very closely together in developing the EFI system,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president for competition. “Today was a positive step in the right direction for us. We have associated ourselves with some world-class technology partners, including McLaren, Freescale and Holley, and going to EFI next season is only going to enhance the racing. The horsepower should be about the same, or perhaps slightly more, the cars will be more fuel efficient, and it’s the right thing to do from an environmental standpoint. Plus, it helps us become more relevant with the production cars that our fans drive every day.”
Kasey Kahne, who will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports starting in 2012, joined Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson for the test. Click here for images from the test session.
"The EFI (electronic fuel injection) engine is definitely a little bit different,” Kahne told SceneDaily.com. “We were just trying to figure that out in how it runs, where it runs at different RPMs and things throughout the corners. … The power, on and off throttle, the stuff you feel with your foot and the way the engine reacts to your foot, to me that was the biggest difference.”
Earnhardt, who previously ran an EFI car, anticipated Monday's test would provide even more information as they prepare for 2012.
“Drove one of those cars in Phoenix and I was really happy with how it ran," Earnhardt said. "It felt exactly like the carburetor car so I was real pleased with what we had been able to do. I know the guys at Hendrick Motorsports have worked really, really hard on it. It has been quite a bit of a challenge but, they have come a long way."
Four Hendrick Motorsports teams, two Stewart-Haas Racing teams, one team from Richard Childress Racing, one team from Michael Waltrip Racing, one Earnhardt-Ganassi team, a team from Joe Gibbs Racing and one team from Roush-Fenway Racing participated in Monday’s test session.