NASCAR

Ford camp sets date for engine switch

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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for FOXSports.com. She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.

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TALLADEGA, Ala.

The Fords of Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports will switch to the FR9 engine beginning with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3 and race it for the remainder of the season – with the exception of Watkins Glen and Bristol Motor Speedway.

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According to Doug Yates, the co-owner of Roush Yates Engines who developed the power plant with Ford Racing engineer David Simon, “We’ve been really happy with the development of the engine. It’s a great engine with a lot of potential. I’m excited to get it out there and see what it can do.”

The Roush and RPM teams will all race the engine this weekend and next month at the Sprint All-Star Race. Despite an initial delay in the rollout of the engine, it debuted here at Talladega last fall and has run on a limited basis in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford. Yates said Matt Kenseth used the engine during the Goodyear tire test this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway without issue.

Ford originally submitted the engine for approval in the summer of 2008 and used it for the first time at the fall Talladega race. However, they rushed it before it was fully developed. The overall cost for the project — the first purpose-built racing engine for NASCAR — ran between $15-20 million.

"We hope the new engine will be a little better, but if it was significantly better than our old engine, we’d probably be running it already," Kenseth said. "So they’re still developing it and trying to get that better."

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