Ron Dennis was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday to discuss several topics including the upcoming introduction of fuel injection in NASCAR. Dennis, 63, is the executive chairman of McLaren Automotive. He was the team principal of McLaren’s Formula One team until last year, helping win eight drivers' championships.
“I’m here representing my group of companies, specifically my (McLaren) electronics company,” Dennis said. “We have been supplying all of the Formula One teams for three years and all of the IRL cars for two years. Very proud of our record. We’ve never had an electrical problem on any of the cars in those five years, both testing, practicing or racing.
“We’re hoping the commitment to quality and excellence is something that will allow us to become selected by NASCAR in production for some of the fuel injection and some of the other safety benefits and ecological benefits that we can bring with some of the technology that we have.”
Dennis believes his knowledge of ethanol, methanol and other fuel derivatives could be beneficial to NASCAR.
“We only give opinions, we don’t give advice,” Dennis said. “This is a phenomenal motorsports event and we’re very respectful of everything that NASCAR has achieved. We’re here to be supportive and hopefully a selected supplier to NASCAR.”
Jack Roush met with Dennis on Saturday morning and discussed the transition of fuel injection in NASCAR. Roush said McLaren Companies has a proposal in to NASCAR to bid on fuel injection. But Roush believes the change will come with a price.
“Don’t think that it’s going to be less expensive,” Roush said. “It’s going to put a burden on the teams. Any time you bring in a new technology that is complex, there’s a cost. And there will certainly be a cost for the teams.
“It’s likely to occur sometime in 2011. I think we’ve all heard the same thing. I don’t think it will be more than a handful of races. Maybe start with the (Budweiser) Shootout. That would be my suggestion. They might do that, then look at the end of the year and see what they think about it, then full time in 2012.”