Waltrip, Gibbs team make changes
Rodney Childers adventures in Sonoma will be temporarily delayed on Thursday as the crew chief for the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota and others from Michael Waltrip Racing take preventive steps to ensure their cars go the distance this weekend.
After multiple engine failures for both MWR and Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota isn’t wasting any time getting to the bottom of the problems.
Kyle Busch had engine failures at both Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Although he had engine issues at Michigan International Speedway, those weren't catastrophic. However, he did finish 32nd after making corrections to the car. All three of Busch’s problems were unrelated.
Mark Martin had the same issue at Michigan that Busch had the week before at Pocono. Martin completed 195 of 200 laps and finished 19th. For Martin, it was also his third engine failure this season.
Childers said via text that the teams “are concerned.”
“We just don’t need (anything) like that happening anymore,” Childers said. “We would be about seventh in owner points if it wasn’t for that.”
Due to the West Coast travel, the MWR teams will unload their cars this afternoon at Sonoma to make the necessary adjustments. The Joe Gibbs Racing cars will do the same on Friday once the garage opens. Normally, the changes would have been made at the shop.
David Currier, vice president of engine engineering for Toyota, says the failures have “been unexpected and a bit of a surprise.”
“Everything has been tested with durability tests on the dyno and with track testing to duplicate race conditions,” Currier said. “It’s not like we’re taking any more risk than usual. Now we’ll make some adjustments to get things under control.”